Three Quality Replacements For Claude Puel If He Leaves Southampton
Southampton manager Claude Puel’s future at the club is now uncertain after rumours linking him with a move away from the club have surfaced. The French manager had a rather decent first season in England, helping The Saints finish 8th in the league, while they also finished runners-up to Manchester United in the League Cup.
But supporters of the club have been disgruntled due to the playing style deployed by Puel, which many see as being a defensive one, something that the Premier League has no room for. Tenure after tenure, Southampton manage to replace their managers well. Bringing in Puel to replace the Goodison Park-departed Koeman was also seen as a master stroke, given Puel had enviable managerial records at Monaco, Lille, Lyon and Nice, following a monotonous playing career with Monaco.
With Puel being linked with a move away, Southampton have their work cut out in trying to get in a good replacement once again. The job at St. Mary’s is definitely an attractive one for on-looking managers without a job or those that are facing uncertain times at their respective jobs. The club is well run, has a good youth academy and has loyal supporters that most of the other English clubs would be envious of.
The men behind the scenes at St. Mary’s – Les Reed in particular – have a reputation for leaving no stone unturned, allowing the club to flourish due to the meticulous analysis and preparation that comes before appointing managers and signing players. They will definitely have to be on top form again, particularly in a time when Saints fans are unhappy with their team, which was worsened by a final matchday home loss to Stoke.
Here’s a lowdown on 3 managers who could replace Claude Puel at the helm of things –
He is currently without a job, having been relieved of his duties at Bayer Leverkusen in March as the club sat at 9th place. It’s been a highly underwhelming season for the Bundesliga side, who since then appointed Tayfun Korkut and finished a disappointing 12th, the club’s lowest finish since 2003.
Schmidt’s fall from grace was particularly shocking as he had previously lead the team to a 4th placed and 3rd placed finish respectively, as well as decent performances in both the Champions League and Europa League. The idea of Schmidt in charge of Saints is an exciting one, and it’s most certainly realistic. Given his availability, it’s a plausible option for Saints.
Schmidt plays attacking, expansive football with a high-risk, high-reward mentality. The style of play has been bemoaned at St Mary’s this season but with the 50-year-old’s stereotypically German footballing philosophy, calls for Saints to attack more would indefinitely be reduced.
He has been known to use a high intensity approach to the game, making use of Gegenpressing, implementing an aggressive and forward-thinking mentality wherever he’s coached. He would almost certainly be a strong fit for the Saints job.