Southampton supporters have been rejoicing in the Transfer Tavern this week after news emerged on Monday that manager Mauricio Pellegrino had been sacked, what with the club struggling in 17th place in the Premier League table.
The 46-year-old took over from Frenchman Claude Puel in the summer with the brief to bring more attacking and entertaining football back to St Mary’s, but it was a brief the former Alavas chief was simply unable to meet. And with just five wins from his 30 Premier League games in charge, the Saints hierarchy called time on the Spaniard’s short stint in charge on Monday off the back of their humbling 3-0 defeat at fellow relegation candidates Newcastle, with Kenedy’s brace and a Matt Ritchie strike bringing to an end Pellegrino’s eight-month spell as Southampton boss.
As such, there have been many upbeat Saints fans in the Tavern this week, several of whom are looking forward to the new era under former striker Mark Hughes, who replaced Pellegrino in the St Mary’s hotseat earlier this week.
The 54-year-old has been out of work since losing his job at Stoke City back in January of this year, where he spent four-and-a-half years in charge, in which time he guided the Potters to three successive ninth place finishes in the Premier League before ending up 13th last time round.
And the Welshman’s first game in charge of Southampton is a big one against Wigan Athletic in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup this afternoon, with Paul Cook’s men making it to the last eight after pulling off one of the biggest shocks of all time in beating Manchester City in the previous round.
Thus, it’s going to be an extremely tricky encounter for Hughes’ Saints, and based on their woeful display against Newcastle last week, the 54-year-old is going to have plenty to think about regarding his team selection for today’s game.
As such, here are TWO Southampton players who surely have to be axed by the new manager at the DW Stadium today…