Opposition Q&A: Southampton – Koeman “not a reckless manager”

This week we spoke to comedian and Saints fan Tom Deacon (@TomDeaconComedy) about his thoughts ahead of Saturday’s fixture on Saturday.

Q. It’s been a tumultuous week at Queen’s Park Rangers – What do you make of Harry Redknapp’s departure? Who do you think will take the hotseat at Loftus Road?

A. Hi to everyone. I can see it’s been a tough week for QPR fans. My personal opinion on ‘Arry is I’ve never been a fan. Doesn’t mean I can’t respect his experience and career, but when it comes down to it you’re better off without him. A manager who constantly seems to hit the panic button, buy someone else who is on high wages hoping he’ll fix the problem. Sadly no one stands out to me for to take over QPR and give them what they need – confidence and ability to grind out results. Sherwood looks most likely.

Q. You must be delighted with Saints’ season so far after pundits wrote you off last summer. Where did it all go so right?

A. Delighted is most definitely how I feel right now. I’m really chuffed as any fan is when their team is mugged off by the pundits, then they get proved wrong and have to eat humble pie. The Saints have been making changes since the departure of Adkins that I at first have been very dismissive of, but every single change has worked out for the best. Ronald Koeman has done a fantastic job, bringing in youth and getting the team hungry to achieve. I think the secret is having a team of players that want to be there and fight. How many players in your team can you say are doing just that? That’s why I think we’ve been on an upward climb.

Q. If you had the choice would you prefer Ronald Koeman or Mauricio Pochettino as Southampton boss now, and why?

A. Koeman all day. He’s what Southampton need. He’s fearless and he’s experienced in football as a manager and a player. He doesn’t strike me as a reckless manager who will let his ego get in the way. The way Elia scored a brace at Newcastle and he ran over to Koeman to hug him, that was brilliant to watch. Why? Because there you have a player who Koeman has taken a chance on and instantly that faith has been returned. A team and management that are all heading in the same direction.

Don’t get me wrong Poch is a good manager and I wish him all the best at Tottenham, but let’s face it he wanted to leave so that’s that.

Q. Many Rangers fans are looking enviously at the setup at St Mary’s, and the influence of Les Reed is mentioned particularly. What do you think of how your club has developed over the last few years?

A. It’s been an upward climb, the academy has easily been our rock over the years. The number of players we’ve developed speaks for itself. Sure I’d have loved to have kept on to Lallana and Shaw but hey they wanted to move on so let them. Even though the Saints are flying right now, when I say flying I’m talking in terms of a Southampton FC fan a Bayern fan would be very different. I know where we are as a club in terms of not getting ahead of myself. If United, City or Chelsea really wanted one of our best players we’d sell them. Simple as that. We’re a selling club, as is every other club who isn’t in that top 4. Look at Liverpool selling Suarez. I know after the incident in the World Cup he was involved in they may have wanted to get rid of him, but without him there’s no way they’ll be close to winning a title. Basically what I’m saying is, I’m loving where we as a team are right now and many clubs will admire where we are in the table and the structure that we have, but I’m fully aware of where we were in League 1 with point deductions scratching for existence. Long may it continue, my fingers are crossed.

Q. How pleased are you with Southampton’s transfer window business? Although there were deals for Ryan Bertrand and the incoming Filip Djuricic, it is all that was needed this January?

A. I feel like other fans, if we get a few injuries we’re gonna find life very tough. I would have liked to see another midfielder come in to replace Jack Cork, but now its Harrison Reed’s chance to cement his place.

Q. Historically QPR have often been well-liked amongst opposition fans although this has changed in recent times with our perceived influx of spending power. How do you see the QPR of today?

A. One of my best mates is a QPR fan and he’s taken me along to watch them play. In fact I lived in Shepherd’s Bush so I’ve been to a few of the pubs round there on match days and seen the fans. I think QPR are a good club full of passionate fans. I just want the same to be reflected on the pitch, your players starting to give the 110% the fans deserve. Charlie Austin has been the shining light for me this season. I was there for the 2-1 at St Mary’s. What a goal he scored, only to be outdone by Pelle’s finish. I feel with Redknapp you’ve been tainted as a buying club.

Q. Which current QPR player/s do you rate or admire, if any? What about QPR players of the past?

A. Trevor Sinclair, Buzsaky aka the “White Pele”, Ferdinand. The list goes on. Ian Holloway can he be put in?

Right now Austin is the only player you can see is doing it week-in week-out.

Q.How do you think Koeman will set up at Loftus Road on Saturday?

I think he’ll show you respect, because the game was close at St Mary’s. With Sandro going off early on it gave us the advantage. I will think he’ll play the same line-up as he did against Swansea, replace Bertrand with Targett and tell the strikers to put away their chances. We’ve lost too many times this season when we’ve had the better chances and have lost the bottle in the final third.

Q. Which three teams do you tip for relegation this season?

A. Burnley, Villa and Leicester (I couldn’t say QPR could I!)

Q. Score and prediction for QPR Vs Southampton on Saturday?

0-2 Saints

Thanks once again for taking the time out to answer our questions.