To be in with a chance of winning, all you have to do is tell us this Rogue Saint is:-
To be in with a chance of winning, all you have to do is tell us this Rogue Saint is:-
I am pleased to announce that the pilot episode of the all new Kingsland Roar Saints podcast is now live!
Please bear in mind that this was the first attempt, and is labelled as the ‘pilot’ intentionally. Dan and I would love to hear your feedback so that we can launch episode one proper with all the wrinkles ironed out!
Several of our features involve interaction and participation with you the Saints fans so don’t be shy in getting touch either through twitter or by mailing firstname.lastname@example.org!
I hope you enjoy it!
We’ll be on iTunes soon!
georgeweahscousin and Campo Retro have come together to offer all our fans around the world a fantastic opportunity to win a unique Southampton or Holland retro shirt and free delivery. You can also use the code ‘GWC20’ to get 20% off any order.
Campo Retro have a wide range of retro shirts available and this competition is open to entrances from all over the world, so whether you live in St Mary’s or Sydney, you still have a great chance to win this fantastic prize. It couldn’t be simpler to enter this competition, all you have to do is go to this Tweet and RT and Follow @CampoRetro
It’s that simple. The competition closes Wednesday 15th October and the winner will be announced soon after. The winner will receive a notification from Campo Retro to request information on shirt, size and delivery address.
Take your pick from one of the retro style Saints shirts:-
Or a classic Ronald Koeman Holland shirt from 1994:-
If you cannot wait until then, use the discount code GWC20 to get 20% off any order now!
p.s. please remember to sponsor me:- http://georgeweahscousin.com/2014/10/09/great-south-run-sponsor-me-and-it-could-be-you/
As I have mentioned previously, I will this year make my return to the streets of Portsmouth to take on the Great South Run for the second time. This is not my wisest decision and is against the advice of my Doctor as I am currently being treated for stress fractures in both shins, but, I am a firm believer in completing something once you have committed to it, and I may have to take it a little easier than I might have hoped.
I have decided to run it this time in aid of Saints Foundation and am looking to raise at least £250 to help them continue in the great work they do with disadvantaged kids and vulnerable adults.
I appreciate that times are tight for everyone these days, so I appreciate any donation, no matter how small. Every little helps.
This prompted a good opportunity though for me to give some prizes away and hopefully encourage people to give generously! To that end, I have three fantastic prizes that can be one simply by making a donation. two of them are Saints related, the other not so much, but still of interest to the anyone keen on football memorabilia.
Prize One:- THE FIRST EVER OFFICIAL GEORGEWEAHSCOUSIN.COM T-SHIRT!
That’s right folks. this is the opportunity to own the first ever official georgeweahscousin.com t-shirt. Recently the site has entered into a partnership with Cult Zeros to create a range of Saints related t-shirts and Hoodies (watch this space for designs), and they have kindly donated the first ever t-shirt (in a size of your choice) to the winner. And here it is….
All you have to do to be in with a chance of winning this exclusive t-shirt is go to https://www.justgiving.com/Chris-Rann1/, make a donation and put somewhere in the comments ‘t-shirt’.
Prize Two:-SIGNED SOUTHAMPTON SQUAD FOOTBALL CIRCA 1995
This is a football I won in the raffle on an official coach trip to Old Trafford I think in November 1995, but I might be mistaken.
Signatures include:- Matthew Le Tissier, Alan Neilson, Francis Benali, Dave Beasant, Christer Warren, Paul Tisdale, Bruce Grobbelaar, Tommy Widdrington, Mathew Robinson, Matthew Oakley, Ken Monkou, Neil Moss, Neil Shipperley, Barry Venison and several more I cannot identify.
All you have to do to be in with a chance of winning this classic piece of Saints history is go to https://www.justgiving.com/Chris-Rann1/, make a donation and put somewhere in the comments ‘Saints Ball’.
Prize Three- SIGNED EVERTON SQUAD FOOTBALL CIRCA 1989
This is a football that was kindly given to me by my cousin who was an apprentice at Goodison Park at the time. I’m pretty sure (but admittedly not 100%) that this is the squad that was FA Cup finalists in 1989.
Signatures include:- Kevin Ratcliffe, Wayne Clarke, Colin Harvey, Paul Power, Stuart McCall, Pat ven den Hauwe, Kevin Sheedy, Ian Wilson, Dave Watson, Tony Cottee, Neville Southall and several more I can’t identify.
