Koeman tells his Southampton players "If you don’t go for it, stay home".
Chelsea travel to Southampton this afternoon to face a Southampton side flying high in the Premie...
Chelsea travel to Southampton this afternoon to face a Southampton side flying high in the Premier League in yet another difficult game during the Christmas period. It's fourth versus first and Ronald Koeman has told his players to really go for it against us!
No one ever expected Southampton to do as well as they have this season after what appeared to be a mass exodus this past summer. With the likes of Chambers, Lallana, Lambert, Lovren and the manager all leaving, they became one of the favourites to struggle and face a relegation fight this season.
However, watching their first appearance under Koeman at Anfield on the opening weekend of the season, it became clear that the club had backed the new manager and had signed some really good players that fit into the playing style Koeman wanted.
Southampton started the season well and maintained their form at one stage sitting in second right behind Chelsea. Then, they suffered a blip and a run of consecutive games without a win but have got back to winning ways recently.
Speaking after two victories over Everton and Crystal Palace in their last two games, Koeman spoke of his desire for his team to play football rather than adopt a defensive approach again Jose Mourinho's men this afternoon.
“I believe in our way of playing and not to change the system, we try to do it our way.
We are dreaming a little bit now because we have a great position in the league. We had a difficult time after some defeats. We have now won two in a row, that’s important, game by game to do our best and what we like to do: play attractive football, offensive football. And go for it. But that means every game, not because our opponent is Chelsea or Manchester City. No, we go for it. That’s football and if you don’t go for it, stay home.”
Koeman and his side have to be commended for their approach and for the success they have had this season so far. With the likes of Arsenal and Liverpool struggling this season, they could make a real challenge for a Europa League place or even a Champions League place finishing fourth!
It will be interesting to see the team that Jose Mourinho sends out at Southampton this afternoon. He has said that no player will feature in ALL the games over this busy period and of the two we have played so far, there has been plenty who have.
Having played just two days ago, I can see a number of changes being made today but it's important we remain strong. Chelsea will need another performance on the same levels as we have seen against Stoke and West Ham if we are to take another three points this afternoon.
By the sounds of it, that's not going to be easy if Koeman has his way!
Come on Chelsea!