Puel Needs The Benefit Of The Fan's Patience
Friday, 16th Sep 2016 14:01
Claude Puel has been given a rocky time from some Saints fans on social media, now with a win under his belt he needs to be cut some slack and given a little time and patience by some of our supporters.
It is understandable why some Saints fans are upset about Claude Puel's appointment as Saints manager, but if the surace is scratched then possibly for many it is more about the perceived betrayal by Ronald Koeman than any real knowledge of who Puel is or what he can do.
In Koeman it looked like Saints finally had a manager who would offer stability and was a household name, to then see him tear up his own rule book on morals was not only hurtful, but for many scarred them mentally for the experience.
That mean't that it did not matter who took over from Koeman, the fact was he could never be the Dutchman, it was akin to your girlfriend leaving you, she is run off with another but that cannot make you stop loving her immediately, initially no one will be able to replace her, but time is a healer and most find someone better.
That is the situation with Claude Puel, we cannot expect to love him overnight, but we do have to give him the chance to show that he can replace Koeman.
It doesn't help that he is not the personality that Koeman is, but we don't pick managers on their ability to be the life and soul of the party, we appoint them to build a squad and win football matches, it doesn't help that he isn't the houshold name Koeman was, but then again the best managers in Europe in recent times have not been legends before there managerial career, think Wenger, Guardiola, Mourinho & Klopp to name just a few, so that should not be a factor.
It doesn't help that he wants to change the playing style, but football has always evolved and playing styles are no different.
LIterally everything he has done has been a call for some of our fanbase to suggest that he is incompetent, even the fact that he didn't shake hands with players when being substituted was given to me as proof he was not good enough.
The truth is Puel has not had the best of periods to take over at Saints, the core of his squad was not available to him to literally the week before the Premier League season, he had little time to get to know his squad and their capabilities not them to get to know him, it was not the best preparation.
But we have not played badly in any of our games so far, that fact has escaped most of the Puel detractors, yes we haven't had the results we would have liked, but the only teams we have been beaten by are trips to Man United and Arsenal and not many will win there, but we could have got more than we did.
We were only a bit of tinkering, a bit more practise and a bit more luck from a result in all of our games and against Sparta Prague we got all three.
So Claude Puel has got his first win and in doing so has perhaps won his first battle in winning the fans over and let us not forget, his three predecessors made just as bad if not worse starts to their tenure in the managers chair and all were held up as not being as good as the man who had gone, they won the fans over so there is no reason why Claude Puel should not.
Indeed one criticism is that his communication skills are not good, people have ridiculed his press conferences and the way he conducts himself, well would say at least I know what he sounds like, unlike Mauricio Pochettino who never uttered one word of English in public about Southampton Football Club.
It is all about perception, now our perception is that last season was all smiles because we finished it on a high, we have forgotten the criticism that was levelled at Koeman, not only at the start of the season but in the middle when we barely picked up a point in 7 games, the same people who levelled it back then, are now championing Koeman as a genius whilst condemning Puel.
Perhaps he will fail, but we have to give him the time to show that he either has it or hasn't got what it takes, how long that time is is open for debate, but I will say one thing, four games is not a fair, reasonable and long enough period to make that decision.
Photo: Action Images
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