Southampton Begins Search for New Manager

Ian Walton

They would know, and they're preparing for his exit.

Mauricio Pochettino is probably leaving the South Coast. At least that's apparently what his bosses down at Southampton think, as reported by Tom Collamosse for the Evening Standard. If Pochettino is leaving, of course, it's most likely for Tottenham Hotspur.

Southampton appear resigned to losing head coach Mauricio Pochettino to Tottenham after intermediaries started to make discreet checks on possible replacements.

So that's news. Tom Collamosse has a good record as a reporter dealing with Spurs sources, as well. Notably here, however, he's reporting on Southampton and its implications for Spurs. And the reporting looks commensurately weaker.

So who wants to play, what does the British journalist actually know? It sounds to me like Collamosse has a source with information about discussions among Southampton's board. He doesn't appear to know that the inquiries reported in the first paragraph actually happened. (Either that, or the article is written perversely to give the effect of having less knowledge than the reporter actually does.)

After leading with the "Southampton are checking on possible replacements" piece, Collamosse dials it back.

It is believed Southampton would like to be kept informed of the plans of Oscar Garcia, the Spanish coach who quit Brighton earlier this month...

It is thought that Dan Petrescu, sacked by Russian club Dynamo Moscow in April, and former Chelsea boss Roberto di Matteo would also be considered by the Southampton board were they to lose Pochettino...

If active contacts were made, why wouldn't you report them as such rather than the oddly passive equivocation of "would like to be kept informed"? And with Petrescu and Di Matteo, this just reads like something he heard from Johnny the Shoeshine Boy.

So I'm guessing that Collamosse has been informed by a source (what source? who knows?) that the Saints are considering Garcia. The source kind of thinks maybe they've sent out inquiries, and Collamosse goosed that into this story. It would have been a better story had he completed the reporting and learned that they had contacted people, but why learn that when you can just imply it in the opening headline and first paragraph anyway?

There's also a rehash of some stuff about Pochettino that's been previously reported. He'd like to have his assistant coaching staff come with him to Tottenham, and there would be a cost in the range of £4m to buy Pochettino and his deputies out of their contracts.

It's important that Spurs lock down their next manager quickly, and the Pochettino negotiations look like ithey're moving in the right direction. Hopefully by the end of the week we'll be able to write about solid reporting with evidence and everything.

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