Ronald Koeman’s response when asked why he chose to manage Southampton

Ronald Koeman has been a roaring success in his debut season with Southampton.

The former Dutch international arrived at St Mary’s Stadium last summer, and he has told how he responds when people ask him why he chose to manage Southampton.

The 52-year-old said: “People asked me, ‘Why Southampton? Why not a club with a bigger name?’ But I never saw it as coming to a small club. That’s not the way I see Southampton at all. What I wanted was to be part of a club that is forward-thinking and focuses on developing young players; building from that foundation.”

The Saints certainly have the same ethos as many of the clubs in Koeman’s homeland of the Netherlands, with a desire to produce young talents for success, and then reaping a profit on the players when they reach their optimum value.

It is hard to deny that this system has worked brilliantly for the South Coast club, and although many were suggesting that Koeman was arriving at a sinking ship - due to the mass departures endured last summer - he has overseen an amazing turnaround without breaking the principles of the club.

Southampton are progressive with the structuring of their club, and forward thinking with how football should be played, and in hiring Koeman they found someone who shares those ideals.

They may not be the greatest name in European football, but the Dutch coach chose to head to the South Coast because of what they represent, rather than due to their reputation.

And, all in all, Koeman’s decision has been justified following the great success he has enjoyed in his debut season in English football.

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