Football News: Should Mark Hughes be kept on at Southampton FC for the long term?

Should Mark Hughes be kept on at Southampton FC for the long term?
Image from: freelargeimages.com

There is a real debate on as to whether Mark Hughes should be kept on at Southampton over the long term after keeping us up which in my view is too short a timeframe and in too unique a set of circumstances. However, if you are to insist on stating he has proved his chops in this time, let's have a look at his stats in contrast to our last two managers to estimate whether he could bring the improvement the team requires next season.

Under Claude Puel we accrued 46 points, winning 12 games and drawing 10 but losing the remaining 16. Most people will look at the win percentage for the manager but perhaps the more telling is the loss percentage as that will be more indicative of your standing in the league. His win percentage, for league games only, is 32%, loss percentage is 42%. Under his stewardship the team scored 7 fewer goals then they let in. Pellegrino's win percentage is 17% which over a 38 game season is only 6 games.

However, his loss percentage is only 40% meaning over a 38 game season, he would likely have achieved something like 35 points if the team's points to game ratio remained constant. So enough with hindsight to keep us up and only one point less then we finally achieved. Mark Hughes's win percentage was 25% which equates to about 9 wins in a 38 game season but his loss percentage was by far the highest at 50%. Over a 38 game season this would see him likely to achieve 37 points. So one more than we achieved and only two more points than Pellegrino.

Is he really a massive improvement? At Stoke last season, he achieved 11 wins, 11 draws and 16 losses, so 29% win percentage and the same loss percentage as Claude Puel on 42%. Overall his stats at Stoke see a win percentage of 33%, draws at 26% and losses at 41%. So the stats suggest he's Claude Puel levels of return which last season the fans and the club deemed insufficient.

'Ah', you may say, 'but its unfair to compare us to Stoke as we have the better squad of players so Hughes could do more with us and besides, his stats with us this season are only over 8 games and in a relegation fight where the pressure was more intense so that could skew results'. That's very true. Thank you for agreeing with me.

If its unfair to criticise Hughes' managerial record when looking at his past performance with us, it is equally so to praise him either. He has proved little in his spell with us as he has managed one more point than Pellegrino was projected to achieve in this failure of a season and even if he had the entire season at the helm, his stats suggest he would match Claude Puel rather than exceed him. To insist he would get more from our squad is a guess.

But he's a safe pair of hands isn't he? And after a season like this, isn't that what we want? Well, in the short term yes. None of us want a repeat of this season, but isn't keeping Hughes on a risk of that. The club and the fans have already demonstrated Puel-like results aren't enough, so how will Hughes fair if we finish mid table next season.

Will his job be in doubt over the summer? If so, what was the point of hiring him? Why go season to season and using that as the benchmark? It's what other teams do. Swansea, West Brom, West Ham, Stoke, Sunderland, Crystal Palace, QPR, Everton, Leicester, Watford, Manchester United, Chelsea. How are they doing? The contrast is Man City, Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur, Bournemouth, Burnley. A project, a plan, consistency of management and a recruitment model they stick to. Food for thought at least!?

Written by figodasilva May 14 2018 15:49:07