Southampton Major Backroom Staff Overhaul Continues
Friday, 17th Jun 2022 09:00
When the season ended it didn't take Saints very long to start what is a major revamp in the backroom staff with the departure of three first team coaches and also the head of scouting & recruitment, but a clear strategy is now appearing.
The first departure from the St Mary's backroom staff was the news that Martyn Glover, Head of Scouting and Recruitment was departing for a job at Leicester City, he was swiftly followed out of the door by first team coaches Craig Fleming, Kelvin Davis and Dave Watson.
The rebuild in the coaching staff has already started with the appointment of Ruben Selles who Saints poached from FC Copenhagen to whom the club had to pay a financial settlement to release him from his contract.
Selles name might not be familiar to most Saints fans, but he has a track record in coaching at clubs across Europe that gives him a far better pedigree and track record than any of the three departed coaches.
Now it seems Saints are looking to replace Glover and they have allegedly approached Manchester City for one of their leading figures in player recruitment Joe Shields.
Shields has been involved in the scouting and recruitment of young players firstly at Palace, then Fulham and then Palace again before joining City in 2013 and subsequently becoming head of the Academy scouting system in 2018.
He has a track record of unearthing young talent and although City have mainly relied on big signings for their first team, many youth team players have got into the City first side albeit fleetingly, with the odd gem such as Phil Foden.
City's academy is not just about producing players for it's own first team, in fact in many respects you could say that it is not the main purpose, it is about developing players and then generating fees and training compensation payments for not just those out of contract, but players who are good enough for the Premier League, but a way off being vital members of City's first team squad, this is a key part of City’s academy strategy, so those who say Saints are a selling club, should also not that Manchester City are just as much in the same mould.
Like it or not until Southampton FC are bought by someone truly mega rich, we can't compete against the big clubs in terms of money put in by the owner or that generated by commercial income.
So if Joe Shields arrives then that would be a key signing for Saints backroom staff.
For those looking for clues as to what Saints strategy will be under Sport Republic, then an interesting article by Sam Wallace of The Telegraph sheds some light.
He says when talking about our potential recruitment of Shields.
"He is the first major recruitment figure Southampton have approached since the takeover by Serbian businessman Dragan Šolak whose Sport Republic group are looking at a similar multi-club approach to the City Football Group, albeit it on a smaller scale."
"The overhaul of Southampton is being led by Sport Republic chief executive Rasmus Ankersen, formerly Brentford director of football, and his first hire is to replace Martyn Glover, who has left his role as head of scouting and recruitment to join Leicester City. Given notice periods it is unlikely that Glover’s replacement will be able to join the club this window."
"The club are aware that there is major work to be done on the first-team squad itself with loanee striker Armando Broja, who played 32 league games this season, returning to parent club Chelsea."
"The club are hoping to build a new team around key players James Ward-Prowse, Kyle Walker-Peters and Tino Livramento but there is much work to be done beyond that."
This article goes a long way to pointing the direction that Saints are going in, it should not be too much of a surprise, after all it is the direction we have been heading for quite a time now and indeed the foundations of this have been in place since the days of Ted Bates back in the 1950's.
It is the Southampton way and to be blunt the only way that this football club can compete and survive in the Premier League and although some supporters might not agree, our overall record over the past decade since returning to the Premier League is better than most outside of the so called Big 6.
Whilst the strategy might not excite most, we have to embrace it, if only because in today's Premier League driven by mega rich businessmen and consortiums from the Middle East and the USA, if you don't have that type of investment then you have to adapt to survive.
Photo: Action Images
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