Top 4 Prospects Coming Through The Best Academy In The World​.

In the summer of 2015, Southampton FC accumulated £71m by selling three of their brightest homegrown prospects. Since that window, 7 further academy graduates have been sold, but less than £700k raised. Have the previous 10 years been a purple patch of talent? Is championing youth still a pillar of ‘The Southampton Way’? We look at the 4 strongest prospects coming through today at Saints’ acclaimed Staplewood academy.

4. Yan Valery: Southampton snapped up the Parisian right back from Stade Rennais as a 15-year-old. This followed an impressive display against Arsenal’s U16’s at a youth tournament in France, beating off interest from Manchester City and Arsenal themselves. The full-back has moulded his game around Kyle Walker, combining strength and pace, while loving to get forward and fire crosses into the box. The French youth international has all the tools to become the perfect modern day full back.

 

3. Kornelius Hansen : Hansen joined Saints from Strømgodset at the beginning of the summer window and has already asserted himself as one of the top talents coming through at Staplewood. The 16-year-old Norwegian CAM has become a fixture in the Southampton U18 side, scoring twice already this season. Hansen played alongside Real Madrid’s wonderkid Martin Ødegaard at Strømgodset and his brother Kristoffer also plays football, in the Norwegian First Divison.

 

2. Christoph Klarer: The Austrian youth international joined Southampton from Rapid Wien in the summer of 2016, where he was coached by his father in the Austrian Giant’s U16 side. Klarer had a number of options to chose from when he decided to leave Vienna for one of Europe’s top leagues but was attracted to Southampton because of their history of developing players. The 6ft 4 centre-half prides himself on being very physical and good with the ball at his feet.

 

1. Kameron Ledwidge: A new face at Southampton’s Staplewood campus, having joined the club’s academy in June of this year, the Republic of Ireland under-17 international ticks all of the boxes for the modern attacking left-back. Strong, athletic and quick across the ground, he is comfortable coming forward with the ball at this feet. Formerly of St Kevin’s Boys in his native Dublin, he starred for his country in last season’s Victory Shield. He can also play in central defence and his versatility is considered as a further plus point.

 

 

 

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More Fanzine’s online now, along with Inter Ltd Edition…

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7,000 Saints fans will travel to Milan, for once of the most hightly anticipated fixtures in years…Why not make the trip equipped with OWTS, a brand new fanzine, written for the fans by the fans.

70 Ltd Edition Copies, will be up for grabs outside the San Siro,  but get your hands on a copy now, with very few being made available online now. Visit: http://www.owts.bigcartel.com to buy now.

OWTS FANZINE: Coming Soon

 

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After a summer of hundreds of emails, thousands of phone calls and over a million hours worth of YouTube tutorials, OWTS Fanzine is finally here.

All proceeds from Issue One will be donated to Southampton General Hospital’s Neurology ward. One of the leading neurological ward’s in the country and one that’s close to my heart and to many across the city too.

Issue one will launch online on Monday the 3rd of October, with an initial 200 copies. 100 in colour and 100 in black and white, before it will be availble to purchase outside the stadium at the Burnley and Chelsea games, as well as a Limited Edition 100 copies availble outside the San Siro, when Saints go head to head with Italian giants, Inter Milan on the 20th of October.

Inside the magazine, you will find the thoughts of Simon Peach, Chris Rann, Writer of Southampton blog, George Weah’s Cousin, as well as Glen de la Cour, Writer of League One Minus Ten.

Feel free to preorder the Zine today at: owts.bigcartel.com

Why Claude Puel’s record in France makes him perfect for Southampton’s long-sighted strategy.

puel 1

 ‘There’s not many good football managers around at the moment, is there?’

  Football management might seem an incestuous affair from the internal English perspective, but given that managers other than Roy Hodgson, Roberto Di Matteo and Tim Sherwood do actually exist, the notion of a lack of available managerial talent is clearly inaccurate.

This is clearly evidenced by ‘The Saints’s’ impressive ability to regularly and successfully replace their outgoing managers.

The latest posited arrival is expected to be the recently departed OCG Nice manager, Claude Puel. Manchester United supporters might remember Puel for an incident back in 2007. Puel, then Lille manager, appeared to encourage his players to leave the field of their Champion’s League tie with Manchester United, after Ryan Giggs had scored a goal from a quickly taken free-kick. This drew stern, if slightly amused, comments from Sir Alex Ferguson after the game – and served as a televised showcase of Puel’s passionate – if slightly misjudged, in this case – commitment to winning.

As a player– puel 3a defensive midfielder – Puel was a one-club player, spending his entire senior career at Monaco. It was here that he formed his ongoing relationship with Arsene Wenger, a key figure in his transition from player to coach. Arriving at Monaco in 1987, Wenger didn’t immediately take to Puel, initially unimpressed with his limited technical ability. Yet, Puel’s intense desire to win – since witnessed in his various managerial positions – eventually won Wenger over, and Puel became his faithful, on-field lieutenant, rallying and relaying, displaying a keen tactical nous.

As Puel reached the end of his playing career, Wenger encouraged the veteran to take on additional responsibilities at the club, and spend more time with the younger players and youth teams. Initially as a fitness coach, then, manager of the reserves, Puel transitioned into a full-time coaching role.

Having been coached by one of France’s best managers, he went on to coach one of France’s best players. As Puel took his first steps as a coach, so too did Thierry Henry as player

As fitness coach, Puel was key in developing Henry’s physique and athletic ability. At the time, Henry wasn’t seen as a striker, and as such, spent a great deal of time with Puel, labouring, training for a role on the wing. After a transfer to Real Madrid fell through, and a goal drought on the pitch, Henry felt alone at Monaco. In his autobiography, Henry recognised Puel, ahead of his manager, as the man who put him “back on track”.

After managing the senior team at Monaco, winning Ligue 1 in 2000, Puel had varyingly successful spells at Lille and Lyon. He found himself at Nice, in 2012, where his approach was met with quantifiable, deserving success. In 2014 the club finished 17th in Ligue 1, 2015; 11th, last season; fourth.

With a degree of such measurable improvement, it is difficult to deny Puel’s talent as a coach. So, how did he manage this?

As you’d expect from any Southampton target, Puel puts a great deal of emphasis in youth. His 2015/16 Nice squad had the lowest average age in all of Ligue 1, and, as you might imagine, Puel is also credited with handing the greatest number of appearances to his youth players, throughout the division.

With one of the smaller puel 2budgets in Ligue 1, this aspect of Puel’s management had been key to Nice’s recent success – a demonstration that the Frenchman can work within a confined budget.

Puel is well known in France for his fast paced, pressing game. A fan of passing (what defensive midfielder isn’t?), and versed in attacking fluidities, his overall style of play is similar to Mauricio Pochettino’s controlled chaos and frantic composure approach.

A dimension of his game likely to be adapted at Southampton is his penchant for two up-front – but beyond formation alterations, Puel fits the Saints’ ethos like particularly well fitting glove.

A potential spoke in the wheel of Puel’s transition into English football will be his lack of experience outside of France. At 54 years old, this will be the Frenchman’s first job outside of Ligue 1. So fiercely grooved to the pace of French football, there’s every chance he could be panting by January.

Having said that, his Champion’s League experience is key – not only for our ambitions to reach the highest stage of European football, but for widening the range of Puel’s own portfolio.

A lack of match winners at St Mary’s could be decidedly more of a problem. With Sadio Mane leaving today for Liverpool, the club are losing their most emphatic player. Mane made a tangible difference to Southampton’s ability to compete, as the best players so often do. Having managed Hatem Ben Arfa at Nice last season, Puel will know this only too well.

