COMMENT: Great start for Koeman

Ronald Koeman

Ronald Koeman

First published in Sport Basingstoke Gazette: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Sports Writer

It’s about as good a start as Ronald Koeman could possibly have wished for.

The unveiling of the 2014/15 fixture list has dealt Saints exactly the kind of hand they would have been hoping for.

Last season everybody was saying that a decent opening ten fixtures gave Saints the perfect platform to push for their aim of European football.

The team took full advantage of a kind set of fixtures and stuck on the board a huge mass of points that played a large part in helping them to a historic season and an eighth placed Premier League finish.

Koeman, in what will be his first season in charge of Saints, would have been hoping for the same opportunity when the fixtures were released.

Granted the season gets off to a tricky start with an away game at Liverpool, though some would argue the opening day can be the best team to play such sides, but only one of the next 11 fixtures is against a team that finished above Saints last season.

And, with all due respect, that is only Tottenham, and there will be extra motivation anyway as Saints face up to former boss Mauricio Pochettino.

The other fixtures in that opening run provide a marvellous opportunity for Koeman to really establish himself and his style of football and to get off to a flyer.

It will be exactly what he needs to galvanise the players and fans behind him as Saints enter a new and exciting era under the Dutch legend.

He will certainly be hoping to take full advantage as from the end of November until midway through January is very tricky.

In the space of just nine games Saints face Arsenal twice, Manchester United twice, Manchester City and Chelsea. Even that run is bookended by away trips to Aston Villa and Newcastle, which are never easy, contains away trips to Burnley and Crystal Palace, and features a home game against Everton.

That nightmare spell though does get a lot of the tougher fixtures out of the way in one hit before a relatively kind run in.

Saints will hope there is not too much resting on the final day however as they travel to Manchester City for what could be a title decider.

Overall though Koeman will surely be pleased.

It’s about as good as he could have hoped.

Comments (25)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

9:22am Wed 18 Jun 14

Saint Jinx says...

A title decider - I would hope that we will have wrapped up the title by then!
A title decider - I would hope that we will have wrapped up the title by then! Saint Jinx
  • Score: 44

9:23am Wed 18 Jun 14

saintsfan76 says...

Wonder if MoPo will still be at Tottenham by the time we play them knowing Levy's record with managers!
Wonder if MoPo will still be at Tottenham by the time we play them knowing Levy's record with managers! saintsfan76
  • Score: 29

10:50am Wed 18 Jun 14

Mr. T says...

In the words of Kevin Keegan "I'd just love it" if AL and DL stick two fingers up to Liverpool and are still in SFC colours for the opening day fixture. On a side note would also love to see a return to the all time best saints strip of the Keegan era. Purely my opinion of course!
In the words of Kevin Keegan "I'd just love it" if AL and DL stick two fingers up to Liverpool and are still in SFC colours for the opening day fixture. On a side note would also love to see a return to the all time best saints strip of the Keegan era. Purely my opinion of course! Mr. T
  • Score: 18

10:56am Wed 18 Jun 14

costa gaz says...

Mr. T wrote:
In the words of Kevin Keegan "I'd just love it" if AL and DL stick two fingers up to Liverpool and are still in SFC colours for the opening day fixture. On a side note would also love to see a return to the all time best saints strip of the Keegan era. Purely my opinion of course!
Agree, that was the smartest of all our shirts, perhaps an updated version of it is being made as we speak.
[quote][p][bold]Mr. T[/bold] wrote: In the words of Kevin Keegan "I'd just love it" if AL and DL stick two fingers up to Liverpool and are still in SFC colours for the opening day fixture. On a side note would also love to see a return to the all time best saints strip of the Keegan era. Purely my opinion of course![/p][/quote]Agree, that was the smartest of all our shirts, perhaps an updated version of it is being made as we speak. costa gaz
  • Score: 11

12:00pm Wed 18 Jun 14

saint christopher says...

Not sure in practice how much benefit a supposedly "easier" set of fixtures is at the start.

Firstly, no fixture is easy. Any team can be hot or cold on the day, irrespective of individual players.

Secondly, whilst nice to have a better chance of getting points on the board, it could equally be argue that having a few less points gained at the expense of the better teams is actually better for one's dvelopment and confidence.

