It’s four games into the League One season. Southampton have just recorded their first win of the season, smashing Bristol Rovers by four goals to nil, at The Memorial Ground.
The Saints are up and running, and ready to build on last seasons excellent effort to overturn a massive points deduction.
Then, out of the blue, manager Alan Pardew is sacked. Unless there has been shenanigans behind the scenes, this is a bizarre decision.
Last seasons results, clearly indicate that Pardew has what it takes to take the Saints to promotion. He is steeped in the know-how of building a promotion campaign, having guided Reading and West Ham to higher divisions.
The board must presume that there is a better manager than Alan Pardew to lead Southampton. Maybe there is? But its a massive gamble. A risk of the highest order.
Success is not achieved by constantly changing the manager. And Southampton have experienced far too many changes over the last few years. This is a time for stability and re-building at St Mary’s.
Pardew’s sacking negates that stability. It suggests short-termism and the craving for instant success. It also creates tremendous pressure on the new manager, and makes long-term thinking difficult.
Of course, Pardew’s sacking may turn out to be a masterstroke, and the Saints may be in the Premier League in two years time. But its a high risk strategy and one that could lead to a Milan Mandarich style managerial hiring and firing spree!