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Ben Arfa’s success at Nice reflects both positively and neutrally on Puel. Positively speaking, Puel is one of the few managers that Ben Arfa has not fallen out with in his career. The French manager entrusted Ben Arfa with responsibility, which was more than met, and suddenly, the forward was showing all the signs of that long-mentioned ‘genius’. His contribution to Nice’s season was significant, a sizeable deciding factor in their fourth placed finish, yet whilst Puel must take some of the credit for this, it can also reflect neutrally.

It should be noted that Ben Arfa sat out of football for six months before joining the French club. It’s arguable that this sobering experience was the influence that set him straight. Puel will be credited, but to what extent the Frenchman received Ben Arfa in the right place at the right time is debatable.
It’s clear that his contribution polished Nice’s achievement last season, adding the sheen to an impressive campaign. How much of this we can attribute to Puel is, again, arguable.

Having said all that, his profile is near-perfect for Southampton. His promotion of youth players, ability to work with a smaller budget, and philosophical approach gel seamlessly with Southampton’s specifications. Pressingly, who would doubt their acumen? It says something that the fans aren’t at all bemused by their club turning away Manuel Pellegrini in favour of an unknown French entity.

In the wake of Nigel Adkins, Mauricio Pochettino and Ronald Koeman, Claude Puel will predictably fill that default avatar vacancy with gusto. His appointment will be, predictably, met with warmth from the stands. And he will, predictably, continue the fine work of his predecessors, with the club ensuring that he moves in the same direction.

With Claude Puel at the helm, the accustomed and continued ascendency of the south coast, will go on.

 

Interview: Henry Winter

 

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It was once declared that Henry Winter had the most informed opinion on ‘The Beautiful Game’ in Britain. On first hearing, that may have surprised some, however when you see his multiple `Football Journalist Of The Year’ awards, the huge amount of caps he’s racked up on football topic shows and his mass twitter following (Now well over a million) you begin to realize what an important cog in the football machine, he is.

Winter has come from begging the Independent for a column to being one of the biggest signings of the transfer window. I sat down with Henry to discuss Southampton, The Liebherr’s and Fraser Forster, discover all below.

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OWTS: What are your thoughts on Southampton’s season so far? Has it been a successful one?

HW: I think it can be viewed as a success. Southampton have again defied expectation, are improving all the time and look to at least match last seasons 7th place finish.

OWTS: Ronald Koeman: Should he sign a new deal at Southampton/Will he sign a new deal at Southampton?

HW: Koeman is ambitious. His stock is high after what he’s done at Saints so its inevitable that he’ll be linked with bigger clubs. Saints would be wise to extend his current deal. Especially if the owner decides to sell the club because the buyer will want certainty in the dugout.

OWTS: Is he a realistic candidate for the Man Utd/ Chelsea/ Arsenal jobs?

HW: He won’t be anyones first choice. It really depends if Simeone, Allegri, etc. decide to stay on the Continent. It’s a possibility.

OWTS: Can Forster rival Hart, for a starting place at The Euros?

HW: No, I don’t think so. He’s not in Hart’s class. Realistically he will vie with Butland as Hart’s number two. Great to see so many English keepers playing well though.

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OWTS: Was Charlie Austin the best signing in January?

HW: Yes. For one touch against United alone. Austin proved himself as PL striker, in a QPR side that seriously struggled. At £4 Million, that’s a terrific signing.

OWTS: Can Southampton get a CL spot in the coming season, or is ‘high mid-table’ as good as it gets?

HW: Unlikely for me. Competition will be even more tough next season. 6th/7th/8th should still be viewed as successful though.

OWTS: What are your thoughts on the forever-rising ticket prices? Should they be capped? Is it a realistic proposition or are fans wasting their time?

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HW: Fans are everything to football. Without them, Atmospheres down, broadcasters concerned so makes sense for Premier League to tell clubs to cut away prices to £20. Protests work. Look at Liverpool over new home prices.

OWTS: As a journalist, how are Saints viewed?

HW: Good place to visit. I liked The Dell. Giggs told me it was one of his favorite away grounds because fans are on top of a winger. They’re a helpful club. Jordan (Sibley) is excellent.

giggs dell

OWTS: What’s Southampton’s biggest weakness?

HW: Southamptons future worries me. Will Liebherr sell? Probably. So uncertainty. Famously a very well run football club though, so a change in owner could be just what the club needs to break into the Champions League.

OWTS: What’s your fondest memory Saints?

HW: The 2003 FA Cup final at Cardiff (although Strachan picked the wrong team) when I met a couple of Saints fans in all the gear, face-paint, flags, etc. and asked them where their seats were. They replied ‘we could only get one ticket which we gave to our son but we didn’t want to miss the occasion’. Devotion.

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Interview: Simon Peach.

We all know that feeling, you’ve seen all the papers reporting it and all the pundits are talking about it, but in a day an age, where anyone can have an opinion, who do you trust? Well as a Southampton fan, you can’t get much more reliable than a Simon Peach tweet.

I sat down with the Saints fan, turned Press Association journalist to discuss Arnhem, Koeman and Jason Dodd. Enjoy.

koeman in arnhem

Thinking Time

OWTS: How have you rated the season so far? Would you say it’s one foot backwards to take two forward?

SP: No, I wouldn’t. Unlike the previous summer, the change of key players was not particularly smooth. The new additions are starting to settle now, though, and as Ronald Koeman himself has said on a number of occasions – the squad depth is better now. Saints finished seventh last term – they are in the same position right now. That shouldn’t be overlooked.

OWTS:  Does it become as tedious being a journalist as it is a fan, when hearing constant gossip around our players/managers futures?

JP: Whether it is good or bad for the club, my job is to cover news impartially so it does not bother me at all.

OWTS: What are your thoughts on Koeman not signing a new deal as of yet? Do you think he will actually look at it at the end of the season, or is he just following the Pochettino route?  Will he eventually sign a new deal?

The Charming Man

The Charming Man

SP: Well, if he is following the Pochettino route he will be off soon! My gut instinct when Koeman arrived was, if successful, he will see out his contract and then leave. Unless Barcelona come knocking in the summer, I suspect this would still be the outcome.

OWTS: Where does Southampton’s future lie? Is this (Our high, mid table status) as good as it gets, or is the CL realistic?

SP: Judging by this season, Champions League is possible if the club uses the increased television money wisely. The temptation to splurge will be heightened this summer, but if Saints can continue their recent sensible purchases then it could work well.

OWTS: How disappointing was it, to get knocked out of all the cups so early this season, especially Europa League.

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“Not another one”

SP: Everyone at the club will have been disappointed by that. Saints were unlucky to face a Liverpool side at the top of their game in the Capital One Cup, but the FA Cup and Europa League exits could have been avoided.

OWTS: Was the Charlie Austin signing, the best deal of the transfer window?

SP: Yes, in my opinion. A proven top-flight goalscorer, with doubters to confound, priced at just £4million? In this market, that is a great deal.

SP: Can January be viewed as a success?

Magical Stuff

Magical Stuff

SP: I think January was successful for the club. Austin was a great acquisition, strengthening an important area, and the club held onto their key players.

OWTS:  Has this been the best/most exciting Premier League season ever?

SP: Best? Possibly. Most exciting? Yes. Leicester were tipped to go down by nearly everybody – myself included – and they are leading by five points with 13 matches remaining. It is remarkable.

OWTS: At any point during the club’s poor form, through Nov/Dec, did you think relegation was a realistic possibility?

arnhem

Happy Days

SP: There were a few concerning displays but there were always three worse teams in the Premier League.

OWTS: Finally Simon, What’s your best memory as a Saints fan?