More to the point however I think we need to be looking at every match as a potential 3 points, irrespective of the opposition. Let other teams worry about us, not the other way round!
Not sure in practice how much benefit a supposedly "easier" set of fixtures is at the start. Firstly, no fixture is easy. Any team can be hot or cold on the day, irrespective of individual players. Secondly, whilst nice to have a better chance of getting points on the board, it could equally be argue that having a few less points gained at the expense of the better teams is actually better for one's dvelopment and confidence. More to the point however I think we need to be looking at every match as a potential 3 points, irrespective of the opposition. Let other teams worry about us, not the other way round! saint christopher
  • Score: 1

12:19pm Wed 18 Jun 14

jls217 says...

Saint Jinx wrote:
A title decider - I would hope that we will have wrapped up the title by then!
Just how does Manschitti propose to stop us. Answers on a postage stamp please.
[quote][p][bold]Saint Jinx[/bold] wrote: A title decider - I would hope that we will have wrapped up the title by then![/p][/quote]Just how does Manschitti propose to stop us. Answers on a postage stamp please. jls217
  • Score: 4

12:59pm Wed 18 Jun 14

Malcombe says...

There's no easy game in the Premiership, last season Saints had to work hard for everything against all the teams Cardiff is an example also WBA and Crystal Palace nothing can be taken for granted, Premiership Managers are intelligent and very wise working on tactics to ensure a win, many who post on here agree that Saints didn't have a plan B last season that Managers need to combat different formats and style of play of the opposition, a solid defence and midfield and Strikers with natural speed is very crucial in this modern day Football that has become exciting to watch even as neutrals.

IMO Ronald Koeman and Potchettino will be as difference as Chalk & Cheese with tactics because Ronald has more experience and will have several plans to try and win games, he will make changes throughout a game to stop all threats when on the defence to turn a game into offence, all the Supporters have very good reasons to be excited and with more good news to come before the first game COYR
There's no easy game in the Premiership, last season Saints had to work hard for everything against all the teams Cardiff is an example also WBA and Crystal Palace nothing can be taken for granted, Premiership Managers are intelligent and very wise working on tactics to ensure a win, many who post on here agree that Saints didn't have a plan B last season that Managers need to combat different formats and style of play of the opposition, a solid defence and midfield and Strikers with natural speed is very crucial in this modern day Football that has become exciting to watch even as neutrals. IMO Ronald Koeman and Potchettino will be as difference as Chalk & Cheese with tactics because Ronald has more experience and will have several plans to try and win games, he will make changes throughout a game to stop all threats when on the defence to turn a game into offence, all the Supporters have very good reasons to be excited and with more good news to come before the first game COYR Malcombe
  • Score: 11

1:02pm Wed 18 Jun 14

SPIKEISLANDTRADER says...

Silence the KOP , In the best possible way . Rickie , you will be watching your old team Ssssssssssssssssssss
sscore
Silence the KOP , In the best possible way . Rickie , you will be watching your old team Ssssssssssssssssssss sscore SPIKEISLANDTRADER
  • Score: 5

1:13pm Wed 18 Jun 14

Saint Jamie says...

Tell us what its like to be Pompey! Tell us what its like to be poor! You sacked Whittingham we signed Ronnie Koeman!! Ronnie Koeman!!
😂
Tell us what its like to be Pompey! Tell us what its like to be poor! You sacked Whittingham we signed Ronnie Koeman!! Ronnie Koeman!! 😂 Saint Jamie
  • Score: 8

1:23pm Wed 18 Jun 14

2getheras1 says...

costa gaz wrote:
Mr. T wrote:
In the words of Kevin Keegan "I'd just love it" if AL and DL stick two fingers up to Liverpool and are still in SFC colours for the opening day fixture. On a side note would also love to see a return to the all time best saints strip of the Keegan era. Purely my opinion of course!
Agree, that was the smartest of all our shirts, perhaps an updated version of it is being made as we speak.
Yep, I agree too. That strip was firkin excellent!! Would love to see a similar style worn at St Marys.
[quote][p][bold]costa gaz[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Mr. T[/bold] wrote: In the words of Kevin Keegan "I'd just love it" if AL and DL stick two fingers up to Liverpool and are still in SFC colours for the opening day fixture. On a side note would also love to see a return to the all time best saints strip of the Keegan era. Purely my opinion of course![/p][/quote]Agree, that was the smartest of all our shirts, perhaps an updated version of it is being made as we speak.[/p][/quote]Yep, I agree too. That strip was firkin excellent!! Would love to see a similar style worn at St Marys. 2getheras1
  • Score: 4

1:27pm Wed 18 Jun 14

Mr. T says...

costa gaz wrote:
Mr. T wrote:
In the words of Kevin Keegan "I'd just love it" if AL and DL stick two fingers up to Liverpool and are still in SFC colours for the opening day fixture. On a side note would also love to see a return to the all time best saints strip of the Keegan era. Purely my opinion of course!
Agree, that was the smartest of all our shirts, perhaps an updated version of it is being made as we speak.
Who made the Norwich strip last season? Would look awesome in red and white. And Rank Xerox as sponsor would finish it off perfectly. Away strip back to the two tone blue but same design as the home...wishful thinking!
[quote][p][bold]costa gaz[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Mr. T[/bold] wrote: In the words of Kevin Keegan "I'd just love it" if AL and DL stick two fingers up to Liverpool and are still in SFC colours for the opening day fixture. On a side note would also love to see a return to the all time best saints strip of the Keegan era. Purely my opinion of course![/p][/quote]Agree, that was the smartest of all our shirts, perhaps an updated version of it is being made as we speak.[/p][/quote]Who made the Norwich strip last season? Would look awesome in red and white. And Rank Xerox as sponsor would finish it off perfectly. Away strip back to the two tone blue but same design as the home...wishful thinking! Mr. T
  • Score: 2

2:18pm Wed 18 Jun 14

saintbobby says...

So new keeper is being sought and a striker or two.

Reckon that's cracked it - keep 'em out and stick 'em in! Should get a few more 3 pointers or draws at least. If that happens the last game could be a decider, especially as Saints will dazzle the opposition in their returning stripes.

Oh! I do hope so. Welcome Ron. Up the Saints.
So new keeper is being sought and a striker or two. Reckon that's cracked it - keep 'em out and stick 'em in! Should get a few more 3 pointers or draws at least. If that happens the last game could be a decider, especially as Saints will dazzle the opposition in their returning stripes. Oh! I do hope so. Welcome Ron. Up the Saints. saintbobby
  • Score: 1

2:22pm Wed 18 Jun 14

andygoater1957 says...

We do not like two tone blue please.
We do not like two tone blue please. andygoater1957
  • Score: 4

4:43pm Wed 18 Jun 14

Fatty x Ford Worker says...

What playing the Diddy,Men we shall ave to give them a good Stuffing again and also tell Boss Eyed we are the Priemer Port up Everton!
What playing the Diddy,Men we shall ave to give them a good Stuffing again and also tell Boss Eyed we are the Priemer Port up Everton! Fatty x Ford Worker
  • Score: 0

5:02pm Wed 18 Jun 14

c u lateron says...

Mr. T wrote:
costa gaz wrote:
Mr. T wrote:
In the words of Kevin Keegan "I'd just love it" if AL and DL stick two fingers up to Liverpool and are still in SFC colours for the opening day fixture. On a side note would also love to see a return to the all time best saints strip of the Keegan era. Purely my opinion of course!
Agree, that was the smartest of all our shirts, perhaps an updated version of it is being made as we speak.
Who made the Norwich strip last season? Would look awesome in red and white. And Rank Xerox as sponsor would finish it off perfectly. Away strip back to the two tone blue but same design as the home...wishful thinking!
over the last 4 years the black away kit has been the luckiest, shame we got to wait till April for mopo return
[quote][p][bold]Mr. T[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]costa gaz[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Mr. T[/bold] wrote: In the words of Kevin Keegan "I'd just love it" if AL and DL stick two fingers up to Liverpool and are still in SFC colours for the opening day fixture. On a side note would also love to see a return to the all time best saints strip of the Keegan era. Purely my opinion of course![/p][/quote]Agree, that was the smartest of all our shirts, perhaps an updated version of it is being made as we speak.[/p][/quote]Who made the Norwich strip last season? Would look awesome in red and white. And Rank Xerox as sponsor would finish it off perfectly. Away strip back to the two tone blue but same design as the home...wishful thinking![/p][/quote]over the last 4 years the black away kit has been the luckiest, shame we got to wait till April for mopo return c u lateron
  • Score: 2

5:02pm Wed 18 Jun 14

c u lateron says...

