Mauricio Pellegrino is a name not many fans would have heard of, so why have we appointed him? Southampton are renowned for turning the unknown into the known. Can we do the same with Pellegrino?
Mauricio Pellegrino is a manager who hates losing and improves on the positives. Pellegrino has previously coached Valencia, Estudiantes, Independiente and recently Deportivo Alavés. Pellegrino led Deportivo Alavés to one of their most successful seasons in history. He led them to a 9th place finish (highest in the history of the club) and a cup final against Barcelona. However, his successful time at Alavés was cut short while wanting to improve and further his career as a manager.
Pellegrino’s system which he played at Deportivo Alavés was a four-man defence playing fairly deep, with a strong central-midfield breaking up play (a role that would suit Romeu extremely well). The two full-backs, Cedric and Bertrand, would suit this system down to the ground. Having a very attacking mind Pellegrino’s system has seen in the past making his full-backs work to create chances in the final third.
Saints have a very big, capable squad which Pellegrino couldn’t construct at Deportivo Alavés due to the budget and time that was on his hands. Although Deportivo Alavés were one of the best defences in the La Liga last season, they did not create enough down the other end. They only conceded 43 goals in the whole of the La Liga, a record that only Atletico Madrid, Villarreal, Barcelona and Real Madrid can better.
Our main strikers, Austin, Gabbiadini and Long offer the Argentinian depth and quality upfront, something that Pellegrino didn’t have during his time at Alavés. Deportivo Alavés’ top scorer last season was a man by the name of Deyverson, who scored just 7 league goals out of a total of 41. These statistics are matched by Redmond last season who only scored 7 league goals out of a total of 41.
Pellegrino would want to look at improving on this and he is capable of doing so. With the attacking qualities of Boufal, Tadic, Redmond, He would be more than capable of finding a system that would suit these players whilst having his rigid defensive system implied as well. These kind of players are much more technically gifted than anything Pellegrino has had to deal with in the past, therefore we should be excited to see what he can make out of them.
Saints’ impressive academy should excite Pellegrino, having trusting youth in the past he certainly can make excellent use out of our young players. The likes of Pierre-Emile Højbjerg, Sam McQueen, Josh Sims, James Ward-Prowse, Matt Targett and Jack Stephens, the list is endless.
On the touchline, Pellegrino is an energetic manager ordering and shouting at players when and where they need to be, something that we have been lacking down on the south coast. Once he dislocated his shoulder during a game ordering his team from the touchline. After the game, Pellegrino told Argentinean TV: “I have never seen a coach pick up an injury before!” He added: “I have a chronic injury in my shoulder, it came out of place. Nothing more.”
During Pellegrino’s first Saints interview , he seems to be very happy with the move to the South Coast, “It’s a pleasure for me to be a manager in the premier league and this club.” Having previous experience of the premier league this could really be his chance to improve on what he already knows.
Pellegrino visited Staplewood and stated that “the club have everything you know, the pitches are amazing, the changing rooms, the video rooms, they are really prepared to compete at the top level.” He seems to want to achieve big things with Saints, talking about his goals, he wants “the players to work as a team and be a unit, this is my best goal with this club.”
Pellegrino has spoken to Pochettino before joining Southampton on the future of the club. “I would like to do the same and improve from last few seasons because the team have been playing at a good level.” This insight from Mauricio shows his want to improve the club and not use it as a stepping stone.
With the team coming back to training on Monday, Pellegrino will be meeting the players. “I would like to know and talk to them, I am waiting for the other players to come back from international.” Pellegrino would like to keep how we play the same and improve on what we have already done. “The team don’t have limits to improve.”
Pellegrino’s view for the future of Southampton is that “we got the ambition to do it, this is something the people told me from the begining and i feel the same. My goal is to be better every single game. With this team I have got a good oppourtunity at this.” He wants to do better and improve on what we have done in the past.
“The people (fans) need to feel the power of the team. The players and the fans need to create a energy. We need to give them the passion and work. When they (fans) feel this I think this will be good for the future”
This move for Pellegrino should be the jump in his career that he wanted and he is able to reach his goals of making our club a success. A defensively minded, tactically aware coach with an experience knowledge of the Premier League will be perfect for a successful season down on the south coast.
What do you think of the appointment of Mauricio Pellegrino? Do you think he is what Southampton need? Leave your comments below.