It’s fair to say the Southampton fans in the Transfer Tavern have become completely disillusioned with Mauricio Pellegrino and his inability to get the best out of his players so far this season.
Although very few would have predicted Southampton’s current predicament at the beginning of the season, the club are close to staring down the barrel of relegation after a bitterly disappointing campaign. Pellegrino’s side still have 9 matches to salvage some pride from their season by steering clear of a relegation dogfight in the weeks to come, but unfortunately for the resident Saints propping up our bar, Southampton’s recent performances hardly suggest that an imminent improvement is on the horizon.
For now, all the supporters can do is hope their side will eventually find the points which are needed to beat the drop this season. Even if Southampton do manage to avoid being relegated to The Championship this season, it seems certain that Pellegrino will be dismissed in the summer.
According to reports in The Daily Mirror, the club are indeed preparing to sack Pellegrino at the end of the season and replace the Argentine manager with either Fulham’s Slavisa Jokanovic, or Ostersunds manager Graham Potter who has done a sterling job with the Swedish side in 7 years at the club.
Both of the aforementioned managers could make a solid case to undertake a future role at Saint Mary’s, but considering both are currently enjoying great success with their current clubs, the prospect of moving to Southampton may not carry the weight of appeal that would be needed to persuade them to embark on a new challenge.
With that being said, Southampton may need to think slightly outside of the box when appointing a new manager, and instead take a chance on an unproven prospect who has huge potential to succeed in management, namely Mikel Arteta of Manchester City.
The former Evertonian is currently working as a coach as part of Guardiola’s backroom staff in Manchester, so he could hardly be in a better environment to develop as a manager. It seems likely that Arteta will eventually graduate from a coaching role into a mangers role, and after spending two years with The Citizens, the time could be right for him to make a decisive step into management this summer.
In theory, Arteta should bring a positive brand of free-flowing attacking football to the club which would at least provide the fans with entertainment, something which they have been desperately short of this season. Although appointing the Spaniard would undoubtedly represent a risk due to his lack of experience, it would certainly be one worth taking considering the high standard of education he is currently receiving with the champions-elect.