Ahead of Southampton’s Europa League tie against Vitesse, Ronald Koeman has stated he feels his former club has lost its way due to their connection with Chelsea.

  • By Michael Bell
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01 koemVitesse have loaned several youth players from Chelsea since their connection started in 2010, with four currently in Arnhem for the rest of this season. Koeman, who started his managerial career with Vitesse, believes the Premier League club’s influence is turning fans away.

Koeman said on his time with Vitesse “It was a great experience for me. It was my first club to be first-team manager.

“At that time, Vitesse was growing. It was two years because they got some problems with the chairman at that time and with the sponsor of the club.

“After that, the club was a little bit more down and now it’s in a new situation in the club because they have an owner who is connected to Chelsea.

“In my time, we played in front of 25,000 to 26,000 people every home game and now if they play against Ajax, PSV or Feyenoord, there is 20,000 or 22,000 maximum.

“Maybe the people lost a little bit of the connection, the feeling with the club, because it is not really like before. I don’t know. That’s from a distance.”

Koeman also added that he would find the club hard to manage now, “I didn’t have that at that time and I don’t know,”

“It looks like it is difficult, it looks difficult for the manager because you start every season with a new team and that’s difficult.

“It is difficult to have really the spirit in the team, I think, because all the young players come to play, but they still like to go back to Chelsea or even to play at a higher level.

“I don’t know if I can work in that. I don’t know.”

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