Saturday 18 January 2014
Southampton appointed Argentine Mauricio Pochettino as their new manager after relieving Nigel Adkins of his duties.
Pochettino, who won 20 international caps for Argentina as a player, built a reputation as one of the most exciting young coaches in Spain as he led Espanyol to top-half finishes in La Liga in his first managerial role.
He amassed over 300 appearances for the Catalan club as a player, and also enjoyed spells at Paris St Germain and Bordeaux. Pochettino was relieved of his duties at Espanyol in November 2012 before he took the reins at Southampton.
"This is the kind of opportunity that any coach would relish"
Adkins had led the Saints from League One to the Barclays Premier League in two seasons and the club were 15th in the table in their first season back in the top-flight at the time of his exit.
"Pochettino has earned a reputation as one of the most talented young coaches in European football," read a Southampton statement. "The Argentine was widely linked with a future role at one of Spain’s top clubs, but having left Espanyol in November now joins Southampton to continue his top flight managerial career.
"The club would like to thank Nigel Adkins for his service over the past three seasons and wish him well for the future."
Pochettino added: "This is the kind of opportunity that any coach would relish. Southampton is a club with great heritage and an even more exciting future.
"There is a clear vision to take the club of sustained success in the Premier League, and beyond, which I’m delighted to be part of."
Southampton finished the season in 14th place, with impressive home wins over Manchester City, Chelsea and Liverpool during Pochettino's first few months in charge.
Saints made a superb start to the 2013/14 campaign and were third in the table at the end of October. As a result, Pochettino won October's Barclays Manager of the Month award. The South Coast club now sit ninth in the Premier League table.