Southampton to wait on Set Piece Coach appointment after Georgson exit
Written by Simon Austin — January 19, 2024
SOUTHAMPTON will wait until the summer to appoint a new Set Piece Coach to replace Andreas Georgson, TGG understands.
At the end of December, the club announced that the Swede was leaving to become Head Coach of Lillestrom SK in Norway. Writing on Twitter, Georgson said: “Thanks for everything Southampton FC. It was a true pleasure, short but sweet.
"Now new challenges lie ahead for me. One last thing - hold on to and support Russell (Martin), Saints fans. He is a diamond.”
The Swede had joined Southampton in August 2023 from Malmo, where he was Technical Director. He had previously been Set Piece Coach at both Brentford and Arsenal.
TGG understands that Russell Martin’s assistants Matt Gill and Colin Calderwood will continue to oversee set pieces in training until the summer, when the club will seek a permanent replacement for Georgson.
Speaking a few weeks ago, Martin had explained: Andreas has done a brilliant job since he's been in. We didn't have any relationship before he came in.
"He built some key principles and solid foundations for us to keep building on. I knew when he first came in that he didn't want to be a set-piece coach for the rest of his life.
"He added a lot, he always had an opinion and he is a really good guy. We are disappointed to see him go, but it's a great opportunity for him.
"The last thing we want to do is bring someone in straight away without really understanding them. To come in halfway through the season is difficult because they need to fit into what we do culturally and with the players.
"We are not going to change all the ideas because the set pieces have been really good and the players know the detail really well. For me, it's not something that gets my juices going. It needs a different set of skills and I don't find enjoyment in that area being completely honest.
"Gilly (Matt Gill) has done them before. Colin Calderwood has done them before. We have Carl Martin here as well. I've got no worries about us being able to take that on. After that, we will decide if we have the right person to do it or if we need someone to come in."
Rasmus Ankersen, the co-founder and CEO of Southampton's owners, Sport Republic, is a huge believer in the importance of set pieces. When he was Director of Football at Brentford and FC Midtjylland, prior to joining Sport Republic, the two clubs were renowned for their prowess in this area.
Earlier this month, we revealed that Lewis Mahoney was joining the Saints from Bristol Rovers to become their Set Piece Analyst.
Georgson was our guest on Episode #37 of the TGG Podcast and admitted he didn’t think it was a pre-requisite to have a specialist set piece coach.
“There are not so many (set piece) specialists out there that I think will be efficient,” he said. “You need to find the right man or woman to do it and if you’re going to do it there must be full buy-in - including from the manager - so that everyone accepts we are going to spend time and effort on this.
“I’m not sure every team needs to have one (a set-piece coach). I think every team needs to have a strong set-piece process. Whether you build that with your assistant or a specialist is not the key thing. There needs to be a thought-through process of how to improve it over time.”