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Who is Russell Martin? Southampton’s new coach

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Southampton have appointed Russell Martin as their new head coach on a three-year contract after he left Swansea City. The 37-year-old former Scotland defender is known for his possession-based style of play and has a strong track record of promotion as both a player and manager.

 

Playing career

Martin began his football career with Lewes before joining Wycombe Wanderers in 2004. Under Paul Lambert, he helped the team reach the League Two play-offs in 2006 and 2008.

 

He moved to Peterborough United in 2008 and was named the club’s youngest-ever captain at the age of 22. He led Posh to promotion to the Championship in his first season but was loaned out to Norwich City in November 2009.

 

He reunited with Lambert at Carrow Road and became a key player in Norwich’s back-to-back promotions to the Premier League. He spent nine years with the Canaries, playing more than 300 games and winning three promotions. He also switched from right-back to centre-back as he matured.

 

He earned 29 caps for Scotland, scoring once, and played at Euro 2016. He left Norwich in 2018 and had spells with Rangers, Walsall, and MK Dons, where he won his fifth promotion as a player in 2019.

 

Managerial career

Martin took his first managerial role in November 2019, when he took over for Paul Tisdale at MK Dons.

 

He instituted a possession-based philosophy that resulted in his team having one of the greatest average possession rates in Europe, trailing only Manchester City and Barcelona.

 

He led MK Dons to a 13th-placed finish in League One in his only full season in charge, before joining Swansea City in August 2021. He succeeded Steve Cooper, who had taken the Swans to the play-off final in 2020/21.

 

He guided Swansea to a 15th-placed finish in his first season as a Championship boss, before improving to 10th in his second campaign. He missed out on the playoffs by just three points but ended the season with a nine-game unbeaten run.

 

He attracted interest from Southampton, who were looking for a new boss after being relegated from the Premier League. They were impressed by his commitment to attractive football and his ability to develop young players.

 

He agreed to take over at St Mary’s in May 2023, while the clubs negotiated over compensation. He was officially announced as Southampton’s new head coach on June 21, 2023. 

 

What to expect

Martin is expected to bring his possession-based style of play to Southampton, who have previously been noted for their high-pressing and energetic attitude. He’ll also aim to tap into the club’s academy, which has produced players like Gareth Bale, Theo Walcott, and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

 

 

He will face a challenge to rebuild Southampton after their relegation from the Premier League, where they had spent nine consecutive seasons. He will also have to deal with the expectations of the fans, who will hope for a swift return to the top flight.

 

Martin has shown that he can achieve success as a player and a manager, winning promotions and earning praise for his philosophy. He will hope to continue his rise at Southampton, where he has been given a chance to prove himself at a higher level.

 

Will Russell Martin be able to take Southampton straight back to the Premier League? Only time will tell. For more news and updates from the world of football, follow interestingfootball.com.

I'm a sports enthusiast, love writing about football. I have been writing about top teams in Europe, the Premier League and La Liga.

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