Saturday, 19 January 2013

A Tribute To Nigel Adkins

Nigel Adkins has been sacked as Southampton manager after two-and-a-half years at the club. His replacement is former Espanyol coach Mauricio Pochettino who joins on a two-and-a-half year deal.

Adkins has been Southampton’s most successful manager in recent years after taking over from Alan Pardew in September 2010, when the Saints were languishing in the bottom four of the third tier of English football. What happened afterwards will always remain in the minds of all Saints fans across the world as he led the club to back-to-back promotions.  It was a struggle at first for Nigel Adkins and his team as they lost 8 out of their first 10 games back in the top flight since 2005. However, they have picked themselves up by going on a good run of form, which has seen them lose just two out of their last 12 matches in all competitions.

The news of Adkins’ sacking has left many Saints fans shocked and speechless. The rumours started speculating late on Thursday night from The Mirror, which eventually carried on into early Friday morning. At 1pm, the official Saints Twitter feed said:

As the news was announced, you could hear the deafening silence of the Saints fans from far and wide. Bemusing, disgraceful, speechless and baffling were examples of how the fans described the nature of Adkins’ departure.  The popularity for the Liverpudlian was off the scale during his time at Saints. Fans of all clubs reacted to the news on social media and were quickly on the back of executive chairman, Nicola Cortese. Who can blame them? It has been a learning curve for everybody involved at the club during their first season back in the Premier League. Adkins had made Southampton one of the best in-form teams in the division, which included a fantastic comeback against Chelsea where they came back from 2-0 down to draw 2-2. The second-half response from the players displayed the spirit and character that Adkins employed during his time at St. Mary’s. Over the past 24 hours, there have been tears shed and possibly a planned protest for Monday’s game against Everton. But most of all, every single Saints fan has written their tributes to Nigel Adkins. Here is my open letter for the former Scunthorpe boss:

Dear Nigel,

What a memorable two-and-a-half years you have given us. I’m sure that you’re gutted for yourself as much as we are that your tenure has come to an end. The Saints fans have always praised you, during the good and bad times. I just want to say my own thanks for bringing happiness and success to Southampton Football Club.

I remember when you were first appointed back in September 2010, and I was happy with the news that you were coming to the club. I went to your first game in charge of the Saints away at MK Dons and even though the players were going through a rough patch, what happened two-and-a-half years later, was absolutely sensational. Nobody could have predicted that at all. However, you have changed the club for the better for which that I’m grateful for. The positivity you brought to the club was the biggest attribute in my opinion as it certainly rubbed off on the staff, players and the fans, including myself! I was going through a tough time not so long ago and you and Southampton certainly made me really happy in every sense. I watch every press conference and interview you undertake, and it’s incredible to see that you always have that gleaming smile on your face and speaking words of a true leader. I wish I had you as my personal motivator!

Every Saints fan will have their favourite memories during your tenure at the club. The poem recite of ‘The Man in the Glass’, your jokes and your positive statements in general. You have brought the club from a struggling team in League One to an in-form one in the Premier League! It has been a rollercoaster that has been filled with positives from all aspects. The fans love you Nigel and always will for everything you have achieved at Southampton and we will never, ever forget that! The style of football you brought to Southampton has excited the fans and it is a joy to watch! It is a shame how it all concluded. However, you have a lot to be proud of!

I, personally, want to express my own gratitude to you and that I will always keep an eye on your movements, which hopefully will be another job! The treatment that Mr Cortese gave you was appalling on 18th January 2013 and frankly, you deserve better than that. More importantly, you can leave your head firmly held high!

Thank you so much Nigel Adkins! Forever, a legend at Southampton Football Club!

Yours Sincerely,

Sean Gonzalez-Lambert

Thank you Nigel Adkins!

It has been an emotional day or so, but this is the start of a new era at the club. I ask for those fans who are planning to wave white handkerchiefs at Monday’s match, not to do so as it will only make things ten times worse! It’s easy to forget Pochettino in all of this. However, as fans, we need to stick together and get behind him and the players to make sure the club maintains its Premier League status. 

Last but no means least, I finish with an image that sums up Nigel and his backroom staff as they left a message for the players at Staplewood training ground:

                                Source: @Cornsy69

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