 

SP: Tough one. I enjoyed Jason Dodd scoring directly from a corner against Portsmouth, but not as much as seeing Saints beat Watford to reach the FA Cup final earlier in the year. The trip to Arnhem was pretty memorable, too.

 

The SOSCAR’s

It’s awards season, The BAFTA’s, The BRIT Awards and Crufts all take place in the space of a few short weeks. One award however, eclipses them all. Next month the 86th academy awards will take place at The Dolby Theatre, on Hollywood Boulevard. Some of the worlds most well known faces, will gather for all of 200 minutes, of red carpet interviews, dodgy acceptance speeches and that really awkward moment when the losers applaud the winners.

Here at “OhWhenTheSaints.org” however we felt that that we’d do something for those who were more of the footballing persuasion rather than the film buff persuasion. So here come the 3rd “Soscar” awards. We have 5 awards to present tonight, for best original score (best goal), Best foreign language (Player), (Player) in leading role and Best Short (Performance.)

Robbie's questionable outfit for the evening.

Robbie’s questionable outfit for the evening.

Firstly however here comes Robbie Savage to present the first award of the night. (Player with) Best Haircut and Makeup.

The nominee’s for tonight’s award are:

Virgil Van Dijk

Graziano Pellè

Oriol Romeu (Controversially)

Just look at that bun.

Just look at that bun…

And the Soscar goes too…Graziano Pelle! There was only every going to be one winner here. We all know that feeling of invincibility after leaving the barbers with a fresh trim, but no one will ever come close to matching Graziano Pelle’s barnet. Now for the award, for Best Original Score (/Goal), please welcome Hassan Kachoul.

The Nominees are:

James Ward Prowse (Vs WBA)

Graziano Pelle (Vs Chelsea)

Cuco Martina (Vs Arsenal)

And the Soscar goes too…Cuco Martina! The fullback’s swerving strike, to give Saints the lead against Arsenal, was a real thunderbolt strike and one that’ll live in the memory of many. Now for the award for Best Foreign Language (Saint) here’s 2014’s winner Mauricio Pochettino to present the award.

The Nominee’s are:

Sadio Manè

Maya Yoshida

Victor Wanyama

What a player.

What a player.

And the Soscar goes too…Sadio Manè! The Senegalese speedster is arguably the best player in the Saints camp at the moment, if he could finish properly, he’d be a £50m player. Rather glad he can’t though, because it means he’ll probably stay here a bit longer. Next up is the penultimate award of the evening. It’s (Player) in a leading role award, here’s Vegard Forren to present it.

The Nominee’s are:

Sadio Mane

Morgan Schniderlin

Jose Fonte

Captain. Leader. Legend.

Captain. Leader. Legend.

And the Soscar goes too…Jose Fonte! Reliable, Consistent, Loyal: Three characteristics you look for in a captain and Fonte fits the role perfectly, in the last 4 years his regular CB pair has changed each season, but Fonte gets on with it consistently producing good performances. Southampton have conceded less goals than anyone else in the last 3 years and he’s why. Now Ladies and Gentleman, for our final award of the evening. It’s Best Short (Performance). The nominees are.

Charlie Austin

Dusan Tadic

James Ward Prowse

And the Soscar goes too… Charlie Austin! How couldn’t I? The new signing comes on at Old Trafford with 10 minutes to go and wins the game for us at the death. Magical stuff.

Magical Stuff

Magical Stuff

So, that concludes the third annual Soscar’s. We’ve had a great time! Have you? Like, subscribe and show all your friends! TB

5 Players Saints Could Target Whose Contract’s Expire in July.

A young Zlatan.

A young Zlatan.

At Southampton we are all to used to the controversy and media attention that surround our players and their contracts and this season is no different. With stories currently flying about the contracts of, Victor Wanyama, Graziano Pellè, Sadio Mane and Ronald Koeman, why not treat yourself and  instead consider the contractual situations of different players at different clubs, who Southampton could/have show(n) interest in.

