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Top three favourite Saints managers in the PL era.


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Who were the ones you most enjoyed having in charge at the club. We can't compare achievements, due to different eras, budgets, expectations, squads and starting positions, but who diid just like having there AT THE TIME, not considering how you felt when they inevitably left for a bigger club...

 

We've had a few. I'm limiting it to PL era, so that it's managers most of us remember. Once we start adding LM and Ted Bates, it gets difficult to compare, due to how long ago we're talking. Besides football only started in 1992. We're talking Strachan, Poch, Ball, Souness, Hoddle, Ralph, Koeman, Nige etc and, of course, our beloved Branfoot and Redknapp.

 

 

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3 minutes ago, scott_saints said:

If we are talking "at the time" then:

Koeman

Strachan

Poch

Adkins would be right up there, potentially top -  if it wasn't just for just judging them in in the prem.

Premier league era, meaning just within that timespan, just for the sake of giving it parameters. You can include Adkin's lower league time.

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Think I'd go for:

 

Adkins (such an exciting time and he was so likeable)

Poch (A new style of play and it felt like we could beat anyone)

Strachan (I don't think he was actually that good a manager, but he did get the good players he inherited fit and thus got a lot out of them.)

 

Koeman obviously got our best results, but it felt like a good continuation, rather than a new exciting time, so he just misses out. I enjoyed Hoddle's time too, but it wasn't quite outstanding enough.

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As it’s just PL I will leave Adkins out and say -

Poch

Koeman

Ralph

it was a toss up between Ralph and Strachan who for me was our most entertaining manager. Some of the things he said were superb 🤣

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Strachan - without doubt Hoddle had made the players believe they could win games - Saints faffed about when he left - Strachan came in made us fit enough to win games anyone leaving on 80 minutes missed a whole heap of goals as we had the legs to go 120 minutes easily - if Beatts or Ormerod had scored either of their chances in the 2003 cup final towards the end to force extra time Arsenal would have been battered. 4th place for Christmas after beating p*mpey, that was fairytail stuff for us Saints fans.

Poch - Like Strachan made us super fit - a plan B might have been missing - We suddenly had a team of England internationals through what he had squeezed out of them: who would have thought.

Koeman - Rebuilt and got us going again after being pillaged by the scousers - That Liverpool game 2-0 down at half time. Saints behind the scenes CCTV catch Sturridge and someone coming out of the away dressing room giggling - our dressing room door opens and Victor Wanyama steps out dressed to play - their giggling instantly stops as they look at him with eyes of "oh s**t!" . When our 3rd went in Koeman out Klopp'ing Klopp with his celebrations superb. We got to play European football under him.

If Ralph can get us playing how Ralph would like us to play it could be fun.

Adkins needs a mention....... as Hooiveld said, at pre season in Spain, to my mate when asked what the difference was between Adkins and Pochettino - "under Adkins in the Premier League we couldn't defend - now we can"....But Adkins gave us all present one hell of a ride, after years of misery we were Shark in a tank of fish, some of the attacking football we played under him to climb the leagues was breathtaking. 

 

 

Edited by John Boy Saint
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Agree with many of the posts and shows it’s imperative to have managers with presence - WGS, Ball/Lawrie, Ralph, Poch (in terms of way of playing on pitch), Hoddle, Ronald, Nigel, Pards and Pearson (although latter duo never managed us in the PL). The quieter or more dour managers with less presence have never worked out and been disasters - Branfoot, Puel, Pellegrino, Burley, Hughes, Gray/Wigley caretaker types. The only exception in that category might be Dave Jones who did a reasonable job overall but you could argue Ralph has had the same transfer market restrictions as Dave had eg Reed and Wilson’s nuclear squad mess Vs being held back by the Dell and having to work with Rupert Lowe. Sturrock was an up yours to the fans and undermined by the club, felt sorry for the bloke.

The outgoing nature does need to come with understanding of the club’s history and values, and applicable people skill, otherwise we’d appoint Di Canio types.

Ought to be a key founding principle of recruitment for the first team manager post.

my favourites

Ronald

Ralph

Ball/Lawrie (such a relief after Branfoot)

Honourable mentions Nigel and Poch

Edited by saint1977
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Alan Ball - gave us MLT in a free role.

