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Mauricio Pellegrino - An Overview
Wednesday, 14th Mar 2018 08:52

Mauricio Pellegrino did not have much sympathy amongst Saints fans when he was sacked and will go down in the memory of many as one of the worst managers in the history of the club, but how fair is that ?

This sacking of Mauricio Pellegrino was a rareity in that it happened in mid season, the first time that has happened in five years, with the three previous incumbents of the job all leaving in the close season.

Nigel Adkins was the last man to be sacked during an actual season and prior to him it was a regular occurrence and between the appointment of Dave Jones in the summer of 1997 and the sacking of Adkins in January 2013, of the 12 permanent managers from Jones to Adkins inclusive, only one Mark Wotte actually left the club in the summer after the season had ended.

Given that the departures of both Alan Pardew and Adkins himself where not exactly neccesities at the times and that the departure of Jan Poortvliet was going to change little either, we have to go back to the departure of George Burley in January 2008 to find a situation such as the current one when the manager really had to go , ironically in that season his replacement Nigel Pearson was like the likelihood in this, not a permanent but temporary to the end of the season, Pearson kept us up, let's hope that is a good omen.

After Adkins we got some stability up to now, so how will Pellegrino's time be viewed at the club.

It would be easy to blame him for all our woes and whilst there can be no doubt that he has to be held responsible, indeed accept much of the blame, it is not quite as simple as that.

Pellegrino like his predecessor Claude Puel arrived at a club with a problem and that problem was a key central defender wanting to leave for a payday and then becoming a disruptive influence both directly and indirectly.

Clearly in the first half of the season Van Dijk was being played above any of the other three candidates and the rotation between Hoedt and Yoshida meant we never seemed to get any settled defending. I think here Pellgrino was caught in the middle of a battle between the club who were determined to hold on to Van Dijk and treat him with kid gloves and a player who it became apparent was not putting in the effort and commitment to try and force a January move.

Also Pellegrino like Puel lost the services of Charlie Austin before Xmas and would be without his top scorer for basically the rest of his reign, the impact of that should not be forgotten in any analysis of either former manager.,

The two events can be linked in that both had big gaps in the centre of their defence and had to go defensive to plug those gaps, at Newcastle we saw how the team was ripped apart on the break and those that clamoured for two up front did not seem to realise that perhaps a defensive line up was more out of neccessity than choice at times, last Saturday Pellegrino played two defensive midfielders and three attacking, Newcastle read this like a book and went on the break.

Excuses over though, for Pellegrino certainly had the squad to do far better than he did, he chopped and changed and never seemed to know his best players for his rigid chosen formation, likewise he was appalling at making substitutions and that cost us vital points not least against Arsenal and Watford where he left on players who had clearly run their socks off and had nothing left in the tank and did not use his available subs not only for the fresh legs, but to run the clock down and break up the play with the opposition pushing for an equaliser.

All ifs and buts, but those four points would make our league position look a lot healthier today and indeed might have resored the players confidence not only in themselves but the manager.

But tat was the problem, Pellegrino never learn't by his mistakes, he never added those little touches that make a good manager, he did not have the tactical nous to make those key changes at the right time and that is why we sit where we are today.

Teams became well aware of how to deal with us and as Newcastle showed hit us in our weak spots at the back, indeed this season is littered with soft goals conceded from unmarked players in the box and on the break and Pellegrino did not seem to be able to fathom this out.

Mauricio Pellegrino was a decent man, he was not hated by Southampton fans as soe of his predecessors have been for various reasons, but he was a man out of his depth and given every chance to show that he wasn't.

He cannot and indeed is not complaining that he was not given enough time or that he could have turned it around etc as a lot of managers do when sacked, he has taken it on the chin and the only real comment he has made is about the fact that there were certain issues at the club and that is the truth.

Many consider him the worst manager in Saints history, statistically that is not the case, ironically one man with a worse win ratio is someone who we mentioned earlier came in and kept Saints up in the Championship Nigel Pearson, Pellegrino's win ratio is 23.53% whilst Pearsons is 21.43% and there are several others with less than Pellegrino although the only permanent manager of the club with less is Steve Wigley.

Pellegrino's demise will not be mourned, however it should not be celebrated, like Steve Wigley he was a decent man doing his best, it was a shame that that best was not good enough, his end should have been a lot earlier than it actually was, but that is not his fault.

As I always say though, it is not a crime to make a mistake, the real crime is not to rectify that mistake, Les Reed has now done that albeit later than he should have done, but we cannot change that now, we can only change the future, what is needed now if we are not only to avoid relegation but perhaps better, is for everyone to get behind whoever the new man is between now and the end of the season and help the club get out of trouble, it is no use crying about what has gone on, that is over, let's look to the future not to the past !

