Wednesday 13 December 2017

Matt Le Tissier takes swipe at Ronald Koeman after Josh Sims' sparkling debut

Josh Sims sparkled on his Southampton debut against Everton
Josh Sims sparkled on his Southampton debut against Everton

Matt Le Tissier believes Ronald Koeman's criticism of Southampton's academy "came back to bite him on the backside" on Sunday.

When Koeman was Southampton manager last season he claimed the club's youngsters - in the same youth system that produced Adam Lallana, Theo Walcott and Gareth Bale among others - were not up to Premier League standard.

But those words came back to haunt the Dutchman when Everton, the side he left Saints for in the summer, were sunk by teenage debutant Josh Sims.

The 19-year-old winger set up Charlie Austin's early winning goal and earned a standing ovation after a sparkling performance.

And former Saints star Le Tissier said: " I thought it was a brilliant debut, I was really impressed with him.

"Had Ronald Koeman still been at the club he probably wouldn't have had that chance, because Ronald wasn't overly keen on getting the youngsters involved.

"But current manager Claude Puel obviously liked what he saw, and it's great for the other youngsters knowing this manager will give you a chance.

"About a year ago Ronald went for the academy a little bit which was a strange thing to do, I thought, especially given what the club has produced over the last few years.

"It was a strange thing to say and it came back to bite him on the backside I'm afraid."

Le Tissier admitted there was an extra satisfaction seeing his old side sink their former manager 1-0 following his acrimonious departure.

"There's a way of leaving," added the Sky Sports pundit. "The fans were disappointed in the way Ronald behaved and some of the stuff he said in the lead-up to the game.

"So yes, there was a feeling of extra satisfaction at putting one over on him."

::Sky Sports is the home of festive football with over 60 matches and the biggest head to heads in the Premier League, EFL and SPFL::

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