Mauricio Pellegrino: Southampton sack manager with eight games left of season

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Pellegrino criticises ‘poor’ Southampton spirit

Southampton have sacked manager Mauricio Pellegrino with the team just one point and one place above the Premier League relegation zone with eight games left this season.

The Saints have won just one of their past 17 league matches and lost 3-0 at Newcastle United on Saturday.

Pellegrino, 46, was appointed in June as the successor to Claude Puel.

Mauricio Pellegrino: Southampton sack manager with eight games left of season
Mauricio Pellegrino: Southampton sack manager with eight games left of season

Saints hope to have a new manager in place before facing Wigan on Sunday for a place in the FA Cup semi-finals.

They are in their sixth successive season in the Premier League and have not finished lower than 14th in any of the previous five.

Pellegrino said he “observed some players who gave up” during Saturday’s game. Former England midfielder Jermaine Jenas called the performance “abysmal, shocking and borderline disgraceful” on Match of the Day.

Pellegrino, a former Argentina international, secured the equivalent of 0.93 points per game, the third-worst tally of any Southampton manager in the Premier League.

The club said in a statement they want to “appoint a new management team as soon as possible, with the search for a replacement already under way”.

They are the ninth Premier League team to change their manager this season.

Assistant manager Carlos Compagnucci and assistant first-team coach Xavier Tamarit have also left the club.

Southampton’s last eight league games
31 March: West Ham (a)28 April: Bournemouth (h)
9 April: Arsenal (a)5 May: Everton (a)
14 April: Chelsea (h)13 May: Manchester City (h)
21 April: Leicester (a)TBC: Swansea (a)

Too little too late?

Former Southampton defender Francis Benali on BBC Radio 5 live:

“It is something that has been bubbling away and has been talked about by Southampton fans for a while.

“I think Pellegrino has had a good opportunity to turn things around. It is late in the season, and he perhaps should have gone some time back but Southampton have stuck with him. There have been a few must-win games that Southampton have not won.

“I think the heavy defeat against Newcastle and the manner of it has sealed his fate. They are thinking hopefully it’s not too late for someone to come in and turn things around.”

BBC Radio Solent sports editor Adam Blackmore:

“Southampton have given Pellegrino every chance to adapt, grow and learn, but they went to Newcastle and for the first time it looked like the players had chucked one in. The first time it looked like they had not played for him and they let him down.

“I think they probably should have sacked him in January after losing at Crystal Palace. It has been toxic at St Mary’s for a while now but they have resisted.

“With a three-week gap before the next Premier League game, they realised this was their last chance to make a change as it did not seem they were going to get themselves out of danger as nothing was changing on the pitch.”

Southampton permanent managers in the Premier League
GamesWinsDrawsLossesWin %PointsPoints per game
Ronald Koeman7636152547.41231.62
Glenn Hoddle4518111640651.44
Mauricio Pochettino5419181735.2751.39
Paul Sturrock1352638.5171.31
Gordon Strachan9331293333.31221.31
Alan Ball5918221930.5761.29
Claude Puel3812101631.6461.21
Dave Jones9831194831.61121.14
Graeme Souness3810111726.3411.08
Ian Branfoot6618143427.3681.03
Nigel Adkins22571022.7221.00
David Merrington389111823.7381.00
Mauricio Pellegrino305131216.7280.93
Harry Redknapp22481018.2200.91
Steve Wigley141677.190.64

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