Last summer, many were shocked by Southampton‘s decision to sack Claude Puel after the Frenchman led the Saints to the Carabao Cup final and a midtable finish. With his former club now languishing and struggling to fight off relegation, history could be about to repeat itself.
Their report states that Puel’s frequent chopping and changing of the team with no explanation to key members of the squad has led to some strained relationships, isolating the 56-year-old from his players.
Puel was appointed in October, replacing Craig Shakespeare after a woeful start to the campaign left the club in jeopardy of relegation, and made an immediate impact. In the second half of the season though, things have gone off the rails.
It’s true that results have become less impressive and the style of play in recent weeks has frustrated fans, with recent turgid draws against the likes of Swansea, Stoke and Southampton not helping matters as the pace and excitement of the early weeks of his reign has vanished.
In the summer, the £80 million invested was expected to see the Foxes challenge for Europe, but given the situation when Puel was appointed it was an unrealistic aim for him to still achieve that.
For the coach, his impact was clear and if voices are dissenting in the dressing room, then with a summer overhaul on the cards that may no longer be an issue should he route out the disruptive influences who were previously accused of being key to Claudio Ranieri’s demise.
Puel has shown an admiral ability to stabilise a club and summer of change needs a manager who can do just that. Stepping in to replace him with another man would point to a short term vision that Leicester need to move away from if they really are to compete for European football.