Southampton and Mark Hughes lost their spark… the Saints’ rot has truly set in

THEY had it all.

The Southampton Way, a culture established by  former executive chairman Nicola Cortese, was the envy of every aspirational Premier League club.

Southampton and Mark Hughes lost their spark… the Saints’ rot has truly set inReuters5 Mark Hughes is the latest Southampton boss to find himself out of a job

That has all fallen apart, with Saints sacking yet another manager after just one top-flight win this season.

Mark Hughes has been bombed, leaving St Mary’s yesterday with the club 18th.

They are close to appointing former RB Leipzig boss Ralph Hasenhuttl as their fifth boss since Mauricio Pochettino got out while the going was good in May 2014.

Since then Ronald Koeman, Claude Puel, Manuel Pellegrino and Hughes have all been given a chance.

Sparky’s record is the worst of the lot.

Southampton and Mark Hughes lost their spark… the Saints’ rot has truly set in5

His only win in the Premier League this season was at Crystal Palace.

He was dealt a bad hand, taking over a club hovering dangerously close to the drop when Pellegrino was axed in March.

They survived by the skin of their teeth, finishing 17th after beating Bournemouth and Swansea in their final four matches.

Hughes, who has also managed Blackburn, Manchester City, Fulham and QPR, should have done his homework.

Southampton and Mark Hughes lost their spark… the Saints’ rot has truly set inGetty Images5 The rot has truly set in behind the scenes, with Mauricio Pellegrino also failing miserably
Latest Southampton newsSouthampton and Mark Hughes lost their spark… the Saints’ rot has truly set inSaint Ralph Ralph Hasenhuttl agrees deal in principle to replace Mark Hughes at Southampton Southampton and Mark Hughes lost their spark… the Saints’ rot has truly set inREVEALED: Tottenham have conceded most Premier League goals after Arsenal derby loss Southampton and Mark Hughes lost their spark… the Saints’ rot has truly set in'He only got a point' Manchester United trolled after Mark Hughes sacking by Southampton Southampton and Mark Hughes lost their spark… the Saints’ rot has truly set inhas a chance Ralph Hasenhuttl has shifted to bookies' favourite to replace Mark Hughes Southampton and Mark Hughes lost their spark… the Saints’ rot has truly set inPull plug on Sparky Southampton sack Mark Hughes after shocking start to Prem season

If he had looked behind the curtain before he took the Saints job, he would have discovered a chaotic ownership structure. Katharina Liebherr passed on the baton to Chinese Gao Jisheng, selling an 80 per cent stake in the club for £210million in August 2017.

The succession plan allowed Ralph Krueger, former coach of the Canadian ice hockey team, to remain as chairman.

Crucially — and disastrously — it also gave Les Reed a go at the controls. Big mistake. Reed was power-mad, dishing out a five-year contract to Fraser Forster on an eye-watering £95,000-a-week.

Forster, now third choice behind Alex McCarthy and Angus Gunn, has not played a first-team game since the 5-2 defeat at Tottenham on Boxing Day.

Reed sold fans’ favourite  hot-headed  Serbian midfielder Dusan Tadic to Dutch club Ajax last summer.

They have broug­ht in sub-standard players, with Hughes complaining bitterly behind the scenes. He rated Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Mario Lemina, telling friends that the central midfielders were the two best players at the club.

Beyond that, he did not have much to work with.

Hughes, 55, who was fired in a quick meeting yesterday morning, cannot believe some of the prices that Saints paid for ordinary footballers.

Southampton and Mark Hughes lost their spark… the Saints’ rot has truly set inReuters5 Charlie Austin is yet to score a single goal for the Saints this season

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *