Southampton manager Ronald Koeman and players Morgan Schneiderlin and Graziano Pelle have all been shortlisted for an award for September, here's why.
If you would have said that Southampton would be third in the Premier League after seven games this season, not a soul would have believed you. Since their record highest finish of eighth last season the squad has had a dramatic transformation, a transformation expected to be their downfall.
However new Dutch manager Ronald Koeman has come in and done an unbelievable job of rebuilding the Saints squad that looked in tatters during preseason. Ten players departed during the summer and Koeman brought in seven fresh faces, and surprisingly the squad seem to have just clicked straight away.
The former Feyenoord manager has rightly been included in the shortlist for the manager of the month award for September, and if you consider his record for the month he must be the hot favourite to win it.
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The Saints won every one of their four games in all competitions for September, and that included an League Cup tie against Arsenal. They were in fantastic form and had the best month of any club in the top-flight. Koeman is vying for the award alongside Jose Mourinho of Chelsea, Crystal Palace's Neil Warnock and ex-St Mary’s manager Nigel Pearson of newly-promoted Leicester.
It's not only the manager who is being recognised for how good Southampton have been but also two of their players have made it onto the shortlist for player of the month for September. French midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin has been very impressive so far this season despite tensions running high during preseason with the player reportedly wanting a move away from the club. New striking sensation Graziano Pelle has also being recognised for his good start to life in the Premier League.
Schneiderlin has bossed the centre of midfield for the club and contributed a goal himself during September. His teammate Pelle was causing defenders all kinds of problems during the month too, the striker signed from Feyenoord scored three goals in September and his form earned him his first call-up to the Italy squad.
They face equally competition just as strong as their manager though with with Leicester’s Leonardo Ulloa, Manchester United’s record signing Angel Di Maria, Crystal Palace skipper Mile Jedinak and Diafra Sakho of West Ham also in line for the award.