Ronald Koeman - some top results and just a general look of quality to the whole team rarely seen before.

Gordon Strachan - did well with a limited team and took us to a cup final. Decent interviews too.

edit: I’m swapping Strachan for Nigel Adkins, misread the OP and thought it was just PL.

Edited by The Kraken
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Koeman and pochetino have to be included as they both took us from being a mediocre team to being a team capable of beating anyone, strachan, hoddle, adkins pretty good and our current manager has huge potential if he's given the transfer pot to get in the right players.

 Worse manager Pellegrino or Jan poorvliet or maybe branfoot? 

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In my lifetime, I'd have to say the following:

Koeman - the most exciting period of my time supporting this club, so many good players, so many wins and some European visits to boot.

Poch - Stabilised us as a football team at this level, gave us an identity which was exciting to watch.

Strachan - Got us to a final and a finish in the PL in the top half. Great defence and we had a great centre forward, whom he got the best out of.

Ralph misses out, just....can't put him in yet, although I have a feeling he may replace Strachan by this time next year.

If we're going to talk worst managers...

Pellegrino - Absolutely horrific. He had no idea what he was doing, it was like watching Mr Bean try to manage a football team. The players had no respect for him and it showed.

Hughes - He kept us up, but he took us backwards the next year. A really dated and ineffective manager in this day and age, I didn't know what he was trying to achieve towards the end.

Puel - 8th place and all that, but I must have fell asleep 20 times during that season. Pass, pass, pass, sideways, backwards, on a forward pass...no, backwards again. rinse and repeat. More focused on passing for the sake of passing than actually doing anything with it.

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1. Koeman - possibly the best team we've ever had.

2. Adkins - it just really felt like everyone involved loved the club. Part of me wishes I could find out where we would be if we'd stuck with Adkins.

3. Hasenhuttl - could overtake the other two, but for now it's the first time since Koeman I've been optimistic about the future. 

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It's hard to look past Adkins as the happiest time to be a saints fan. Winning all the time, all those 3-1 results even after going a goal down, players happy and playing for each other, the emergence of Lallana, Morgan, Rickie, Fonte. It is, of course largely down to Markus, but Adkins reign was the most fun time to support the club for me. I'm amazed anyone can leave it off their list.

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1. Adkins - Just 2 years of pure joy. He had us in a safe position when he was cruelly dismissed. Could he have achieved more with the players at his disposal? Perhaps, but he did achieve what many would have considered at the very least highly improbable. 
2. Koeman - We were a genuine force with him in charge, all in the context of initially anticipated relegation and firesales. An arrogant so-and-so but with good reason.
3. Strachan - Cup final, cup final, cup final. Delgado, a yoghurt and the cup final.

Worst:

Redknapp. A comprehensive and all too conveniently forgotten failure.

Pellegrino. Just so far out of his depth...... Yet persevered with for far too long.

Burley: Maybe most disappointing. The gamble on promotion did not pay off and we never looked especially convincing going about it anyway.

 

Edited by Colinjb
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Poch

Ralph

Hoddle 

Ive judged it on managers who took a bunch of players and made them better than they actually are. Didnt enjoy our style under Koeman. I felt we were very rigid and a little dull. Love Nige but this is PL.

 

 

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51 minutes ago, Hawkswood said:

Love Nige but this is PL.

You didn't enjoy Adkins, just because it "mostly wasn't in the PL? The time in the lower leagues was more entertaining by far for me. He comes top on that alone.

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Favourite managers? As in managers I liked, irrespective of talent:

1) Adkins - seemed like such a nice bloke. Seemed to really care for the club. Got us promoted twice which will never be forgotten, perhaps should have been given longer. Poch was a risk but at least it worked out for us.

2) Strachan - always good for a quote and a laugh.

3) Hasenhuttl - there’s something warm about him. You can see his passion for a win when it happens.

Honourable mentions to Ball and Koeman.

 

Best managers? 

1) Koeman - took a Pochettino team and made it better despite losing big players. Bought talent not egos. I wore my Saints shirt around the Nou Camp when he was our manager with pride.

2) Pochettino - took a promoted side and built a very good team.

