Who Is The Bookies Favourite To Replace Claude Puel at Southampton?

Who Is The Bookies Favourite To Replace Claude Puel at Southampton?
Jun 15, 2017

Featured Southampton

Late last night, news emerged from St. Mary’s which surprised most people, with French manager Claude Puel having been sacked after only one season at the club. Having finished 8th in the Premier League and reaching the EFL Cup final, which the Saints should have won if the officials had done their job properly, most would have seen Puel as having met expectations in his debut season in the English top flight.

Add into the mix that top scorer Charlie Austin, who netted 9 goals in all competitions had been injured for most of the campaign, Southampton were bound to have some difficulties this season. Yet, although Puel got the best out of players like Jack Stephens, Oriol Romeu and Nathan Redmond, whilst securing the services of Italian international Manolo Gabbiadini, a major failure on Puel’s part has been the form of record signing Sofiane Boufal.

After making the £21 million switch from Lille, Boufal has only managed one goal and has failed to register an assist in 24 Premier League games according to whoscored.com. When you delve deeper into Southampton’s performances this season, the south coast team only managed a mere 41 goals in 38 league games, with only the bottom 5 teams having scored less. Having amalgamated 46 points by the end of the campaign, Puel’s team were only 6 points off 17th place Watford, so don’t let 8th position fool you.

Some of the Southampton faithful had been calling for Puel to go, with the St. Mary’s crowd jeering the ex-Monaco, Lille, Lyon and Nice manager after the final day 1-0 home defeat to Stoke. The Daily Echo also reported that a poll they ran showed that the majority of fans wanted Puel gone, with 68% calling for his head, reasoning that the drab style of play was the catalyst to his downfall. So who will take over at Southampton now?

Thomas Tuchel, the ex- Borussia Dortmund manager, was rumoured to be in line and was the bookies favourite at 5/4, but in the past few hours, the German has since announced he won’t be joining the club according to Sky Sports.

Paddy Power have Frank De Boer at 7/1 for the job and it wouldn’t be a surprise if the board go with him, considering the last Dutchman they had, Ronald Koeman, did a splendid job during his 2 seasons at the club. Frank De Boer most recently was seen in the dugout at the San Siro, whilst managing the blue half of Milan, Inter Milan. De Boer was sacked after 85 days with his side lingering in 12th place in Serie A after 4 losses in 5. De Boer before hand though had managed Ajax for 6 seasons, winning the Eredivisie 4 times on the bounce from 2010-2014.

The same bookie is also offering 10/1 odds for the vacant managerial position to be filled by Mauricio Pellegrino. Pellegrino has experience in the Premier League already, having been assistant manager alongside Rafa Benítez during the Spaniards time in Merseyside. Pellegrino in 2012 decided it was time for him to be the focal point, taking charge of Valencia where he won 10 games out of a possible 21.

The Argentinian then moved back to his homeland, taking up the reigns at Estudiantes in 2015 and then fellow Argentinean team Independiente in 2016. Following Alaves promotion to La Liga, Pellegrino was appointed the club manager in 2016, leading the team to a phenomenal 9th place finish whilst guiding them to a Copa Del Rey final, which they eventually lost to Barcelona. Whether Pellegrino comes to Southampton is in doubt, however, with Steve Parish, Crystal Palace chairman targeting Pellegrino as the man to take over the void left by Big Sam after his sudden departure.

Finally, after his dismal, drab and unsuccessful time as England manager, Roy Hodgson is being rumoured to want to come back to the Premier League for one more shot in management. At the tender age of 69, Roy will be thinking about retirement soon but one last swansong in the top flight will quench his thirst and Paddy Power have him at 12/1 to be manager, the 4th favourite for the job. A year has passed since that appalling night against Iceland and the memories have now started to die down.

Roy is now coming out of the shadows and looking for a team to manage. News sources had Roy as someone in line for the Palace or Watford job, but the stable, knowledgeable Roy may interest the Southampton owners. With past experiences managing mid-table sides like Fulham and West Brom, if the club are looking for stability and someone to continue to build on the work of Koeman and Puel, Roy might not be a bad idea however, I think Southampton fans will still be wary of how his tenure as England manager went.


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