During this off-season, I thought it would be good for me to go out there and talk to a fan of every Premier League club. I wanted to get their insight on how things went last season, what they are looking forward to in the transfer market and how they thought next season was going to go for them. This whole series, you will be able to find here.
For this interview , I “sat down” with Saints News & Views, “Eight years ago I was going to study journalism at university, and I decided to set up the page because at the time there were very few Southampton fan orientated accounts and I wanted to change that. Ever since it’s been a pleasure to run, and I really hope people enjoy the platform and see it as a place to find up to date news on the club, and as a medium for discussion and debate for all things Southampton Football Club”
So, with that said, let’s get on with the interview:
Millsy: Do you think that Southampton will be able to hold on to Danny Ings or do you see him leaving in the window? His turnaround in form has been incredible, I must say, I even tipped him for a possible Man United move!
SNAV: I always laugh when I hear football fans say their star player won’t be lured by a bigger club. Money talks, and quite frankly if any of us ‘normal folk’ were offered the same job at a different company for double the money we wouldn’t think twice about leaving – and it’s no different for footballers. Money talks, and if Southampton get a big money offer, £50m+ I think they’d consider it – that’s just the way we operate financially as a football club. HOWEVER, without going against what I said above, I do think Ings would think twice about walking away. He’s been there done that with a big club (Liverpool). Plus, he’s Southampton born and bred, adored by the fans, and the club’s star player – which for a striker towards the latter years of their career is hugely important.
Millsy: So, it’s fair to say you’re quite confident of keeping him then, what about the manager? With managers like Koeman and Pocchettino having come in and then moved on to bigger clubs, do you have that same worry with Ralph?
SNAV: Ralph signed a new four-year contract in June, which keeps him at the club until 2024, which is brilliant news. If you look at his time at FC Ingolstadt 04 and RB Leipzig he usually doesn’t stay at a club for longer than 2-3 years. So for him to extend his stay by 4 years, it’s huge. He must see a lot of potential in the club and have confidence in his ability to take this team up the league.
Millsy: How do you think Southampton’s tactics would change, should Danny Ings be the man to leave? Would they be different, or would Che Adams just move into his role perhaps?
SNAV: Our tactics wouldn’t change. We don’t organise our team around Danny. That said, he fits the mould perfectly in terms of what Ralph wants in a striker – someone who will press, run their socks off, and work hard off the ball. Che has not had the season he would have hoped for, having banged 20+ goals in for Birmingham in the Championship the year before. But with 4 goals in his last 6, after not scoring all season, he gave us a glimpse of why we paid £15m+ for him in the summer. I think he has a lot to improve on, but with some hard work, I can see him really pushing on next year under Ralph.
Millsy: So, looking to next season, how do you think this squad will perform and what are your expectations for that? Is it aspirations for Europe or are you still focused on a nice, mid-table finish?
SNAV: I don’t think anyone ‘focuses’ on a mid-table finish – but I’d be happy with a top 10 spot at the end of next year. It would be nice to have a more consistent season where we don’t even flirt with relegation. I’m desperate to get back to the glory days of European nights at St Marys like we had under Koeman. Bring it on!
Millsy: Thank you again for agreeing to this interview and thank you for your insights, I hope you enjoyed it!
SNAV: It’s been a pleasure and have the opportunity to look forward to the new season.
So, that concludes the interview, thank you very much for reading andwe hope you enjoyed it. If you did enjoy reading it, you can find all other fan interviews conducted this post-season here, to check out what Saints News & Views are up to, you can visit their Twitter page here.
To see the rest of my interviews with Premier League fans, you can visit the page here.