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landsdownsaint added 09:38 - Mar 14
Week after week he had all the tv pundits scratching their heads trying to workout his tactics & a lack of urgencey in our play & team selection, I actually thought he’d become a laughing stock amongst the pundits , as u say he’s a nice bloke but has done very nicely out of SFC for being a rubbish manager.
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patred added 10:07 - Mar 14
As you said the biggest crime was not doing it earlier. The new manager will have to deal with that unneccesary legacy from Reed. He has only 8 games to rescue the situation when in truth double that number is needed.
Now we need everything to go our way with our results and that of our rivals. If the new manager pulls this off it will be in spite of our DOF not because of him.
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legod7 added 10:23 - Mar 14
I think they would have kept him on even if we had been relegated. That all came to a head after the Newcastle game when he blamed the players for the defeat. That in any league, anywhere, is not the way he should have conducted himself.
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SonicBoom added 10:43 - Mar 14
Look to the future is a good sound bite and very positive.
However there is also a saying that those who ignore the lessons of the past are doomed to repeat them.
Repeating our mistakes would be the real crime here Nick. We made a mistake with Puel, We repeated that mistake with Pellegrino.
So yes, we need to look forward, but there needs to be a review of what we are doing internally as a third mistake could be fatal for our future.
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KriSaint added 10:54 - Mar 14
I thought he looked an ok choice in the beginning.
Benitez as his mentor for 4 years. 2 years as coach in Liverpool and 2 years in Inter - under Benitez.
Got Alaves to a no. 9 position in la liga and got the team to the spanish cup final.
However, his lack of tactical flexibility and lack of ability to inspire the team became gradually more and more obvious. Strange team selections and substitutions have not helped. Of course he had to go. Nice bloke I´m sure and I wish him well. I hope he has learned from his many mistakes.
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AirFlorida added 11:18 - Mar 14
I'd add (in MP's defence - wow!) that he should also go down as one of our unluckiest managers. I hated MP's nieveity, tactics and stubbornness BUT some managers have luck.. Some don't! Sometimes good luck/results build momentum and mask poor tactics. Imagine if we'd hung on against Arsenal or Watford.. and after beating Everton if we'd not conceded to City (with the last kick) and become the first team to take a point off them, away! Imagine the confidence and the players belief in the manager's ways (stop laughing 😂). Yes he proved he couldn't manage/build on momentum but if he was lucky it would/could have masked his inadequacies and poor late sub decisions. But the football gods/fate were not on his side when he needed them.. and we pick apart his every decision (and rightly so!). Glad he's gone just hope he's taken his bad luck with him! Still we're in the QF's against Wigan so.. Forget everything I wrote 😂😂😂
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LordDZLucan added 12:50 - Mar 14
Now we'll found out about the players. Are they underperforming because of a tactically inflexible and uninspiring manager? Or is it because they have lost that hunger to succeed and to push themselves to the limit in training because they have become over pampered and overpaid? Or maybe they were never that good in the first place with their deficiencies masked by the quality players that we've sold? I hope that it is one of the first two because that can be addressed by the manager. However I fear that its the latter.
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Jesus_02 added 18:06 - Mar 14
Reed has not rectified any mistake. I'm still scratching my head as to why he sacked MP without a successor in place
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REEDYREEDOREEDZ added 20:17 - Mar 14
It's unfair to compare Nigel Pearson to Pellegrino. We had a terrible squad that year and Pearson did a fantastic job to keep us up. He should've got the job full time the next season but we had absolutely no money!
Pellegrino has easily been one of our worst managers ever. Our squad is good enough for a mid table finish and he would've taken us down.
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Billeewithers added 21:21 - Mar 14
Two things.
Why as a defensive player himself could he not organise a defensive set up. Puel and Koeman were very good at this aspect. If you slow motion many goals conceded this season you will see a host of ball watchers laying off the ball and giving unaccountable areas of space to oncoming opposition.
Every fan knows that when a player has lost interest in playing for the club that the only approach is to offload at our nearest convenient point for as much money as possible. To do otherwise is to risk much. Either buy a replacement or work hard with the players left to effect a result. Ted Bates was a master of this strategy with players who came up from the third tier.
The club have a strategy of pre-planning to the enth degree and yet continually sleepwalk into serious problems that they know to avoid.
On his record alone Pellegrino should never have been employed. The board should never bow to fan pressure in the way they did with both Puel - worth another season, and van dyke - the Dutch have lost world cups due to internal strife! He was always going to act as he did.
A review of Pellegrino must come to the conclusion that those in charge are responsible for what happens and what happened is down to failed employment strategies of both players and of managers.
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SanMarco added 00:57 - Mar 15
Pedant alert - Everton had already drawn at Man City AirFlorida. Your point about luck is a good one. He wasn't any good but it still never went for him.
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SaintBrock added 11:12 - Mar 17
The thousands of fans who have been pointing out Pellegrino's short-comings for months past cannot all have been wrong. Many have played football and been coaches at all levels and understand the game as well as the so-called professionals who actually make a living from the game.

Why be reluctant to call out incompetence if it is self evident that can be the only explanation of the many unusual actions and decisions that the last manager made.

What is a pity is that he and we were not put out of our misery a long time ago when it was quite obvious that far from improving, matters on the field were going from bad to worse. For that we hold responsible board room cowardice, their refusal to accept and acknowledge that they had messed up their managerial appointments twice in a row.

This myth that Les knows best has been well and truly blown out of the water and it is doubtful he'll ever recover any sort of reputation here after this fiasco of delay and procrastination. If we go down he will be entirely to blame.

As for Pellegrino, he was here for one reason and one reason only to improve our team for which he was rewarded handsomely. He tried, he failed - no shame in that as the Peter Principle opines that every person will rise in an organisation to their own level of incompetence.

It is of no interest to me that he "was nice bloke" his orbit and mine co-incided for a while only because of football. I have no interest in remembering him.

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