Southampton’s Dutch contingent have been very hit and miss over the years, on one side of the fence you have got Ulrich Van Gobbel, Danny Hoekman, Mark Votte and Jan Poortvliet but jump over that fence and you are in the glorious company of Ken Monkou, Jos Hoovield, Ronald Koeman and whisper it quietly but could you consider Eljero Elia in that category already? It’s surely too early for him to sit on the same table as Kenneth, probably even for Koeman, but has Elia put a foot wrong?
I’ve said it before but football fans are very fickle, they are easily pleased and it isn’t hard for them to like you. All you have to do is…well not do anything wrong! That said though, they do have their favourites and if I was looking in from the outside, I’d say Elia is making all the right noises. I sat down with one of Southampton’s latest additions, to talk about life as a loan player, Ronald Koeman and mayonnaise…
OWTS: Hello Eljero, How has your first month as a Southampton player been?
EE: Hi Guys, everyone at the club has made it really easy for me to settle, they have helped me with everything and now my family have moved over, in terms of life off the pitch it’s all perfect and it’s not bad on it either. (He says with huge smile on his face)
OWTS: So at the moment you’re a loan player, do you rent a house in the city or do you live in a hotel?
EE: Yes, I’m renting a house with my family for sixth months, and after that I my dream Southampton will sign me permanently.
OWTS: That’s what we like to hear Eljero, Saints have been linked with lots of young Dutch players recently, Tonny Vilhena, Jordy Clasie as well as your friend Memphis Depay, would you like to see Southampton’s Dutch contingent boosted?
EE: Yes for me but for Southampton as well, because they are all great players and big talents.
OWTS: What do you rate the chances of the moves, Depay in particular?
EE: Memphis is a hugely talented young player and I think it isn’t long before he goes to a very big club, it wouldn’t hurt our chances of signing him if we get into the Champions League, but in Football anything is possible.
OWTS: Is The Champions League dream something the players talk about?
EE: Not really, its crucial to have the right mindset. We look from one game to another and give each one 100%.
OWTS: As a City what are your impressions of Southampton?
EE: To be honest, I don’t really have time to go into the city, but the club is huge and an all round great organisation.
OWTS: Have you as players been set a target as of what Koeman wants you to achieve this season?
EE: Not really, personally though I want to be as important for the team and the club and hope to have lots of success.
OWTS: What persuaded you to join Southampton? Was it Koeman? The players we bought from The Eredivisie?
EE: Koeman called me and he asked me if i wanted to join Southampton and of course I said yes because of him and from what I saw on television, Southampton play good football.
OWTS: Do you remember the first time you met Ronald Koeman?
EE: I’ve known Ronald for a very long time, so long I can’t remember when it was I met him, but he has played a big role in my life. We always speak, both about my football and my private life.
OWTS: When you were growing up in Holland he must have been a great idol of yours?
EE: He was everyone’s idol! I remember his goals and what he did for the national team of Holland and the country. He was one of the best central defenders in the world at the time.
OWTS: How are Southampton being viewed back at home in Holland, are they liked because of Koeman?
EE: In Holland they follow everything that comes out of Southampton, the Dutch people see it as a big club.
OWTS: Has that always been the case, or more since Koeman arrived?
EE: Its always been the case, Everyone dreams of playing in England, so to watch it is the second best thing.
OWTS: And finally, are chips really chips without mayonnaise?
EE: Of course not, you can’t eat chips without mayonnaise, it’s like Tom without Jerry. It just doesn’t work.