5. Rolando Aarons

Rolando Aarons

The Kingston born speedster broke through into the first team at Newcastle early last season, following an impressive pre-season. However after he made his intentions not to sign a new deal with the magpies clear, the player was banished to the reserves. Aarons operates on the outside of midfield or as a winger, usually on the left side. He is left-footed and known for his fleet of foot and technical ability. He has been compared to Manchester City winger Raheem Sterling due to his exciting playing style. Although Aarons is far from the finished article, he looks like he has potential and for free you’d be mad to turn your nose up at the prospect.

4. Adam Johnson

With Sunderland’s Premier League status coming into question, again, this season and Johnson one of the top earners on Wearside, you can see why both parties are hesitant to extend Johnson’s deal further, but the bottom line is that this boy can play. He may currently find an enormous grey cloud looming over his personal life, but with twice as many assists as any other player so far in 2016, for free the winger would represent a real bargain.

3. Nick Powell

MILTON KEYNES, ENGLAND - AUGUST 26: Nick Powell of Manchester United in action during the Capital One Cup second round match between MK Dons and Manchester United at Stadium mk on August 26, 2014 in Milton Keynes, England. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

Powell was signed back in 2012 from Crewe Alexandra and was tipped to be that old cliché ‘the next big thing’. But so far has made little of an impression. He spent a successful loan spell in The Championship with Wigan last season, playing in Europe with the Latics following there famous FA Cup win, but upon his return, he was simply served another loan move, this time to Leicester, However this was cut short after he failed to impress Nigel Pearson.

Although Powell was a shock inclusion in United’s Champions League squad, he’s played just 6 minutes of Football this season and has found himself at a cross roads with it looking unlikely that United will renew his current deal, should Saints take a gamble on the talented teen, who just seems to have fallen into the same category as Scott Sinclair and Jack Rodwell, who seemed to have exciting careers ahead of them before they sold they’re soul for endorsements and more money, at big clubs forcing them to rebuild they’re slowly dying careers with Premier League strugglers. For free it’s definitely worth it.

2. Nicolas Nkoulou

nkoulou-nicholas

The talented Marseille CB has been on the radar of many PL clubs for a while as Marseille look set to lose another key player for free, as Nkoulou follows in the footsteps of both Andre Ayew and Andre-Pierre Gignac, who ran they’re contracts down and left for free when they’re contracts expired. The Cameroonian came through the same academy that produced arguably Africa’s greatest ever footballer: Samuel Eto’o and with Jose Fonte now 32 is it now time to look to the future and replace him with a young exciting Centre Back, like Nkoulou

1. Zlatan Ibrahimovic

zlatan

Now we can all dream can’t we? With Zlatan out of contract at the end of the season with PSG and uncertainty surrounding the futures of Pelle and Long, is it time for Zlatan to make up for the biggest missed opportunity of his career to date and join up with the Saints? Some of you will probably be in the dark about this but back in 2002 when Ibra was at Ajax, he was given the opportunity to join the Saints, but in his 2012 book “I AM ZLATAN” when told by his agent of interest from the club, he reacted by saying: ” What the f*ck is Southampton! Southampton! Is that my level!? F*cking Southampton!? Still Le Tissier, Pahars and Ibrahimovic would have been quite a strike force.

Charlie Austin: “Exactly what the doctor ordered?”

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 27: Charlie Austin of QPR celebrates scoring their first goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Southampton and Queens Park Rangers at St Mary's Stadium on September 27, 2014 in Southampton, England.  (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

This weekend Southampton announced the signing of striker Charlie Austin, from QPR. It’s no secret that Austin sent shockwaves, across the Premier League last season after scoring 18 goals, proving what a good player he is, whilst earning himself an England call up at the same time. Austin epitomises the phrase “Goalscorer” whilst he record speaks for itself, it must be recognised that Austin has been playing in a team that’s struggled in recent years, and has still found ways of consistently sticking the ball in the back of the net.

