Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Struggling Southampton sack manager Pellegrino



Struggling Southampton sack manager Pellegrino

The then Southampton manager Mauricio Pellegrino prepares for their English FA Cup third round match against Fulham on January 6. AFP
The then Southampton manager Mauricio Pellegrino prepares for their English FA Cup third round match against Fulham on January 6. AFP

Struggling Southampton sack manager Pellegrino

Struggling Premier League club Southampton sacked Argentinian manager Mauricio Pellegrino on Monday, with only eight matches remaining in the league season.

Pellegrino took over at St Mary’s on a three-year deal last June, but Southampton announced in a statement that they had parted company with the 46-year-old with the club only one place and one point above the relegation zone.

“The club will look to appoint a new management team as soon as possible, with the search for a replacement already underway,” the statement added.

Assistant coaches Carlos Compagnucci and Xavier Tamarit have also left the club.

A disastrous run of form that has seen the Saints win only one of their last 17 Premier League matches always appeared likely to end in Pellegrino’s demise.

The latest 3-0 defeat at relegation rivals Newcastle on Saturday proved to be the final straw for the Southampton hierarchy, with the club in danger of being relegated from the top flight for the first time since being promoted in 2012.

‘We couldn’t represent our club’

“I observed some players who gave up and we cannot show this, to be honest,” Pellegrino admitted after the humbling loss at St James’ Park.

“You can lose, you can play badly, but you have to show another face on the pitch.

“For this reason, I would like to say sorry to our fans because we couldn’t represent our club properly. This is the worst thing that we did today.”

Former Blackburn, Manchester City and Stoke manager Mark Hughes has been installed as the early bookmakers’ favourite to replace Pellegrino, with Marco Silva also linked with the job after being sacked by Watford in January.

Former Alaves coach Pellegrino did lead the south coast club into the FA Cup quarterfinals, with the now managerless side set to visit third-tier Wigan in the last eight on Sunday.

But Southampton had expected far better this season, after three consecutive top-eight finishes.

Frenchman Claude Puel was sacked after leading the team to eighth place and the League Cup final last term, and has since thrived after taking over at Leicester earlier this season.

Southampton, who sold centre-back Virgil van Dijk for a record-breaking £75 million ($102 million) in January, have started leaking goals in recent weeks, conceding 19 in their last 10 Premier League outings.

But scoring has been their biggest problem all season, with Charlie Austin their top scorer with only six goals in all competitions.

Fans have become increasingly frustrated with their team’s defensive style of play, which had been one of the main reasons Puel was axed, with Leicester, ironically, now one of the more exciting sides to watch in the division.

MOST VIEWED

  • Phnom Penh curfew starts today

    A two-week curfew from 8pm to 5am starts today in Phnom Penh, a day after a sub-decree detailing administrative measures to contain Covid-19 was issued by Prime Minister Hun Sen. “Travelling in Phnom Penh is temporally banned between 8pm and 5am,” said Phnom Penh governor

  • Cambodia on the verge of national tragedy, WHO warns

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia warned that the country had reached another critical point amid a sudden, huge surge in community transmission cases and deaths. “We stand on the brink of a national tragedy because of Covid-19. Despite our best efforts, we are

  • Cambodia gears up for muted New Year festival

    The recent curfew and restrictions imposed in the capital and other Covid-19 hotspots were intended to break the chain of transmission, Ministry of Health spokeswoman Or Vandine said as municipal and provincial authorities issued new directives banning certain activities during the upcoming Khmer New Year

  • Vaccination open to foreigners in Cambodia

    The Ministry of Health on April 8 issued an announcement on Covid-19 vaccination for foreigners residing and working in Cambodia, directing the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training and local authorities to register them. Health minister Mam Bun Heng, who is also head of the inter-ministerial

  • Covid-19 vaccination now obligatory

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on April 11 issued a sub-decree making Covid-19 vaccination compulsory for individuals unless they have a medical certificate proving they have pre-existing health conditions that prevent them from doing so. «This applies to all members of the armed forces and civil servants

  • Time to Rise by rapper, chapei legend is viral hit with ancient-modern mix

    Kong Nay is known internationally as the master of the chapei dang veng, a traditional Cambodian instrument resembling a long-necked lute or guitar with two nylon strings that he was already playing professionally by the age of 15. Nay is sometimes referred to as the Cambodian