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  • "I voted yes because I looked up his credentials. I don't think Saints will be interviewing six people. I reckon this is a done deal. I hope so. Read on.

    "Managers usually don’t get big, emotional goodbyes – especially not in the heart of Rotterdam, where even the most popular and biggest managers left with conflicts. It was in this context that the farewell of Ronald Koeman at Feyenoord was such a historical moment. He might be the first manager in decennia who will actually be missed in Rotterdam. But why?

    When Koeman was brought in during the summer of 2011, the club was in ruins. After the worst season in the club’s history, finishing tenth in the Eredivisie with a team lacking in quality. And this is where Koeman and Feyenoord met, in their mutual desire to once again rise to glory, to shake of their chains of unsuccessful spells. His arrival at Feyenoord was surrounded by scepticism. In the background, fans fought a prolonged, hard battle with the board about the financial position of the club, but three years later, Koeman is seen as a phenomenal manager, stating at his farewell that “once a Feyenoorder, you’ll always be a Feyenoorder”. He got his applause, he got his farewell, and he even got a guard of honour. And yes, he definitely deserved it. With the fourth highest budget in Dutch football yet no money to spend in the transfer market, the club finished second twice in three years under Koeman, only to be beaten on goal difference for second place in the other season. That is a huge achievement, especially if you consider the lack of investment in the squad and that most of the starting XI are home grown players from the club’s successful academy Varkenoord, which has won the award for best youth academy five seasons in a row.

    Jordy Clasie, Bruno Martins Indi, Stefan de Vrij, Terece Kongolo, Tonny Vilhena and Jean Paul Boëtius – they all rose to glory under Koeman’s spell at Feyenoord and they all made it into the national team. Of course, Koeman got lucky that both strikers the club brought in on loan (John Guidetti and Graziano Pelle) turned out to be great goalscorers, but Koeman identified these, he developed the youth players and he led the club back to the pinnacle. He did not win any title or trophy - something he had done at each of his previous clubs bar Vitesse – but giving Feyenoord and its supporters back their pride is the biggest achievement Koeman accomplished as a manager.

    Thanks to Wembley76 for the link.
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Former Southampton manager Mark Wotte believes Ronald Koeman would be a "perfect" fit at the club, having met with St Mary's officials this week

Ronald Koeman

Ronald Koeman

First published in Sport Basingstoke Gazette: Photograph of the Author by , Senior Sports Reporter

Former Saints boss Mark Wotte believes fellow Dutchman Ronald Koeman would be a “perfect” fit as the club’s new manager.

The 51-year-old outgoing Feyenoord boss is a serious contender to replace Mauricio Pochettino at St Mary’s, after the Argentine quit to join Tottenham last week.

Koeman is believed to have met with officials from Saints on Monday to discuss the position, although he is not the only candiidate the club are expected to speak with.

Wotte, who managed Saints during the 2008/09 campaign, believes Koeman, who remains the odds-on favourite with the bookies, would be an excellent choice.

“In my opinion, Ronald Koeman is perfect for Southampton for several reasons,” he said.

“He has a great CV as a player, winning the 1988 European Championship with Holland and the Champions League with Barcelona.

“But he has also managed PSV, Ajax and Feyenoord, as well as Valencia and Benfica abroad, so he is a very experienced coach.”

Wotte, who is currently the Scottish Football Association’s performance director, believes Koeman would bring a similar footballing philosophy to that of Pochettino, while he would also be willing to promote players from the academy system.

“As a Dutch manager, he is always used to playing ‘the Dutch way’, with high pressure, a passing style and a positive approach, playing to win and not always playing not to lose,” he said.

“His last job at Feyenoord was initially a big challenge, as a lack of funds forced him to work with ‘the kids’, but most of them now are selected in the 23-man squad for Holland and also qualifying for the Champions League first phase – a great achievement for the Feyenoord academy, but also for the talent management skills of Ronald Koeman.

“Knowing Southampton and St Mary’s personally, he would be an excellent choice.”

One of Koeman’s biggest influences is Johan Cruyff, having played in his famous Barcelona team from 1989 to 1995, winning the European Cup in 1992.

The centre-half, who was capped 78 times by his country, moved into management after hanging up his boots, working as an assistant with the national team and then Barcelona.

His first manager’s job came at Vittesse Arnhem, leading them to a sixth-place finish in the 2000/01 Eredivisie, before moving to Ajax.

He won the domestic double in his first season there, finished as runners-up in the next campaign, and then regained the league title in 2003/04.

He left in 2005, as PSV regained status as top dogs, then joined Portuguese side Benfica.

Koeman spent a fairly unsuccessful year there, before taking up the reins at PSV.

Again, he lasted just one full season, before joining Valencia, although he did deliver an Eredivisie title before his departure.

In Spain, he won the Copa del Rey, but Valencia’s league form proved poor, with the club parting company with Koeman in April 2008.

A brief, unsuccessful stint with AZ Alkmaar then followed.

In 2011, though, Koeman arrived at Feyenoord, reviving the ailing club.

Having finished tenth in the Eredivisie the season before he arrived, Koeman led Feyenoord to second place in his first campaign – their best result in 11 years.

They then came third in 2012/13, before finishing as runners-up to Ajax last term.

Koeman announced in February that he would leave the club this summer, when his contract expired.

Former Swansea boss Michael Laudrup, another name who might fit the bill, does not look to be in the frame.

In an interview in his homeland, the Dane has said he will take time out of the game until an opportunity with a really big club comes along.

Previous bookies’ favourite Murat Yakin is not thought to have been approached.

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