English Premiership

Koeman allows for dreamtime

2014-10-24 12:48
Ronald Koeman (Supplied)
Ronald Koeman (Supplied)

Southampton - After a career spent rubbing shoulders with soccer royalty nobody could accuse Ronald Koeman of being a dreamer but even the Dutchman allows himself a quiet smile when talk turns to little Southampton challenging for a Champions League spot.

The speculation was always likely, perhaps, once the Saints clambered up the Premier League to an early third spot, and it became inevitable after they smashed sorry Sunderland 8-0 last weekend.

Add to that mix Koeman winning Manager of the Month and his star striker Graziano Pelle scooping Player of the Month, and it blends a potent mix of hope and expectation, if not quite south coast hysteria.

"Dreaming is not bad," Koeman told reporters at St Mary's Stadium. "Because always you dream about the best and something nice and OK, we are in a good place now.

"But it cannot be a conclusion after eight games. It looks like Chelsea and Manchester City are the strongest but we will see.

"Yes, maybe there could be a surprise in the top four -- if you believe, everything is possible."

Koeman, a stalwart of the great Dutch sides of the 1980s and 90s, knows better than anyone, however, that belief alone won't win prizes.

Experience counts for a lot in the cut and thrust of England's top flight, and that is an area where Koeman has concerns.

"The difference is they have 24, 25 players already prepared to play Premier League," Koeman said of the big challengers, the Chelseas, Arsenals and Manchester clubs.

"And teams like Southampton don't have that. We have some young players. Maybe they will get the chance, but they don't have the experience and you're not sure about the level, the Premier League level, that is the difference."

Koeman has already identified one area where he would love to build some experience by making the loan signing of Chelsea left back Ryan Bertrand permanent.

Saints have the option to sign the player and Koeman said that if finances allow he would like to see Bertrand join full time.

"If we have the money, yes," he said. "If it's up to me, yes."

Southampton, third on 16 points after eight games, host 10th-placed Stoke City at St Mary's Stadium on Saturday.


What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

22 October 2016
Bournemouth v Tottenham Hotspur, Vitality Stadium 13:30
Arsenal v Middlesbrough, Emirates Stadium 16:00
Leicester City v Crystal Palace, King Power Stadium 16:00
Swansea City v Watford, Liberty Stadium 16:00
West Ham United v Sunderland, Olympic Stadium 16:00
Hull City v Stoke City, The KC Stadium 16:00
Burnley v Everton, Turf Moor 16:00
Liverpool v West Bromwich Albion, Anfield 18:30
23 October 2016
Manchester City v Southampton, Etihad Stadium 14:30
Chelsea v Manchester United, Stamford Bridge 17:00
29 October 2016
Sunderland v Arsenal, Stadium of Light 13:30
Manchester United v Burnley, Old Trafford 16:00
Middlesbrough v Bournemouth, Riverside Stadium 16:00
West Bromwich Albion v Manchester City, The Hawthorns 16:00
Watford v Hull City, Vicarage Road 16:00
Tottenham Hotspur v Leicester City, White Hart Lane 16:00
Crystal Palace v Liverpool, Selhurst Park 18:30
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team

Will Jose Mourinho lead Manchester United to the English Premiership title in 2016/17?

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


With the Absa Premiership in full swing, who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their title? Or can Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates or Bidvest Wits mount a serious challenge? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.