3) Hasenhuttl. To take players who struggled to avoid relegation twice in a row, and coach them into better players is quite something. To do it with huge financial constraints and uncertain ownership is even more impressive. Long may he reign.

 

Honourable mentions to Ball, who took a Branfoot team and made us more exciting to watch, and Strachan, for building a team of cheapish players that got to a cup final. And possibly Hoddle but for the ego.

 

Crappest managers:

1) Redknapp. Seriously huge ego, thought he could spend his way out of a relegation battle. We got his crocked son, a terrible Davenport, relegation certainty Quashie and the rubbish Bernard. Not all his fault but I don’t like him so he’s number one.

2) Pellegrino - Just a rubbish manager. Really rubbish. And we’ve been lumbered with Carillo because of it. How we stayed up that season I’ll never know... complete fluke.

3) Hughes - flukes safety then was given the job full time. Outdated and set us back even further. Thank god for Ralph.

 

Honourable mentions to Branfoot (While I was “technically” a Saints fan under his reign, it was only under Ball that I became more conscious of it), Wigley, Gray, Sturrock and Puel. Merrington and Jones escape from this as I actually quite liked them.

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Adkins (brought a fantastic feel good factor to the whole club including the fans)

Pochettino (like most fans, was miffed about Adkins being sacked at the time but he did not disappoint)

Alan Ball as we played some good stuff and he got the best out of Le Tiss

For me, I may be in a minority but I really liked Alan Pardew when he managed us - he brought passion and Rickie to the club, my second favourite Saints player ever.  On top of that and I know we were in league 1 but Wembley v Carlisle was a brilliant, brilliant day out and I will never forget Markus with his camera just looking so proud when the players went to get the trophy (that was a very special day). Was shocked when Pards was sacked as I went to Bristol Rovers to see us win 4-0 and a couple of days later, he was gone!!

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8 hours ago, norwaysaint said:

You didn't enjoy Adkins, just because it "mostly wasn't in the PL? The time in the lower leagues was more entertaining by far for me. He comes top on that alone.

My mistake, I misread the original post. :)

Defo Nige then and I quite agree with you, I loved our time in the lower leagues as I often banged on to this to my mates who support other clubs.

Loved Poch and huge fan of Ralph. 

I added Hoddle cos of the way we played when he was here but like I said, my bad as I misread it.

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Koeman, Pochettino, and Hasenhüttl.

 

Was nice winning under Adkins, frustrated me that he didn't win at least one league coming through with the team he had. Pretty average manager. We were all on the bus though.

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I think I'm the only one who thinks Strachan's humour was overrated.

 

Sure, he was quicker witted than many managers, but if any of my friends had come up with any of the quips he made, I'd think they were a bit lame. That velocity comment is crap and most people would think so in a normal setting.

Gets into my list just for the fitness levels boosting a squad he largely inherited though.

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I loved watching Saints under Adkins and really appreciated what he did too, however I still cringe at some of the slogans and poetry during the press conferences. I am sure many liked it, but I hated it. Didn't prevent me liking him as a person or a manager - how could you not like a double promotion? Great days.

I think Pochetino along with Nik Nak really changed the mentality at the club and I honestly saw us beating absolutely anyone at that time. It felt like we were back to the early eighties and completely dominating teams at home. I am still narked by the under-strength side he put out in the FA cup at Sunderland. We could of won that trophy. I actually think we may have underachieved in the league. Maybe not. Maybe we overachieved.  I don't know. We were just excellent, but it all just fizzled out a little bit.

Dodd and Gorman, no only kidding, Strachan is my third choice. He really galvanised the club for a while and the side that came eighth were pretty damn good. I think I watched every game home and away during that time period, which sways my judgement. Again, I didn't really go for the quirky interviews, it was more about what we saw on the pitch. Anyone that gets a tune at of FF, as he did, is worthy of a vote. 

 

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2 hours ago, norwaysaint said:

I think I'm the only one who thinks Strachan's humour was overrated.

 

Sure, he was quicker witted than many managers, but if any of my friends had come up with any of the quips he made, I'd think they were a bit lame. That velocity comment is crap and most people would think so in a normal setting.

Gets into my list just for the fitness levels boosting a squad he largely inherited though.

Agreed. I prefer the modest, sincere type.

 

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