Following their recent 3-2 defeat to Fulham, Southampton are clearly on the way to eventually sacking manager Mark Hughes. Recording only five wins during his 25 matches with the club, the Welshman currently has the worst winning percentage of any Southampton manager ever.
However, today is a new day. With massive changes afoot at the club following both Hughes and Les Reed’s sacking earlier this season, Southampton seem set for a bit of a reboot over the next few months. In fact, there is a good chance that Hughes’ eventual replacement will only last until the end of current campaign.
With that said, this is not a list of manager’s Southampton will look at. This is a list of managers that I believe Southampton should consider in the coming days. However, this is not a managerial wishlist by any means. This list will only consider candidates that Southampton can realistically make a run at. So, sorry ahead of time to the folks hoping Pep Guardiola appears on this list. But without further ado, let’s get a move on here and take a look at five managers Southampton should consider when filling their open managerial position.
1. Garry Monk — Most Recent Club: Birmingham City, Present
One of the younger and potentially brightest minds in English football, Garry Monk looks to have grown a lot since his sacking from Swansea City back in 2015. Since that time, Monk has served as manager of three Championship level clubs in Leeds United, Middlesbrough, and Birmingham City.
However, his current tenure with Birmingham City may be the most impressive of his career. Taking over as manager last March, Monk lead Birmingham from 22nd in the table to a 19th placed finish and safety from relegation by recording 16 points in his eleven games in charge.
Even more impressive is Birmingham City’s form this season under Monk. Having lost only four times from 18 English Championship matches, Birmingham City currently sit 12th place in the table. With Monk possessing both the managerial experience necessary and a good recent track record, it would be no surprise if Southampton chooses to name Monk as their next manager.
2. Brendan Rodgers — Most Recent Club: Celtic, Present
Serving as the current manager for Scottish giants Celtic, Brendan Rodgers had experienced a great two seasons with the club entering this season. Leading the side to back-to-back Premier League crowns as well as two solid campaigns in the Champions League, Rodgers looked likely to be a long term manager for the Scottish club.
However, that sentiment has gradually eroded during the current campaign. Failing to reach the Champions League group stage this season, Celtic are currently third place in their Europa League group. Moreso, Celtic also only lead the Scottish Premiership by two points over hated rivals Rangers and have already accumulated two losses in the league so far this season.
With that said, the time for Rodgers to depart Celtic Park could be upon us. Why not get out while the getting is still somewhat good and return to the Premier League. After all, Rodgers best days as manager came during his time with Swansea City. Combining both of these relatively successful tenure together and Rodgers could be a great choice to be the next Southampton manager.
3. Gerardo “Tata” Martino — Most Recent Club: Atlanta United, Present
A potentially shocking pick for Southampton’s open managerial job, Gerardo Martino is a name that supporters should take a look at. Having lead a variety of clubs and national teams during his 20-years as a manager, Martino is not someone you should underestimate.
Currently serving as manager for the United States based Atlanta United, Martino has done an amazing job with the two-year old American club. Serving as the Five Stripe’s first manager, Martino built the club from nothing and turned it into a top side in Major League Soccer.
Besides his strong tenure in Atlanta, “Tata” also has experience managing some of the most famous sides in the world. Newell’s Old Boys, Barcelona, and the Argentine national team are just a few of those sides. Deserving of a shot in the English Premier League, Southampton should really give Martino a shot when they begin their upcoming interviews.
4. Gordon Strachan — Most Recent Appointment: Scotland, October 2017
A long time player and manager, Gordon Strachan is a familiar name to many Southampton supporters. Having managed Saints from 2001 through 2004, Strachan had a pretty successful career as manager of Southampton. Included in his resume from his time with Saints was an FA Cup final appearance as well as leading Southampton into the then UEFA Cup competition.
Leaving Southampton midway through the 2003/04 campaign, Strachan eventually went on to have a moderately successful managerial career. Following a 16-month hiatus, Strachan joined Scottish giants Celtic in 2005, leading the club to three successive Scottish Premier League titles, two Scottish League Cup victories, and a Scottish Cup as well.
While Strachan has struggled managerially since his departure from Celtic, Strachan still has his supporters, especially on the South Coast of England. However, since Strachan already has experience rescuing Southampton from potential relegation, the Scot could be just the man for the job.
5. Sam Allardyce — Most Recent Club: Everton, May 2018
Well folks, you had to know he was going to pop up on this list. However, some of you may be surprised that “Big Sam” managed to make it onto this list. While Sam Allardyce is definitely a divisive manager, few can argue with the results that 64-year old Englishman has put up during his managerial career.
Taking his last three club appointments during the heart of the season, Allardyce has a proven knack for guiding clubs to safety. Nothing proves this notion more than his time with both Sunderland and Crystal Palace. Joining both clubs before the start of the new year, Allardyce managed to take Sunderland from 19th place to safety and Crystal Palace from the edge of relegation to a high of 12th place in the Premier League table.
Moreso, “Big Sam” has a trackrecord for improving the defensive parts of clubs he manages. Considering both the lack of confidence and poor form being suffered by the Saints backline this season, such an appointment could do wonders for the club.
BONUS: David Wagner — Most Recent Club: Huddersfield Town, Present
While not a realistic choice at the moment, David Wagner has been added to this list as an eleventh-hour bonus pick. A former protege of Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp, Wagner has been extremely successful during his time with Premier League minnows Huddersfield Town.
Southampton are currently considering an approach for Norwich City technical director Stuart Webber. Why is this important? Webber was an influential figure with Huddersfield during their rise to the Premier League. Oh, and he also appointed David Wagner as manager of the Terriers.
With Wagner’s Huddersfield currently struggling, Southampton could attempt a pre-emptive approach and try to lure him away from their Premier League rivals.
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