Football people will all remember the days of the Dutch, when the national team in Holland were admired by one and all.

They had the likes of Johan Cruyff and many other star players in the team. And not only were the national team to be admired, but the youth football was often held up as an example to other countries.

I well remember my time with England and Northern Ireland taking the opportunity to visit training grounds of the big Dutch clubs.

I had a good friendship with Dick Advocaat, who is back again now in charge of national team.

They had a system where the number of youngsters to clubs was unbelievable and they had coaching sessions by top players and coaches. There was no numbers limit on their talent.

Every youngster, no matter how young, had a ball at his feet.

But as I look at their situation now, I’m not sure if they are still producing the same amount of young players, while the big names aren’t doing so well either.

The national team at the moment are at risk of not making the World Cup finals in Russia.

And, in fact, some great Dutch names are not exactly having a good time of it.

Frank De Boer has already been and gone after his short and unsuccessful spell at Crystal Palace.

Reading boss Jaap Stam, who incidentally you wouldn’t want to argue with on the field and was once voted as among the toughest ten players ever, is currently having to protect himself after his team failed to win any of their last six games. He maintains that he is still the best man for the job at Reading, despite the poor form.

Then, probably of more interest here, is Ronald Koeman. He admittedly did very well at Saints and presumed he had gone on to a bigger club at Everton, but is currently not doing well after spending big in the summer.

After losing at home to Burnley last week, his team were booed off. He would not have liked that at all.

All of these names I have mentioned were exceptionally good players, but this is sometimes what makes it more difficult when they are coaching. Because the majority of their players will never be as good as they were, and they find it difficult to understand why their players can’t do what they were able to do so easily.

There’s also an in-built confidence in these people, which sometimes can be mistaken as arrogance and which gives the impression they are blaming the players without looking at themselves.

However, it is still early in the season and they will hope that their directors and owners bear with them for the months ahead.

  • There seems to have been a lot of ex-Saints characters in the news this week. It’s always good to follow their careers when they leave us.

Nigel Pearson, for example, has just come back in to the game after leaving Leicester under awkward circumstances after falling out with the owners.

The team carried on against all odds to win the Premier League. It has to be remembered that he built most of that team, but didn’t get any credit for it.

It was surprising then to see him - after he also had a spell at Derby County - come back and take on a team in Belgium, OH Aeuven.

The club there is run by the same people he fell out with at Leicester, so it’s good to see they’ve made up and good to see he got a win in his first game.

But with all due respect, the second level in Belgium won’t be that strong a league, and if he needs a goalscorer I can suggest he picks up the phone to another ex-Saint.

Rickie Lambert, who was popular on and off the field and was a natural goalscorer at Saints, announced his retirement this week.

But I’m sure Nigel can perhaps twist his arm and get him to put in a couple of months abroad and do what comes naturally to him and score some goals.

I mentioned recently that coaches and managers of an older age were being brought back in when clubs really needed them.

Harry Redknapp was one at Birmingham, but after saving them from relegation to League One he had a bad start this season and was shown the door.

His first comment was “well, at 70 this is probably my last job”. But within a few days he has been contacted by Yeovil Town, who is managed by 37-year-old Darren Way.

He has agreed to spend a couple of days a week mentoring and helping this young manager for free. So well done Harry, and good luck at Yeovil. It could be a sign of more things to happen in the future.