Mr. T wrote:
costa gaz wrote:
Mr. T wrote:
In the words of Kevin Keegan "I'd just love it" if AL and DL stick two fingers up to Liverpool and are still in SFC colours for the opening day fixture. On a side note would also love to see a return to the all time best saints strip of the Keegan era. Purely my opinion of course!
Agree, that was the smartest of all our shirts, perhaps an updated version of it is being made as we speak.
Who made the Norwich strip last season? Would look awesome in red and white. And Rank Xerox as sponsor would finish it off perfectly. Away strip back to the two tone blue but same design as the home...wishful thinking!
over the last 4 years the black away kit has been the luckiest, shame we got to wait till April for mopo return
[quote][p][bold]Mr. T[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]costa gaz[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Mr. T[/bold] wrote: In the words of Kevin Keegan "I'd just love it" if AL and DL stick two fingers up to Liverpool and are still in SFC colours for the opening day fixture. On a side note would also love to see a return to the all time best saints strip of the Keegan era. Purely my opinion of course![/p][/quote]Agree, that was the smartest of all our shirts, perhaps an updated version of it is being made as we speak.[/p][/quote]Who made the Norwich strip last season? Would look awesome in red and white. And Rank Xerox as sponsor would finish it off perfectly. Away strip back to the two tone blue but same design as the home...wishful thinking![/p][/quote]over the last 4 years the black away kit has been the luckiest, shame we got to wait till April for mopo return c u lateron
  • Score: 1

6:45pm Wed 18 Jun 14

NC Fan4Life says...

DANGEROUS START
The first 12 games are about as easy as we could get but if we don't hit the ground running our season will fall flat.
This means keeping the current squad together (except Osvaldo) and getting in the 4 or 5 top new targets BEFORE preseason friendlies to get them settled in. We will need to win most of those first 12 if we are to push for Europe otherwise our season will fall flat.
Therefore Les you need to keep busy and sign the new players early.
My suggested top targets for the 4 needed positions are:-
One Goalkeeper - Forster from Celtic; or Reddy from Norwich; or Marshall from Cardiff.
One Centerback - Caulker from Cardiff; or Van Dijk from Celtic; or the best of Feyenoord's World Cup Dutch centerbacks
(Ron will know which one is best).
Striker or two, one tall + one fast - Lukaku; or Benteke; or Bony; or Ba plus an Italian in part exchange for Osvaldo; or Hernandez etc
Plus a pacy, good crosser, goalscoreing Winger.
DANGEROUS START The first 12 games are about as easy as we could get but if we don't hit the ground running our season will fall flat. This means keeping the current squad together (except Osvaldo) and getting in the 4 or 5 top new targets BEFORE preseason friendlies to get them settled in. We will need to win most of those first 12 if we are to push for Europe otherwise our season will fall flat. Therefore Les you need to keep busy and sign the new players early. My suggested top targets for the 4 needed positions are:- One Goalkeeper - Forster from Celtic; or Reddy from Norwich; or Marshall from Cardiff. One Centerback - Caulker from Cardiff; or Van Dijk from Celtic; or the best of Feyenoord's World Cup Dutch centerbacks (Ron will know which one is best). Striker or two, one tall + one fast - Lukaku; or Benteke; or Bony; or Ba plus an Italian in part exchange for Osvaldo; or Hernandez etc Plus a pacy, good crosser, goalscoreing Winger. NC Fan4Life
  • Score: 4

7:13pm Wed 18 Jun 14

NC Fan4Life says...

Looks like Jay Rod is the first player to meet the Koeman Bros !!

GREAT PHOTOS on Saints Official site
Looks like Jay Rod is the first player to meet the Koeman Bros !! GREAT PHOTOS on Saints Official site NC Fan4Life
  • Score: 1

8:40pm Wed 18 Jun 14

Rank Xerox says...

Mr. T wrote:
In the words of Kevin Keegan "I'd just love it" if AL and DL stick two fingers up to Liverpool and are still in SFC colours for the opening day fixture. On a side note would also love to see a return to the all time best saints strip of the Keegan era. Purely my opinion of course!
Ranx Xerox kit was the best
[quote][p][bold]Mr. T[/bold] wrote: In the words of Kevin Keegan "I'd just love it" if AL and DL stick two fingers up to Liverpool and are still in SFC colours for the opening day fixture. On a side note would also love to see a return to the all time best saints strip of the Keegan era. Purely my opinion of course![/p][/quote]Ranx Xerox kit was the best Rank Xerox
  • Score: 1

8:53pm Wed 18 Jun 14

Basildonsaint says...

Rank Xerox......... its just a copy.
Rank Xerox......... its just a copy. Basildonsaint
  • Score: 4

9:10pm Wed 18 Jun 14

saintregor says...

saintsfan76 wrote:
Wonder if MoPo will still be at Tottenham by the time we play them knowing Levy's record with managers!
long gone and if the gas works go we will be able to sit in row xxx in the northam stand lol coyr
[quote][p][bold]saintsfan76[/bold] wrote: Wonder if MoPo will still be at Tottenham by the time we play them knowing Levy's record with managers![/p][/quote]long gone and if the gas works go we will be able to sit in row xxx in the northam stand lol coyr saintregor
  • Score: 4

9:46pm Wed 18 Jun 14

Mr. T says...

