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Michael Laudrup and Martin Jol both impressed with their team selections this week, a statistic that is reflected in the unexpected scorelines their respective clubs achieved.
For the opening week of the season however the manager of the week award goes to a man whose side were defeated. In most cases this would seem absurd, but hear me out.
A season opener against Manchester City, at the Etihad, in your return to Premier League football after a decade in exile is a daunting prospect.
You would not have thought that from the decisions Adkins made, and the way his team played superbly as a collective unit.
Prior to kick off he made the huge call of dropping star striker Ricky Lambert, the club’s top scorer from last season. It was a decision that naturally raised a few eye brows but is now hard to find fault with.
Further to that, he handed a league debut to 17-year-old James Ward- Prowse, a graduate of Southampton’s reputable youth academy.
All of these big decisions were made before the game was even played.
On the pitch Southampton were calm and composed. They saw little of the ball but when they did they were not wasteful; a fact reflected by the fact they scored two second half goals despite having 11% of possession at the time.
When his men were 1-0 Adkins made the right calls to get his team get back in the game, firstly by bringing on Ricky Lambert and secondly by allowing a debut appearance from the bench for Steven Davis. Both players rewarded the manager’s judgement by scoring within minutes of coming on.
Although the Saints were unable to hold onto the lead, or even a draw, Southampton played with a confidence that is not often seen in newly promoted teams; especially Manchester City at the Etihad.
If Adkins continues in this vein, his side should steer clear of relegation.