All you have to do to be in with a chance of winning this classic piece of Everton history is go to https://www.justgiving.com/Chris-Rann1/, make a donation and put somewhere in the comments ‘Everton Ball’.
So there we have it, three decent prizes that could be yours for as little as a £1. Please give whatever you can. Winners will be selected completely at random and will be notified after the Great South Run (26th October 2014). Good Luck!
…Well you’ve had the lowdown on Toby Alderweireld (http://georgeweahscousin.com/2014/09/02/alder-right-noises-toby-is-a-saint/) and now here it is on his new deadline day colleague Sadio Mané.
Unlike the Belgian, Mané is lesser known in the UK but has had high profile links to Arsenal in the past, and it is believed he was a target of some bloke called Pochettino at Spurs this Summer. A Senegal international, Mané has made his name in Austria playing for Red Bull Salzburg, scoring a hefty amount of goals for a winger.
With Saints crying out for some pace and natural width Mané looks to be just the kind of player we have been missing. I spoke to Josh Bloom a Red Bull Salzburg regular on what Sadio will bring to the team.
It’s came from nowhere, but this seems to be a very good signing for Saints. What can we expect from Mané?
JB ‘Mané is a pacey, exciting, wide right forward/winger – who will cause defences a few problems. It was always felt he had become too good to stay in the Austrian Bundesliga, he deserves his move. I watched him tear Bayern’s full strength back line to pieces in January in a friendly. Several clubs have been monitoring him for a long time.’
Any specific strengths and weaknesses?
JB ‘He’s very quick, and has a trick or two. He will be very exciting to watch and will rack up the assists. However he does go to ground easily, and for a man who breaks through the line often, he should score more than he does.’
Do you think he will be able to adapt quickly to the Premier League?
JB ‘ I expect him to have an immediate impact, and will come up to speed quickly. He may need to bulk up a bit to deal with the physical nature of the Premier League, he can get knocked off the ball too easily. That said he is very, very fit. Salzburg play a high pressure, high tempo 4-2-4 system in which he runs his socks off.’
Is there another player in England you think he is similar to?
JB ‘He reminds me of Theo Walcott – when he’s on form, he’s unplayable, when he’s having a bad day you want to pull your hair out – not because he’s playing particularly poorly, but rather you know he could influence play more than he does.’
With the outgoings at Saints this Summer, many have suggested there is a lack of ‘ambition’ at the club. With Mané being linked to bigger clubs in the past, does this signing refute that?
JB ‘I think that’s his level actually. He needed to leave the Austrian Bundesliga, his only real tests were coming in European games. He’s still young – bigger teams will be keeping an eye on him to see if he sinks or swims in a decent league. Good signing for Saints, especially when he easily could have gone to a ‘bigger’ German club.’
So there we have it Sadio Mané marks the end of a brilliant turnaround at St. Mary’s this Summer, and for me it would seem Ronald Koeman has built a very good squad with his kitty. Thanks to Josh for the help.
Bring on Newcastle!
It was a pretty eventful transfer deadline day for Saints with the club leaving it as late as possible to announce their new players.
The first through the door last night was Belgian international defender Toby Alderweireld on a season long loan with option to buy deal from Atletico Madrid. Alderweireld was part of Atletico’s La Liga winning and Champion’s League runners up squad last season and it is somewhat of a coup to see him arrive at St. Mary’s.
Capable of playing at both centre half and right back he not only provides vital cover but also the ability to take the club up a level in defensive terms.
KT ‘Strengths: His presence, his long ball, his tackle, his treat on attacking set-pieces.
So there we have it. Saints first of two deadline day players sounds like someone with a big future in the game. Thanks to Kristof for his time. The lowdon on Sadio Mané coming soon…..
As Ronald Koeman and Saints set about rebuilding the squad ahead of the new Premier League season, we have been linked with a plethora of players across Europe, so the news that they had had a bid accepted for Shane Long seemingly came from nowhere.
A player who in the past has had, shall we say, minor disagreements with Saints fans might take his time to get the crowd behind him, but as a full Irish international and with bags of experience under his belt, Long is a player who certainly adds to the squad and in a position where the club lacks depth.
