Ronald Koeman

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Koeman names 5 newcomers in his first Netherlands squad

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THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) New coach Ronald Koeman has named five uncapped players in the Netherlands squad for his first international in charge, signaling that he is going to shake up a team that failed to qualify for two consecutive major tournaments.

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The newcomers named Friday in Koeman’s 25-man squad include 18-year-old Ajax winger Justin Kluivert, the son of former Netherlands striker Patrick Kluivert.

Koeman’s other new names were AZ Alkmaar players Marco Bizot, Guus Til and Wout Weghorst and Hans Hateboer of Atalanta.

The Netherlands takes on England on March 23 in Amsterdam and Portugal three days later in Geneva.

With the Dutch having failed to qualify for this year’s World Cup in Russia, Koeman has time to experiment as he seeks his strongest team.

Southampton close in on Mark Hughes

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Southampton is set to turn to an experienced Premier League manager to save them from sleepwalking into relegation.

Pro Soccer Talk understand that Mark Hughes is the overwhelming favorite to take charge of Saints after they fired Argentine coach Mauricio Pellegrino on Monday following a 3-0 defeat at Newcastle where he accused his players of “giving up” during a dreadful display.

It is believed Southampton aren’t set to appoint Hughes imminently, while other candidates such as former Hull City and Watford manager Marco Silva, plus ex-West Ham boss Slaven Bilic, aren’t currently in the running.

Current Southampton assistant coach and former goalkeeper Kelvin Davis took training on Tuesday after Pellegrino’s departure following just one win in their last 17 Premier League games.

Information obtained by Pro Soccer Talk from a source close to the situation revealed that Southampton aim to have their new manager in charge before this weekend. They play at third-tier Wigan Athletic on Sunday in the FA Cup quarterfinal for a place at Wembley in the last four of the competition.

Premier League survival is the main aim but whoever takes over could well be just 180 minutes from leading Saints to a major cup final. The main aim will be turning around the displays of a group of players who many feel have had too much of a say in how the club is run during the short reigns of Claude Puel and Pellegrino over the past 18 months.

Hughes, 54, has been out of work since being fired by Stoke City in January but it is hoped the former Southampton striker (Hughes scored twice in 52 Premier League appearances in a deeper midfield role for Saints from 1998-00) can galvanize a talented squad and pull them through in the final eight games of the season. Hughes has never been relegated as a Premier League manager and with his former club Stoke also in the PL relegation battle with Saints, it may be a way to show his former employers what they’re missing.

Saints are currently one place and one point above the relegation zone and realistically need three more wins (they only managed five in 30 games this season under Pellegrino) to stay out of the bottom three.

After spending the past five seasons at Stoke, Hughes led the Potters to three-straight ninth place finishes before a 13th place finish last season and then a poor start to the current campaign which cost him his job.

While some may question Saints hiring a manager from the merry-go-round with Hughes having a mixed bag of results managing Blackburn, Manchester City, Fulham, QPR and Stoke over the years, it may well spark their under-performing squad into life. Hughes is well known to be a “players’ coach” and could inspire a complete shakeup at St Mary’s in the final months of the season.

With Mauricio Pochettino, Ronald Koeman, Claude Puel and Pellegrino the last four managers at Southampton, hiring an experienced, British PL boss will be a big shift in direction from Saints. At this point they will do whatever they can to secure their Premier League status.

Hughes will have his work cut out to do that with Saints still to play Arsenal, Chelsea, Everton and Man City in their final eight games of the season, while five of the eight games are away from home.

Report: Allardyce in talks with Everton over long-term extension

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Everton fans probably won’t be happy to read this, but Sam Allardyce is angling for a long-term stay on Merseyside.

Speaking to reporters at Everton’s pre-match press conference on Thursday ahead of its match against Stoke City, Allardyce said he’s currently speaking with Everton owner Farhad Moshiri about extending his current contract into the future. Allardyce signed an 18-month contract in November when he took over for Ronald Koeman and interim manager David Unsworth.

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“I’m having talks with him but obviously those talks are confidential,” Allardyce said. “We’re in a difficult period at the moment yes, but we have to try and turn that around on Saturday. It’s my responsibility to get the team to play at a level we know they can play.”

Everton fans have been livid with Allardyce in recent weeks, especially after road defeats to Watford and Burnley, with three losses out of Everton’s last four games.

However, Allardyce has done enough to help bring the once-relegation threatened club above water, as the Toffees sit seven points above the drop zone.

Ronald Koeman named new Netherlands boss

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It didn’t take Ronald Koeman too long to land another job.

The former Everton and Southampton manager was named the new head coach of the Dutch national team on Tuesday, with Koeman signing a contract through the end of the 2022 World Cup.

Holland have failed to reach the last two major tournaments (EURO 2016 and the 2018 World Cup) and have had three managers in charge since 2014 when Louis Van Gaal led them to a third-place finish at the World Cup in Brazil, then left to manage Manchester United.

Guus Hiddink, Danny Blind and Dick Advocaat all failed to reignite a national team which finished excelled at both the 2010 and 2014 World Cups. Now it is Koeman’s turn to usher through a new era of young, talented Dutch players.

His first game in charge of the Netherlands will be a friendly against England in Amsterdam on March 23.

Koeman is joined by Nico-Jan Hoogma who will become the sporting director in a statement released by the Dutch Football Association (KNVB) on Tuesday.

The KNVB has reached agreement with Ronald Koeman (54) about the appointment as national coach of the Dutch national team. Koeman has just signed a contract that connects him to Orange with immediate effect up to and including the World Cup 2022.

Nico-Jan Hoogma has also entered into a contract with the football association. Thanks to the cooperation of Heracles Almelo, where 49-year-old Hoogma has been working as general manager since 1 January 2007, he will be working as a director of top football in Zeist on 1 March. His contact runs until 1 July 2022.

A legend of the Dutch national team, Koeman always dreamed of being their manager as well as managing Barcelona in the future. It is likely he will have to at least lead the Netherlands to the latter stages of the 2022 World Cup for this to be deemed a success and keep his dreams of managing Barcelona alive.

His 18-month spell at Everton ended in October 2017 with the Toffees battling against relegation after he had led them to seventh place in the Premier League in the 2016-17 season. In the two seasons prior to that he led Southampton to 7th and 6th place finishes respectively, which were their highest-ever finishes in the PL.

A former player for Groningen, Ajax, PSV Eindhoven and Feyenoord in his homeland, plus Barcelona abroad where he scored the winning goal in the 1991 European Cup final, Koeman scored 14 goals in 78 appearances for the Dutch national team and helped them win their only major title to date, the 1988 European Championships.

Koeman has also managed Vitesse Arnhem, Ajax, Benfice, PSV, Valencia, AZ Alkmaar and Feyenoord with varying degrees of success.

Report: Ronald Koeman set for Netherlands manager job

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There could be a pair of former Everton bosses matching much-analyzed wits if Belgium’s soon drawn with the Netherlands.

[ MORE: Kane on 100 PL goals ]

That’s because Roberto Martinez is at the helm of the Red Devils, while Sky Sports is reporting that the Dutch will appoint Ronald Koeman their new boss on Monday.

The Netherlands failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, and Koeman was fired by Everton earlier this season.

He has plenty of experience with and knowledge of the young Dutch players, having managed in the Eredivisie from 2009-14. Tonny Vilhena developed under Koeman at Feyenoord, and the manager brought Davy Klaassen to Everton last summer.

USMNT veteran Earnie Stewart was among the names rumored for the job.