Mauricio Pellegrino must put entertainment value at the forefront of his plans for Southampton after signing a three-year deal with the club.
That is the view of Saints legend Matt Le Tissier, who said sacked manager Claude Puel paid the price for an uninspiring style of play, despite guiding the club to an eighth-place finish and the EFL Cup final.
Former Alaves boss Pellegrino was confirmed as the new man in charge at St Mary’s Stadium on Friday and Le Tissier, who spent his entire professional career at Southampton, said he would do well to learn from Argentine compatriot and predecessor Mauricio Pochettino.
“Obviously, Mauricio’s [Pochettino] done very well for himself, he set up a team that was very energetic, entertaining to watch. There weren’t many dull moments,” Le Tissier told Sky Sports.
“That’s the kind of thing the Southampton board were looking for just to reignite the fan base again, because a lot of Southampton fans towards the end of last season became disenchanted with the style of play more than anything else.
“The eighth place was great, but it was a lot of points less than last season. The cup final was great, but I think ultimately the Southampton fans thought, ‘yes we like winning, we like getting to cup finals, but we also like to get entertained’ and that was the main thing for me.
“I would imagine his remit would be the top eight, which is where we have finished for the last four seasons, it was great to get to a cup final which we narrowly missed out on.”
But Le Tissier emphasised the need to win with swagger as the Saints look to improve on a modest points return of 46, which left them with a smaller gap to relegated Hull City than to Everton just one place above them.
“Probably the biggest thing would be to maybe add a little more creativity in the way we play. A little more of the high pressing that we became accustomed to over a few seasons with Pochettino and with Ronald Koeman.
“That’s what the club are looking for – somebody who can take the club back to the way we were playing before last season.”