Personally I’ve never been overwhelmed by him, and his goal record isn’t great for a striker, but his work rate and ‘hassling’ of Saints defences in the past has been a nuisance. I thought I would get the thoughts of those that have seen him week in/week out as per the norm and caught up with Hull City fan Rick Skelton from Boothferry to Wembley and WBA fan and aspiring coach Ash Davies.
This one came a little out of the blue, were you surprised to see the news that Long was heading to St. Mary’s?
RS ‘ I was surprised. He wasn’t a player I’d expected any interest in given that he’s only been here seven months and I couldn’t see anyone coming up with enough money to tempt Hull CIty to sell.’
AD ‘At first yes, I think everyone was surprised, we had got a great fee for a player who’s contract was out this summer and he’d moved to a club he seemingly liked, although he didn’t want to leave WBA the lack of a good enough offer forced him out, however he has many strong bonds down south and on that front I am not surprised he is heading down your way, I didn’t expect it to be so soon after a move to Hull though.’
Does Long have any specific strengths and weaknesses we should be aware of?
RS ‘His pace is his biggest attribute. He has real acceleration and combined with his willingness to keep making runs, it wears down defenders. He has enough strength and a good enough touch that he’ll turn hopeful balls into good ones. His weakness is obvious in his goalscoring record. It was around 1 in 4 before he joined us and it hasn’t been that good since. He’s a hit and hope finisher rather than a taker of chances. Someone who gets in the positions he does should do far better.’
AD ‘Strengths; He’ll run all day for you, he’ll leave everything on the pitch and create a bond with the fans, that always helps when the going gets tough. I have to say his ability to win yards was a huge plus under Hodgson, he would win a throw in, free kick or corner from a long punt towards him at times and that gained us 60+ yards and put the pressure on the opposition, it was huge. He has a huge leap for a little(er) lad and really uses that to get at defenders, a great tool that’ll always give you hope on a heading battle. I like the way he can play channels, drift out wide and when we had him, Odemwingie and Lukaku he played well from wide areas getting balls into the box and combining with the other attackers, however I don’t think wing play is his game.
Weakness: Goals. Ultimately he never got enough over the time he played for us, he linked well, he had some great movements but when the finish came around he wasn’t consistent enough, just look at the last fixture he played for us, against you boys, he should have buried Boruc and didn’t. First touch has a tendency to let him down at times too, when it needed to stick it couldn’t and that was what frustrated many with him. His injury record also should be a major concern for you, he often praised us for the way we dealt with his Hamstring condition and said that the club needs to understand what he has, so you’ll find his Hamstrings are weaker than most and he will pick up knocks.’
He’s had run in’s with the Saints crowd before, and many have been upset by his tendency to ‘go down easily’, is this something we should get used to?
RS ‘Yes, he definitely “draws” fouls. He upset WBA fans in winning a penalty against them last season which was incredibly soft. As with most cheats in football though – no one seems to mind when they’re on your team.’
AD ‘Yes, something he’s added to his game over the past year and a side to his game us baggies were glad to see leave, he does love a dive, and to go down under pressure, it’s not a lack of strength it’s him falling down under the slightest touch. It’s diving and it’s something he will continually do, also expect some arm flapping and a bit of moaning to come along with that.’
How is Long best utilised from a tactical/formation perspective?
RS ‘He can play as a lone front man and will do a great job in games where discipline is the objective. If you want to take the game to the opposition – which Saints have tended to do – he needs to play in a pair or wide in a three because he won’t score the amount of goals required. He’s a selfless player though so he’ll play anywhere across the front and do the hard work for other people.’
AD ‘Difficult to say; He’s played many roles at WBA and I liked him as a lone forward when he arrived, pack the midfield and give him service down the sides and in behind where he can chase and harry defenders all day long, ultimately his pressure lead to WBA possession but as his time at WBA drew to a close we saw more of him in a 4-4-2 where he’d run channels and play into his fellow striker and try and create a partnership. Best way to utilise him would be a lone role with a number 10 getting around him, I’m not sure he likes running channels in a 2 and I am not sure he is specific enough as a striker to play in a two, he’s an all rounder which leads me to play him alone, but that would require goals coming from midfield and a supply line, he’ll give midfielders space by taking away defenders.’
What have you made of the situation at Saints this summer?
