How does Southampton compete with Premier League giants? This early look at Roger Bennett’s documentary “The Southampton Way” (premiering Jan. 1 at 5:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN) provides some insight with the video above.
Below are some snippets from the documentary, as Roger Bennett traveled to the largest city on the South Coast of England to see how the club which calls Britain’s ‘Gateway to the World’ home, keep churning out top quality players and what is special about the Saints after their dramatic journey from League One to the upper echelons of the Premier League over the past five years. With the likes of Gareth Bale, Alex Oxlade Chamberlain, Theo Walcott, Adam Lallana, Luke Shaw and Calum Chambers all coming through the ranks at Saints, it is certainly a special club.
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When we spoke to Ralph Krueger at ProSoccerTalk about taking over as the Chairman of Southampton Football Club last season, it was clear he had a lot to learn about the Premier League. However, the man who coached in the NHL with the Edmonton Oilers and helped the Canadian Olympic hockey team to the gold medal in Sochi last year has brought his strong motivational techniques to Saints and has been a key part in their dramatic overhaul over the summer. He believes in “The Southampton Way.”
“When we are going out on the field coming up face-to-face against clubs who have three or four times the playing salaries that we have, it is really about creating synergies in the group,” Krueger revealed. “We really look at every single place where we can strive for excellence. It is what makes Southampton unique. We are the Green Bay Packers. We are the small town team going up against the teams from London, Liverpool and Manchester so we need to find little opportunities and above all, it is the synergy that we look for every day.”
Manager Ronald Koeman arrived in the summer, with former boss Mauricio Pochettino jumping ship to Tottenham Hotspur and six key players sold to some of England’s biggest teams. Instead of the relegation battle everyone predicted, Saints are currently in the top four on New Year’s Day 2015, and Koeman revealed how excited he has been about the project since the start.
“When I got the telephone call about Southampton, we had a good meeting. Not about money. That was the reason I liked it very much. It was about football. It was about young players,” Koeman said. “It was about the academy and structure of the club and, in my opinion, it was a good challenge. I believe in development. I believe in structure. And I believe in young players because young players are the future of this club.”
Remember, “The Southampton Way” premieres Jan. 1 at 5:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN.