Southampton’s manager and top scorer have been rewarded for their impressive start to the Premier League season, as Ronald Koeman and Graziano Pelle picked up the Manager and Player of the month awards for September.
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Koeman, 51, took charge of Saints in the summer and the St Mary’s club are currently in third-place in the PL Standings with four wins from their opening seven games.
The Dutch coach, who left Feyenoord to move to England, has been a revelation since arriving in the PL as the former FC Barcelona and Ajax defender has helped steady the ship at Southampton after a summer of turmoil threatened to derail their rapid progress. Saints lost manager Mauricio Pochettino plus star players Luke Shaw, Adam Lallana, Rickie Lambert and others but Koeman brought in several top quality replacements including Pelle, 29, who joined him from Feyenoord for $13 million.
The Italian international striker scored three goals, including an incredible goal of the season contender for the game-winner vs. QPR, as Saints won all three of their matches in September. It has been a dream week for Pelle, as he made his full international debut for Italy on Monday and scored the winning goal against Malta in a European qualifier.
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With Saints surprising everyone at the start of the season, after many pundits tipped them to be battling it out for relegation, Koeman and Pelle have been rewarded for a stunning start to the 2014-15 campaign as the Saints have marched on.
So, Southampton’s incredible story continues and their Dutch manager and star striker are keen to enjoy these accolades, but are focused on achieving even more.
“We had a great month, which was maybe unexpected for a lot of people and maybe that’s had an influence on this prize,” Koeman told Saintsfc.co.uk. “Everybody was a little afraid before the season, but we’ve done a great job – all of the coaches and the technical staff, and all of the people at the club. This means a lot, and now we have to take the next step. It’s now October, and September is behind us.”