RS ‘I’ve been a bit surprised. Taking stupid money for Lallana and Shaw was a no-brainer really and no club could be criticised for that but some of the other sales have seemed unnecessary. It’s not like you need the money after the two big deals so all it does is give the impression that you are open for business. That then leads to difficult situations like the one with Schneiderlin. I think you should have put your foot down earlier and given the right impression to the likes of Lovren and Chambers.’
AD ‘Feel for you, to lose that many players and management hurts, we’ve had an eventful summer ourselves but you’ve outdone us on that score. I would question certain aspects of running the club at times but would also say if the player does want out then so be it, let them go, what needs to be done now is a rebuild and quickly. Need to get new, quality players in who want to be at the club, it’s more than do-able, but you need a reliable scouting network, a manager willing to speak their mind on who and want they want and a board wanting to back them with all their decisions. Personally feel you’ve taken quite a few backwards steps thus far and instead of looking at Europe you’re looking over your shoulders again vying to stay with the big boys. Very much like us on the season aspirations, survive this season and I think you could really kick on in 2015/16 when it’s all calmed a little/ What’s important for you fans now is to have a sense of perspective, you’ll never break into the top 6 because of financial reasons so the aim is always going to be below that in our mini league and staying up should always be the first aim for all of our mini league sides. Get to 40 and go from there.’
So there we have it, a signing many of us would not have chosen, but a valuable squad member no doubt. Perhaps not the marquee transfer some would have liked, but it’s not often Saints pry a first team player away from another Premier League club, and Long strikes me as one you would rather have for you than against you!
With echoes of the signing of Dejan Lovren last summer, Saints have moved to bring in his replacement now the Croatian’s body has been reunited with his head in Liverpool and it comes in the form of Romanian international Florin Gardos.
As painful as it was to hear Lovren’s desire to head to Anfield it was equally as nice to hear that Gardos is rumoured to have acted a bit Lovren-like in his desire to join Saints. One journalist even suggested the centre half had made his first trip to Southampton without the permission of his club Steaua Bucherest.
As is customary at georgeweahscousin.com we like to seek the advice of an expert, someone who has seen a new player play far more than us. In this case it would be someone who has seen Gardos play at all, as I will hold my hands up and say that I had never heard of him until the links last week.
Many Saints fans will know little of Gardos other than he is a central defender, what type of player is he?
RB ‘Well, you should all be familiar enough by now with Tottenham’s Chiriches, so I’ll relate to that: when Chiriches was still at Steaua, it was a bad period for Gardos, as he rarely managed to play ahead of him, having to settle for a place on the bench. And this is something that might not do him good in a competitive place/team – he might give up the fight… On the bright side, when Chiriches was sold he stepped up and filled his shoes without any effort-he was physically and mentally ready and he’s been doing very well ever since.
He’s somewhat similar to Chiriches in style – ball playing central defender, who’s comfortable in possession, steps up from the back, takes part in the build up. But from a physical point of view, he’s more equipped for the role/Premier League, as I don’t expect him to suffer in the air and in a more physical game.’
Does he have any specific strengths and weaknesses?
RB ‘So you’re getting a tall centre back who is reliable on the ball, but who seems to need the confidence / support of the manager. And who will also need to adjust quickly to the superior pace of the game!
The first thing we were told was of a ban for breaking another players leg, is he hot headed or simply passionate and over excited?
RB ‘It’s an incident dated a few years back, whoever mentioned this must have a good, but selective memory. Yes, it was a nasty challenge from behind for which he had no excuse. He can toy with the accepted limit of aggression on the pitch, which is not a bad thing for a central defender, especially if episodes like the above mentioned don’t appear. His disciplinary record for Steaua, in 4 seasons, is 1 red and 27 yellow cards.’
Do you think he is ready for the Premier League?
RB ‘I think he has the quality to play there, but as mentioned before I also think he needs time to settle in a different game, let alone culture. I’d be surprised to see him step in right away, while I also fear for his habit of waiting too quietly for his turn on the bench, if the manager will not offer him quickly chances to start.’
Do you remember the games between Steaua and Saints in 2003?
RB ‘I had to refresh my memory and found the line-ups and results in the both legs. What can I say, Southampton fell to goals scored by Claudiu Raducanu, an ex-striker famous for his wisdom (interesting fact: Raducanu now plays for FC Romania, a team in the Essex Senior Premier League in England – Chris), who was once asked if he’d accept living in a bloc-notes (a notebook) and he was more than happy to give it a shot!’
