Opinion: The sacking of Mark Hughes or Rafa Benítez could be beneficial for their clubs

Benitez's Newcastle are yet to win a game going into matchday 10
Benitez's Newcastle are yet to win a game going into matchday 10

Southampton will be taking on Newcastle United today in a match that could define the rest of the season for both clubs. Nine games into the Premier League, this season, and both teams are yet to kick-start their campaigns, with The Saints winless at home, and The Magpies winless anywhere in England.

It's fair to say that viewing figures will not be too high for this encounter, with neither side managing any form of attractive football so far this season. However, for fans of both teams, this match may yet prove to be the turning point their clubs.

The main reason for this is because both Mark Hughes and Rafael Benítez stand very close to the exit door now, and a loss for either side would undoubtedly set their board's cogs in motion.

The season for managerial sackings is fashionably close approaching. As is often the case, the first few clubs to pull the trigger early on can opt to bring in the right person for the much-needed pre-Christmas club shake-up required to pull their teams' fortunes around.

Of the two, Mark Hughes is probably the closest to that exit door. While Newcastle and Benítez sit lower than their opponents in the table, it's thought that Mike Ashley would be making a big mistake to let go of a man who has stuck with them through thick and thin, and who has a proven track record of getting teams through the darkest of moments.

Mark Hughes has to get a performance out of Southampton in order to keep his job
Mark Hughes has to get a performance out of Southampton in order to keep his job

Mark Hughes, on the other hand, may not have enough credits with the Southampton board to hold out much longer, unless the team's results start to change rapidly and drastically. There is talk of unrest in the dressing room and questions have been asked about some of the Welshman's tactical decisions so far this season.

After their 0-0 draw to Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium last week, Hughes was quoted as saying that the club had "made a statement" after the match. It's fair to say that that statement has not gone down too well with the Southampton fans.

While a win will bring a touch of breathing space for either man, a loss may strangely tilt this double-edged sword towards salvation for either team.

Both sets of fans are wanting change, be it on the pitch, in the dugout, or at a higher level, and a loss here will be prompting a large number of those fans to demand that a red button is pushed somewhere along the chain.

It's one of the strangest feelings for fans of any club when they watch their team believing that a win would be good, but a loss may actually be even better. This match will undoubtedly be one of those matches.

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Edited by Sagnik Mallick
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