Daily Echo:

IN THE middle of this week the League Managers Association put out their annual figures and it was interesting to see that last season seven managers in the Premier League lost their jobs.

They obviously weren’t aware of what was happening at St Mary’s because if they would have held on a day that figure would have gone up to eight with the departure of Mr Puel.

Before we talk about that situation, other figures given out were that nearly half the 92 clubs changed manager last season, which was apparently lower than the year before when the figure was well in the 50s.

Garry Monk, one of our ex-players, who I rate highly, has recently been appointed at Middlesbrough while the club he left, Leeds United, have had six managers in about three years.

Of course, getting back to Saints, the new appointment, whoever he may be, will be our fourth manager since Nigel Adkins left in 2013.

Not all of course were sacked, but sadly for Mr Puel he was and as we mentioned the board had to balance on the one hand what looked good from a distance – eighth and a trip to Wembley – against the general feeling of the people who pay their money who were not happy. They went with the public demand.

Unlike the old days of course, losing your job, particularly from the top flight, will not be as financially hard as it used to be with the large salaries. With two years left on his contract I am sure Mr Puel may be unhappy but his bank manager will surely cheer him up.

Talking of managers in general, I was interested to see that Claudio Ranieri was appointed to a job in France. It means the existing rule of age limit of 65 has been broken.

There is no point in Harry Redknapp or Arsene Wenger hoping to go back at their age.

Personally I think age shouldn’t come into it. In fact the older people are they usually have more experience and can handle situations in a better way, which has been evident when clubs shouting ‘help’ at the end of the season brought in people like Harry Redknapp, Sam Allardyce and Neil Warnock. Age didn’t matter there and they all pulled off what was needed.

I suppose now there will be the guessing game as to who will be our next boss.

I learnt with the players I had not to get involved with bookmakers and betting but as ever a list of names is already out.

I don’t suppose I’m on it, but apparently Matt Le Tissier is 33-1, which I believe means he has little chance, but I would think anyway he will be happier on the TV panel each week telling managers where they go wrong rather than having 30,000 supporters telling him where he’s gone wrong!

The old argument will crop up as to whether we continue to have a foreign gentleman as opposed to a British choice.

Without knowing anything at all about what’s happening at the club, I bet if young Eddie Howe up the road intimated he would move everyone would be together in welcoming him.

The same in my mind would apply to Sean Dyche or Chris Hughton.

They are British managers who have done wonders without the sort of financial support others have had.

It could well be a famous foreign name, such as Frank De Boer who I remember not too fondly as being part of the Dutch national team who knocked us out of the World Cup when I was with England.

On the other hand it may be someone like Mr Puel, who, with due respect, not many of us had heard of before.

I suppose it is exciting times while the players meanwhile are away sunning themselves.

It will certainly give them something to talk about when they get back for pre-season training.

  •  Hands up if you knew there was an under-20 World Cup competition before the last couple of weeks?

I certainly didn’t until it was announced we had won, so well done and full marks.

There was a thank you to managers who had allowed players to go to the tournament whilst league games were still being played, but the truth is not many of them would have been in the first team anyway.

When I look back to the 1993 under-21 team I took to the Toulon Tournament and won, names spring to mind such as McManaman, Jamie Redknapp, Darren Anderton, Lee Sharpe, Alan Shearer, Rod Wallace, Andy Cole, David James, Jason Dodd and more.

They certainly were in their club’s first teams and many went on to play for the national team.

Unfortunately with the way the game is now the under-20 lads can bask in a week or two of glory, but it could well be when their clubs get them together again in July they will back in the reserve team, such is the way the game has gone.