The hot story ahead of Liverpool's trip to St. Mary's Stadium to face Southampton this weekend is the return home for three Southampton fan favorites. Adam Lallana, Rickie Lambert, and Dejan Lovren all left the coastal club last summer to join Liverpool, netting the team nearly £50 million along the way. Despite many fans' excitement over seeing the players again, Southampton's manager doesn't really seem to care.
"I don't talk about players who are coming back to the club where they played last season," a brusque Ronald Koeman told the media on Friday. "[If I did] then I can talk every week about a player who comes back to Southampton. [...] My question is to prepare the team for the Sunday game."
Even talking about former captain Adam Lallana, who helped lead the team in a charge up the English league pyramid from League One up to the Premier League in just a couple of years, could pique Koeman's interest. "Lallana is a very good player, doing well in Liverpool," Koeman said, clearly irritated at the line of questioning. "He chose to change the club after a good opportunity and nothing else. It is Southampton against Liverpool, not Southampton against some players who played last season for Southampton."
Koeman apparently ignored eight more questions about the Liverpool trio and accused one reporter of being Lovren and Lallana's agent before Southampton's press officer told the gathered reporters to move on to other topics.
Look, Koeman isn't entirely wrong. These three aren't his players, and since this is his first season at St. Mary's, they never were. But he didn't have to be a jerk about the whole affair, especially in light of the fact that all three players - especially Lallana and Lambert - were beloved by Southampton fans for helping get the club from the depths of despair to the strong team they are today.
Hopefully at least one of these three players gets a chance to show Koeman just how wrong he was to ignore their return on Sunday.
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