Austin

Many have compared the Austin signing to the signing of Rickie Lambert, due to the similar Non-League backgrounds theyshare, the fact they both started fairly late in terms of their footballing careers, as well as there humble second jobs, with  Austin working as a bricklayer and Lambert famously working in a beetroot factory.

In a deal that seemed to suit all parties involved, can Austin be the catalyst that helps ignite Southampton’s, so-far, underwhelming season? We sat down with Jack  from QPR fansite “The Blue and The White”  to discuss Southampton’s signing of Charlie Austin.

Austin playing for Poole Town in 2008.

Austin playing for Poole Town in 2008.

OWTS: It’s no secret that Hull City rejected Austin after failing a medical ahead of a proposed move to the club. How’s his injury record been with QPR and in particular have there been issues with the right knee. Should that be a worry for Saints fans?knee

TBATW: Not in terms of the knee he failed his medical for. Charlie had 3 months out with a shoulder problem in his first season but that’s been it. Gets the odd muscular injury but no more often than normal.

OWTS: Austin has a built up a reputation as a “goalscorer” with the clubs he’s been at, but is there more to his game?

TBATW: He’s a hard working player on and off the ball. I’ve never seen his head drop whilst at QPR. His build up play has massively improved since he joined and he’s become an all round striker rather than just a finisher since he signed.

OWTS: Did he particularly stand out in the QPR team in the three seasons he was there? Was he too good for QPR?

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TBATW: Charlie Austin has carried the team in every season. We would never have got promoted without him in 2014 and would have been relegated by Christmas last year without him. He’s honestly the best player we’ve seen at QPR since Les Ferdinand.

OWTS: He’s already spoken about looking to rekindle the partnership with Jay Rodriguez the pair built up during the single season they shared together at Burnley, scoring 38 goals between them, but is he better up top on his own or with a partner?

Football - Burnley v Leeds United npower Football League Championship  - Turf Moor - 19/11/11 Jay Rodriguez (L) celebrates with Charlie Austin after scoring Burnley's first goal Mandatory Credit: Action Images / Paul Currie Livepic EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or “live” services. Online in-match use limited to 45 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.  Please contact your account representative for further details.

TBATW: it’s a hard call. Austin scores goals whatever formation you play but he worked really well with Zamora in the past few seasons. Plays better when someone is there to hold the ball up for him, which is unusual because you would think of Austin as the hold up player himself i’d imagine he’d work well with Graziano Pelle.

OWTS: What’s his biggest strength and his biggest weakness?

TBATW: In my opinion, his biggest strength is his positioning. He always manages to be in the right place right time. His ability to do that makes it so much easier for him to finish chances. in terms of his biggest weakness, it’s probably his weak foot, he definitely isn’t a two footed player.

OWTS:Obviously there’s been a lot of speculation surrounding Austin, did it come as a surprise to see him join Saints in January though?

TBATW: There was always speculation, but I reckoned it would be Saints or Palace that signed him. He wants to start games and wants consistent PL football which narrows it down to around 5/6 teams. His family are all based in Bournemouth as well. But I thought he would see out his contact until summer to be honest.

OWTS: Were you disappointed, that he didn’t stay until his contract was up in the summer?

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TBATW:  I’m surprised he didn’t, but no QPR  fan would blame him for leaving us because we’re all aware of how badly QPR is run and the lack of direction it has. Every QPR fan adored Charlie so it did feel heartbreaking seeing him leave – we always knew he was far too good for us though.

OWTS: Finally, how as a QPR fan do you view Southampton, as a football club, at the moment?

TBATW: In the past few years nothing but jealousy of how your club’s been run to be honest. We’re run by a group of clueless directors and owners throwing money at anything and never having any long term plan whilst your a club that produces youth talent, buys sensibly, has a stable position in the PL and subsequently a bright future.