With the managerial merry go round starting to get in full swing for the summer following the sacking of David Moyes, speculation continues to link Mauricio Pochettino with Tottenham.
The Saints boss has one more season left on his current contract and talks over a new deal are on the backburner at the time being.
It does feel as though fate is being allowed to take its course but the players and fans at St Mary’s are keen to see the popular manager commit to a long term stay at the club.
Here, Daily Echo chief sports writer, Adam Leitch, attempts to convince Pochettino to sign a new long-term deal by listing ten reasons why he should stay at St Mary’s ...
- A club going places
Saints are very much a club on the up with momentum behind them.
The end to this season might have fallen a little flat after the early excitement but let’s not forget the journey the club has taken in recent years.
They have blazed a trail since Markus Liebherr’s takeover, lifting themselves up through League One, then the Championship and into the Premier League where they have not only consolidated but pushed on still further.
The club remains ambitious and hungry for further success and is making the right noises in terms of supporting the manager to give him the best possible chance of making it happen.
- Negotiating position
Saints need Pochettino, which puts him in the driving seat for negotiations, and that ultimately should not only be good for him financially but also for getting what he wants in the transfer market.
The club needs the stability that Pochettino brings to the table.
If he were to go, there possibly will be star players mulling over their own futures too.
Pochettino’s stock is high at the moment. Some might argue that a reason to grab a bigger and better job while you can, but there is also the chance to be at a club for a long period of time and to mould it exactly as you would like.
Given how much Saints would like to keep Pochettino, it feels as if that option is there if he wants it.
- Belief in youth development
One of the best things about Pochettino’s time in charge has been seeing so many talented youngsters given their chance in the first team.
The Saints production line continues to provide a wealth of raw material for the manager to work with, and there are still a couple of others bubbling away under the surface who haven’t had a chance yet.
Saints will continue to invest heavily in youth and, for a manager who likes to blood young players, it’s a massive bonus as opposed to having to continually look to recruit.
- Fans’ backing
If you are to stay at a club for a long time then it’s important to have the backing of the fans.
Saints supporters have taken to Pochettino.
They enjoy not only the results he has delivered but the style and the verve of his team.
Their football has been so attractive to watch, and that has made him very popular.
Not even his lack of English interviews has dented that.
Not every manager has that kind of support and it should count for a lot. Certainly it aids your chances of staying in a job when times get tough.
We have heard a lot in the last few days of dressing room unrest and ‘losing the senior players’ and what an issue it can be.
It’s not something that Pochettino has to contend with.
The Saints players adore him, they believe completely in his ability and the way he has them playing.
They are fully behind him and will do whatever he says.
It’s not easy to garner that kind of loyalty and if you went to another club there is no guarantee you can get that again.
- Opportunities beckon
Even if Pochettino does not see himself as being Saints manager for a decade, even if he wishes to use this as a stepping stone on his career path to manage a genuine giant in the footballing world, this job offers him the chance to build for that next step.
With all due respect, a season and a half of doing well in England is not going to suddenly land him a massive club.
He needs to prove he can do it year in and year out.
Pochettino can aim to do with Saints what David Moyes did with Everton.
If he can achieve that over a period of years, then doors will open for him.
Pochettino has achieved all he has at Saints coaching his players at a makeshift training ground.
They are working out of semi-permanent accommodation while half of Staplewood is a building site.
Very soon Saints will move into a state of the art training ground that will be one of the best in Europe.
He will have every facility at his disposal.
It is going to be an awesome place to work and will help him progress the team.
- Team building
Saints have been active in the transfer market over the last couple of years but they have had to be to get in enough quality players to stabilise in the top flight.
Taking the next step up will mean more selective recruitment, and surely it is going to be Pochettino’s choice as to who comes and goes.
If that is the case then he has a great opportunity to really move things in whatever direction he wants.
Not that many modern managers at top flight level are given such freedom.
- Media support
They say that the local media won’t get you the sack, but they can help you stay in a job when things get tough.
Pochettino has the support of the local media, which is important.
Nationally he is not quite so popular due to his lack of English language press conferences, but media wise Saints are going to dominate regionally rather than over the country so that won’t really affect him.
His key relationships are at ground level locally and he is universally liked and supported.
It might not be a deciding factor perhaps, but Pochettino might not realise how good he’s got it until he steps into the lion’s den elsewhere.
- Location, location, location
If all that isn’t enough, then Pochettino should drive to work and look out the car window at the wonderful part of the world he lives in.
Pochettino may well be a globe trotter, but he likes his life here in Southampton and that is an important factor for anyone.
Believe it or not, it is just a job.