Rank Xerox wrote:
Mr. T wrote:
In the words of Kevin Keegan "I'd just love it" if AL and DL stick two fingers up to Liverpool and are still in SFC colours for the opening day fixture. On a side note would also love to see a return to the all time best saints strip of the Keegan era. Purely my opinion of course!
Ranx Xerox kit was the best
I had the Air Florida kit at school...happy days
[quote][p][bold]Rank Xerox[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Mr. T[/bold] wrote: In the words of Kevin Keegan "I'd just love it" if AL and DL stick two fingers up to Liverpool and are still in SFC colours for the opening day fixture. On a side note would also love to see a return to the all time best saints strip of the Keegan era. Purely my opinion of course![/p][/quote]Ranx Xerox kit was the best[/p][/quote]I had the Air Florida kit at school...happy days Mr. T
  • Score: 2

11:22pm Wed 18 Jun 14

jls217 says...

Could someone please explain why the kit has to be kept top secret?
I can only think it must be kept that way so that the shop can be fully stocked with official merchandise to give them a head start on knock offs at the markets etc.
Are there other reasons?

Red and white stripes in any form on the top
Black shorts
Socks not fussed.
Could someone please explain why the kit has to be kept top secret? I can only think it must be kept that way so that the shop can be fully stocked with official merchandise to give them a head start on knock offs at the markets etc. Are there other reasons? Red and white stripes in any form on the top Black shorts Socks not fussed. jls217
  • Score: 1

3:28pm Thu 19 Jun 14

localnews says...

NC Fan4Life wrote:
DANGEROUS START
The first 12 games are about as easy as we could get but if we don't hit the ground running our season will fall flat.
This means keeping the current squad together (except Osvaldo) and getting in the 4 or 5 top new targets BEFORE preseason friendlies to get them settled in. We will need to win most of those first 12 if we are to push for Europe otherwise our season will fall flat.
Therefore Les you need to keep busy and sign the new players early.
My suggested top targets for the 4 needed positions are:-
One Goalkeeper - Forster from Celtic; or Reddy from Norwich; or Marshall from Cardiff.
One Centerback - Caulker from Cardiff; or Van Dijk from Celtic; or the best of Feyenoord's World Cup Dutch centerbacks
(Ron will know which one is best).
Striker or two, one tall + one fast - Lukaku; or Benteke; or Bony; or Ba plus an Italian in part exchange for Osvaldo; or Hernandez etc
Plus a pacy, good crosser, goalscoreing Winger.
Sounds like your convinced we're selling the whole squad seeing as you've a pointed out we need virtually half a team LOL
[quote][p][bold]NC Fan4Life[/bold] wrote: DANGEROUS START The first 12 games are about as easy as we could get but if we don't hit the ground running our season will fall flat. This means keeping the current squad together (except Osvaldo) and getting in the 4 or 5 top new targets BEFORE preseason friendlies to get them settled in. We will need to win most of those first 12 if we are to push for Europe otherwise our season will fall flat. Therefore Les you need to keep busy and sign the new players early. My suggested top targets for the 4 needed positions are:- One Goalkeeper - Forster from Celtic; or Reddy from Norwich; or Marshall from Cardiff. One Centerback - Caulker from Cardiff; or Van Dijk from Celtic; or the best of Feyenoord's World Cup Dutch centerbacks (Ron will know which one is best). Striker or two, one tall + one fast - Lukaku; or Benteke; or Bony; or Ba plus an Italian in part exchange for Osvaldo; or Hernandez etc Plus a pacy, good crosser, goalscoreing Winger.[/p][/quote]Sounds like your convinced we're selling the whole squad seeing as you've a pointed out we need virtually half a team LOL localnews
  • Score: 2

3:39pm Thu 19 Jun 14

jls217 says...

Tell Skiverpool they can have Osvaldo for Borini or Lallana for 25m with at least 20 of it up front and Borini but only as long as they take Osvaldo of our pay roll.

It's a shame because we never really got to see him at his best. This is what happens when you get confused about being a footballer or a brawler though.
Tell Skiverpool they can have Osvaldo for Borini or Lallana for 25m with at least 20 of it up front and Borini but only as long as they take Osvaldo of our pay roll. It's a shame because we never really got to see him at his best. This is what happens when you get confused about being a footballer or a brawler though. jls217
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree