A couple of weeks ago there were rumours of Southampton boss Claude Puel leaving the club. On Thursday morning, Southampton decided to sack the Frenchman.
The decision to fire the 55-year-old was probably the worse kept secret in the Premier League. The Frenchman seemed to have lost the Saints fans towards the end of the campaign.
The team finished eighth and made it to the League Cup final. However, the Saints finished a massive 17 points worse off than the previous campaign under Ronald Koeman. The style of football was also criticised by Saints fans.
With Puel gone, attention will now turn to his successor. Former Dortmund boss Thomas Tuchel was the favourite for the job and would have been my choice if I were a Saints fan. However, the highly rated German boss has reportedly ruled himself out of the running for the job.
There are a number of other candidates for the job. Here are just some of the main contenders:
Frank de Boer
The former Ajax boss has now emerged as the favourite for the job at odds of 2/1. The Dutchman’s most recent role was in Italy with Inter, where he lasted less than six months.
Prior to his appointment as Inter boss, the 47-year-old was highly-rated and linked with the Everton job last summer. However, the Toffees decided to choose compatriot Ronald Koeman instead to fill their vacant managerial position.
Despite his poor stint in Italy, De Boer had earned himself a stellar reputation in his homeland at giants Ajax, having won four Eredivisie titles as boss. His spell at Inter may well prove a concern to Saints fans, but he is still a boss with a lot of potential.
An Argentinian with a very name to one of the Saints former-bosses, Pellegrino is earning himself a reputation in his own right in football. He helped Alaves survive in La Liga and helped the minnows to their first ever Copa del Rey final last season.
The 45-year-old is another highly rated up and coming boss in the European game. The former Liverpool assistant boss is also one of the favourites to get the manager’s job at Crystal Palace.
The former Manchester United centre-back seems destined to be a Premier League boss one day. Stam has done a sterling job at Championship Reading, guiding the Royals to third position last season, only for the Royals to fall at the play-off stage.
Stam was always a leader on the pitch. It seems his leadership skills have transferred to his new position very well. His experience from his playing days and working as a coach at various levels seems to have helped him in his managerial career so far. The Dutchman is the only man on this list that is not currently out of work.
Stam’s former teammate at Old Trafford, Giggs is still looking for his first chance in management after leaving the Red Devils coaching staff last summer. The former Wales international was previously linked with a number of Premier League jobs in the past year, such as Sunderland and Swansea.
Giggs seems like an unlikely appointment, especially with the number of high-profile bosses currently out of work. The United legends lack of managerial experience could well work against him with this vacancy.
Southampton hierarchy good at picking bosses
The Southampton owners are very good at picking bosses. In recent years, all the bosses they have picked have worked out well, from Nigel Adkins to Claude Puel to a certain extent. The Frenchman’s brand of football was not to everybody’s taste, but you cannot say he did a poor job.
The Saints have to be very careful with their choice of boss this summer. They have been lucky with their bosses in recent years. However, one wrong choice of boss could well ruin all the progress made by the club in the last half a decade or so.
Who will be the next Southampton boss?
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