In the last hour it has been announced that Southampton has appointed Ronald Koeman as their new manager.
Many a Southampton fan will be able to breathe a sigh of relief as it seems a rocky ship is starting to be stabilised. Are Southampton turning a corner and resuming the path they were on before Pochettino left?
So what do we know about our new leader? Well for most the name will ring a bell from his exceptional footballing career with the Netherlands and Barcelona. Having played for the Netherlands 78 times from 1982-1994, he scored 14 goals and was quoted as being “One of the stars” for the side. He was part of the Dutch side that won Euro 88 and played with the likes of Dennis Bergkamp, Marco van Basten, Frank Rijkaard and Ruud Gullit.
In 1988 Koeman moved to Barcelona and helped Barcelona win La Liga four years in a row and the European Cup where he scored the winner.
His career is an exceptional one and fans will be hoping he can apply his ability to win competitions and leagues to the team, If this happens Southampton fans will certainly be marching on and have something to cheer about.
So what about his managerial career? Well he has been assistant coach to both the Netherlands national team and Barcelona. He has since then managed several clubs with the likes of Ajax, Benfica and Valencia on the list. During this time he has won the domestic double with Ajax, the spanish cup with Valencia and got Feyenoord in the top 3 for three years running.
What can Southampton expect from the new man?
Both his managerial and playing career have been a success and Southampton will want this to continue with them. He basically created the 3-5-2 and 5-3-2 formations and Southampton fans could be about to witness a formation never played before at St Mary’s.
With the mention of the £50m budget reported to be available to the new man and his exceptional player and managerial career most fans will want the decisions of key players sorted extremely quickly so that they can move on from this uncertain time.
Koeman likes to play an attacking style of football; something the fans have seen played a lot this season with a positive effect. He also isn’t afraid to use the youth players which again seem’s a perfect fit for the Southampton Way.
So is Koeman the right man for the job? It certainly seems to be that way and with his experience Southampton fans can start to dream of European football again.
But the question is can Koeman keep Southampton’s star players and build upon the team that finished 8th? Will he get the reported £50m to spend this summer? A lot of these questions can only be answered by the board and hopefully in time we will get the answer but for now, Saints fans can breathe and relax a little.