As a player, Jan Poortvliet was an integral part of the Johan Cruyff-inspired era of "Total Football", a right-back who learnt all about interchanging positions and the need for support play.
Poortvliet played the whole 90 minutes, plus extra time, of the 1978 World Cup final and although the Netherlands lost out to the hosts, Argentina, on that memorable ticker-tape occasion in Buenos Aires, the legacy they left behind earned a unique place in the annals of the game.
Now, 30 years on, Poortvliet is trying to do the same as manager of Southampton, a worthy attempt to create an adventurous style of play that is wonderful on the eye but is inherently risky in the ultra-competitive, often over-physical English Championship.
"I want to play by pressurising the opponent but to do that, you need to win games in order to gain confidence," said Poortvliet after Saints' thoroughly deserved first three points of the season. "I know how physical this division can be but there is always a time in every match that you have some space. They told me these boys were good players. It is up to me to get the best out of them."
Boys is the operative word. Only in goal and at central defence did Southampton have any experience but they were so superior to Derby, David McGoldrick could have had four in addition to the 56th-minute effort that won the game.
Paul Jewell was sickened by his team's display and could not bear to face the media. Rumours abound that Jewell, whose side have now gone 35 League games without a win stretching back to their woeful flirtation with the Premier League, will lose his job unless maximum points are secured at Barnsley next weekend.
It was left to his assistant, Chris Hutchins, to explain what has gone wrong after 14 new faces arrived in the summer to fire the effort to go straight back up. "It takes time to gel but good players settle in quickly and they let themselves and the fans down," Hutchins said. "We've got a Carling Cup game on Tuesday and some players could be asked to give up their shirts."
Goal: McGoldrick (58) 0-1.
Derby (4-4-2) Carroll; Mears, Davis (Leacock, 46), Albrechtsen,McEveley; Commons, Savage, Green, Davies (Barazite, 46); Hulse (Ellington, 60), Villa. Substitutes not used: Bywater (gk), Kazmierczak.
Southampton (4-4-2) Davis; James (Cork, 71), Perry, Svensson, Surman; White (Wotton, 67), Gillett, Schneiderlin, Holmes (John, 84); Lallana, McGoldrick. Substitutes not used: Bialkowski, Dyer.
Referee: G Laws (Tyne & Wear).
Booked: Southampton Svensson.
Man of the match: McGoldrick.
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