After the appointment of Mauricio Pellegrino to the St Mary’s hot seat, could this pave the way for a return to the club for Sammy Lee or will a new backroom staff team be formed?
During the summer of 2014, Southampton wisely brought in a man with both coaching experience and an in-depth knowledge of the Premier League to assist Ronald Koeman and help him in acclimatising into a new league where he had no previous experience of as player or manager, that man was Sammy Lee.
Undoubtedly, Lee brought an enthusiasm to the training sessions at Staplewood, and it was sad to see him leave the club last summer after Koeman departed for Everton, Saints appointed Claude Puel and his position went to Eric Black, whose not too popular a figure with the Southampton fans.
Eric Black will be the most eagerly anticipated departure from the club this summer after the clubs decision to sack former boss Puel, whose struggled to make any connection with supporters due to both his past issues at Aston Villa, as well as being caught up in a newspaper scandal last year regarding bribes in player transfers involving lower-league clubs.
With Pellegrino’s arrival, a new backroom team will need to be put in place and it could be that Sammy Lee would again be a good fit. The pair worked together under Rafa Benitez at Liverpool from 2008 – 2010 when Lee was assistant manager with Pellegrino first team coach until he left to follow Benitez to Inter Milan.
So, although Pellegrino speaks fluent English and has some experience in England unlike his two predecessors, that experience was 7-years ago and a lot has changed in the Premier League in that time. It would be wise for the club to put in a man to work alongside him whom he can turn to for advice on the way teams play and the players in the side.
The big question will be whether Pellegrino already has his own trusted people that he would like to bring in, or whether he is open to recommendations from the club? The only person in the current position amongst the team you would regard as safe would be Dave Watson due to the fact he is a club appointed coach.
It will interesting to see how things develop at the club over the coming days and weeks.