When Ronald Koeman moved from Southampton to Everton earlier this year, he took his Dutch back-room staff with him. Koeman’s brother Erwin was always going to make the change from Southampton, but he wasn’t the only one.
One of two men from Koeman’s team who did remain at Southampton was Sammy Lee, the former Liverpool player eventually moved to the England set-up, but Koeman had been minded to take him to Everton.
However, the Dutch manager was unable to take Lee and goalkeeping coach Dave Watson, because Southampton refused permission. However, when Claude Puel brought his own men in, and Lee left, Koeman still couldn’t take him on because of his Liverpool connections.
Writing in his column for Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf, Koeman explained: “Sammy has such a great history as a Liverpool player that it was difficult to take him to Everton.
When I announced that I was going to Everton, the Dutch were allowed to leave but not Sammy and goalkeeping coach Dave Watson either. Sammy later still had to go, because the new coach of Southampton brought two assistants.
“Then I’ve looked at what I could do for Sammy, but I soon noticed that his Liverpool background was a problem. It was not Sammy as a person, because they may really like him.
“Therefore, I was glad he got the chance with the national team of England. And fortunately he remained there after the situation with the departed coach Sam Allardyce.”
The situation seems to be working out well for both men, Lee has been fortunate to remain in the England set-up after the departure of Allardyce, and Koeman is getting on just fine at Everton without his former assistant.