Mauricio Pochettino: Has the New Southampton Manager Won over the Fans?
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When Southampton chairman Nicola Cortese fired Nigel Adkins and immediately named Mauricio Pochettino as the new manager, there was quite a bit of uproar from Saints fans.
There were rumors of a "white handkerchief" protest at Pochettino's first match in charge against Everton. While there were some chants of "There's only one Nigel Adkins," most of the protests never materialized and Southampton fans supported the team and manager positively during the 0-0 draw at St. Mary's.
On the tails of Southampton's 3-1 victory over Manchester City, it seems like most Saints fans are squarely on the side of the new manager.
Pochettino really hasn't changed much from what Adkins was doing when he was in charge of the Saints. Southampton still employ a possession-based style that applies pressure high up the pitch. The difference is, the pressure is more intense, but more organized.
“It may seem like we are running more, but really we are just running in a more organized way,” Morgan Schneiderlin said after the Manchester City match.
FootballBurp.com went scanning the message boards after the Manchester City match and found that many fans are impressed with Pochettino's tactics and substitution patterns.
"Pochettino set out a good game plan from the start of the game, his selection reflected on players best suited for tactics, and we got three points on the board. Indeed it was another great tactical showing from Pochettino." - Lazlo78
"I think his tactics are spot on, exactly how i wanted the team to play more all season. I looked at the names on the team sheet earlier this season and thought it's a dream team, i think we underperformed under (Nigel Adkins) and now we are showing what we can really do." - Danner
(Pochettino's) substitutions today were spot on and bringing on (James Ward-Prowse) to nullify Kolarov's runs was great to see. He or one of his team clearly have a good tactical brain." - Give it to Ron
After the Everton match, Pochettino acknowledged the kind reception he received from Southampton fans.
"I want to thank the supporters for the very kind reception they have given me. It was amazing," Pochettino said in the post-match press conference.
Pochettino has done more than win over Southampton fans. The former Espanyol manager has won over players and other managers as well with his aggressive style.
"The new manager has been great and you can see since he has come to the club he wants to make things happen," Rickie Lambert said in an interview with The Sun.
How do you feel now about Mauricio Pochettino's appointment as Southampton manager?
Lambert is very optimistic about Southampton's future with Pochettino in charge.
Lambert continued in The Sun interview, "It is not unrealistic to try and challenge for the top four over the next three years. That is what we have to aim for. Three years ago a lot of people would have laughed in our faces if we had said we'd be in the Premier League."
While Pochettino can feel good about the support he has from Southampton fans at the moment, fan support can be a fickle thing. A couple of bad results and a return to the drop zone may change Saints fans' opinions in an instant.
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