Southampton are on the verge of the Premier League relegation zone following a 3-2 defeat to Fulham at the weekend.
The Saints took an early lead against the Cottagers with Stuart Armstrong netting his first goal since joining from Celtic in the summer. However, goals from Aleksander Mitrovic and Andre Schurrle ensured Southampton went nine games without a win in the league. The result against Claudio Ranieri’s men puts immense pressure on the shoulders of Mark Hughes.
The Welshman was given the job permanently in the summer after helping the club avoid relegation, but he holds a dismal record of just three wins from 21 league games since replacing Mauricio Pellegrino at the helm. The goals conceded against Fulham were sloppy, with once again their poor defending cost them dearly. Southampton are now level on points with Cardiff City and the Cottagers, showing no signs of improvement – thus it could be time for a change of management.
To replace Hughes, the Southampton board must make an ambitious attempt to appoint ex-Monaco boss Leonardo Jardim.
The Portuguese manager transformed the club following his appointment in 2014 and led them to their first league championship in 17 years back in 2017, ending the dominance of Paris St Germain. However, back in October, Jardim was sacked following a poor start to the season and replaced with Thierry Henry, who has struggled in equal measure.
While Monaco’s dismal start is a stain on his managerial record, the club’s poor transfer policy ultimately factored into their results. During their title-winning season, Jardim created a defensively sound team who were devastating going forward. Many players flourished under his leadership in France, and the 44-year-old could be just what the club need to get their struggling stars back to their best.
Jardim was once courted by the likes of Real Madrid, and as such would be a real coup if Southampton could lure him to St Mary’s.
Southampton fans… what do you think? Let us know!
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