Southampton supporters have been pretty downbeat in recent times after seeing their side suffer a sixth Premier League defeat of the season at the weekend.
Mark Hughes’ men went into their encounter with champions Manchester City having won just one of their opening ten league games, and having failed to score in each of their previous five matches. And while they did at least end that barren run through Danny Ings at the Etihad Stadium, they conceded six at the hands of Pep Guardiola’s side to suffer a hugely damaging loss, one that leaves them just a point clear of the Premier League’s bottom three.
As such, there have been many disappointed Saints fans up and down the country in recent times, several of whom are beginning to wonder whether Hughes is indeed the right man for the job.
And bookmaker Paddy Power are already offering odds on who could replace the ex-Wales boss at St Mary’s, with former West Brom manager Alan Pardew one of the front-runners according to the bookmakers.
But after his shambolic stint in charge of the Baggies last season, it would make absolutely no sense at all for Southampton to replace under-fire Hughes with the 57-year-old.
Ultimately, things aren’t going at all well for Hughes given his team have won just once in the league so far this term, although one mustn’t forget the job he did in steering the club away from danger at the rear end of last season.
And while that should be taken into account, the Saints have simply shown no signs of improving since their near-miss with relegation, and now the drop looks like a very realistic proposition once again given they are only a point clear of 18th place Huddersfield Town – as such, Hughes is under pressure to turn things around.
But if the Saints hierarchy are to indeed pull the trigger and relieve the 55-year-old of his duties, they absolutely must not seek to bring Pardew back to the South Coast outfit following his calamitous spell at West Brom last season.
The 57-year-old spent a short time at St Mary’s between 2009 and 2010 but has since enjoyed stints in the Premier League at Newcastle United, Crystal Palace, and more recently West Brom, all of which eventually resulted in his sacking.
But it was the latter spell at the Hawthorns which will be of grave concern to Saints fans, as Pardew simply wasn’t able to produce the goods after taking over from Tony Pulis back in November last year, leading the Baggies to just three wins in his 21 games in charge – it was a run which pretty much relegated the club.
And that pales into stark contrast how much Darren Moore got out of the team following Pardew’s departure back in April, with the former earning three wins from his six games, compared with Pardew’s paltry tally of one from his 19 league matches in charge.
And with things finishing pretty badly at both Newcastle and Crystal Palace as well, the 55-year-old clearly isn’t the man to go into Southampton and drag them clear of the bottom three – he may have been an impact manager in the past, but that wasn’t evident at the Hawthorns.
And after such a poor spell at the Midlands club, it would make no sense at all for the Saints to sack Hughes in favour of the ex-Southampton boss.
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