It is nothing new to suggest that the business of football management has become more and more precarious in recent years. A rant on some of the ludicrous sackings over the past few years would provide enough material for an entire book. But the sacking of Southampton boss Nigel Adkins is quite simply on another level.
The decision is just wrong in so many ways. I heard a discussion on talkSport about a week or so ago discussing the disappearance of loyalty in the game, but conversation was mainly focused on players and managers having no loyalty to their clubs. Perhaps the discussion needs to be flipped on its head. How can we expect managers to stay loyal to their clubs when they can be dismissed from their position despite back-to-back promotions and a run of just 2 losses in 12 games?
The club’s fans forums have been inundated with irate fans, including one resident Saints supporter raging, ‘We’ve had some seriously dark points such as administration, however this one tops the lot. With Adkins gone we will not only lose him, but all he has given us over the past 3 years.’ This must be the greatest concern for the fans and players alike. Adkins will have built a strong team spirit that now may well be pulled apart by his departure as the core of the current team will have been with him since their days in League One.
When Adkins faced the press he always brought with him a smile and an admirable positivity. Mauricio Pochettino will bring with him a translator, for in his infinite wisdom Nicola Cortese has appointed a manager who does not speak a word of English. Cortese said that he believed that Pochettino would get the best out of the players, so it should be interesting to see how the South American communicates his ideas to Rickie Lambert…the scouser.
In fairness to Pochettino what he does say is incisive and to the point. At his first press conference he dropped the revelation that ‘our biggest challenge is to win the games ahead of us.’ At least he seems to have grasped the basic principle behind competitive sport.
Why do chairmen always seem to be the only ones who can’t recognise the absurdity of their decisions? It is quite clear that the rest of the footballing world can see how nonsensical this decision is and it has got to the point where it is painful and embarrassing to read the news of yet another chopped manager who was simply unable to work miracles. Unfortunately it is just a sad fact that too many of our clubs are not run by football men, but profiteers like Cortese who know nothing of what is involved in building a successful side and creating a team ethic.