So there we have it, it looks like Saints have signed a player from under the radar, something that could prove to be a huge benefit! All eyes on the next one now. The ‘Ronald Revolution’ is underway!
Well, it wasn’t quite as draw out a transfer saga as the ‘Victor Wanyama Episode’ last summer, but with Celtic’s Champion’s League reprieve it began to feel like it would never happen, but he is here and I think everyone involved is relieved!
Welcome to St. Mary’s Fraser Forster!
Linking up again with Goalkeeping coach Dave Watson from the England setup, Forster has built a formidable record as Celtic goalkeeper, breaking records along the way and now the stopper ranks at Saints look to have far more depth.
As is now tradition I spoke to those who know more about him than me and caught up with Celtic blogger Stephen Taylor from Drop of the Shoulder and Norwich City fan and Club Metro colleague Gary Gowers from My Football Writer to get the not so low (he’s 6’7″) down.
In the league Forster kept a Scottish record 13 clean sheets in a row, culminating in 1256 minutes, just 55 short of Edwin van der Saar’s all-time UK record. I know people may think it is easy to keep clean sheets playing for Celtic, especially since Rangers demise has left the SPL a one team league, but if you have seen us play over recent years you will have noted how ropey our defending is at times, and on numerous occasions it has been left to Forster to bail them out.’
Signing number four is through the door at St. Mary’s and it comes in the form of midfielder Saphir Taïder on a season long loan deal from Inter Milan.
The Algerian international started two games at the recent World Cup in Brazil for his country in the defeats to Belgium and Germany respectively.
Though central midfield is hardly a position Saints have needed to strengthen, it will be interesting to see whether Taïder can make an impact at St. Mary’s.
As usual though I decided to spare you my uneducated views on a player I’ve seen little of and caught up with Inter fan Mike Whittaker from fansite http://www.nerazzurriworld.com/.
Firstly sorry for Osvaldo. Saphir Taider, what can you tell us about him?
MW ‘I must admit I’m not overly happy about the Osvaldo deal, his bad attitude and personality has a very negative affect on his considerable talent. He reminds me a lot of Balotelli (Good player but causes a lot of problems within his clubs), anyway this is about Taider! Unfortunately, us Inter fans didn’t get to see as much of him as we would’ve liked last season, so I’m unable to give you a as in depth analysis as I would’ve been able to if he’d played regularly.
Does he have any specific strengths and weaknesses you can tell us about?
MW ‘His greatest strength is in his defensive capabilities where he is very switched on to the flow of a game and solid when called upon. His weakness is his reluctance to put in extra work to be noticed by the coach/manager, and can be lazy on the pitch when off the ball. Last season he was vying for a place in the Inter team against Zdravko Kuzmanovic (who Inter fans will tell you is useless) and veteran Esteban Cambiasso (was looking exhausted by the last third of the season) both of whom amassed much more time on the pitch than Taider. I can only speculate on the reason for this is that Taider was unable to convince Walter Mazzarri of his value to the team and he mustn’t have gone the extra mile required to warrant the Inter coach to give him a proper chance.
Do you think he can adapt to the Premier League?
MW ‘I’m not convinced he can, if I’m totally honest. We all know the Premier league has a faster pace than Serie A, and if his laziness is obvious in Italy in England he could have rings run around him. Sorry! Though, as I’ve said there is tons of potential in the lad, so with the right club and manager he could develop into a really good quality player.’
What have you made of the Southampton situation this summer?
MW ‘Obviously as an Inter & Serie A fan I don’t really know the ins & outs of what’s happening at Southampton, but it seems to me the club are taking several massive steps backwards this summer. I can see them really struggling in the upcoming season, possibly with relegation on the cards come May.’
Have you heard anything about Ezequiel Schelotto following Taider to Saints?
MW ‘Yes, the rumour surrounding the deal is that Schelotto is included, I heard yesterday that he started following Southampton on Twitter so it definitely looks almost certain you will be getting him too. If you want to know what he is like, it can be summed up in one sentence- one of the worst Inter purchases of recent years, as an out and out winger he was never going to suit the systems Inter use.’
So there we have it, another player added to the squad and another we can be excited to see in the famous red & white stripes, perhaps more as a potential star than an automatic first choice player!
Hopefully there are more to follow!