Southampton on Thursday fired head coach Nigel Adkins, replacing him with former Espanyol coach Mauricio Pochettino. According to ESPN, Adkins departure was a long time in coming; as far back as October, one player is reported to have said: “he could literally be gone any week.”
Why did he remain for so long? Well, after losing its first four games and then taking until the end of November to claim only a second Premier League win, Adkins’ Southampton went five games unbeaten, which included Wednesday’s 2-2 draw against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. It turns out that that impressive result was not enough to save his job, as Adkins, who had led the club to back-to-back promotions in three seasons as manager, was fired the next day.
Pochettino, his replacement, was axed two months ago by Espanyol during a poor run of form which left the Catalan club bottom of La Liga with two wins from 13 games. The Argentine had led Espanyol to an eighth-place finish in 2011, but a combination of financial troubles and a falling out with club management led to his dismissal last year.