Bold= Press Questions
Normal= Paul Gascoigne
Mr. Gascoigne, Welcome to your first press conference as well as your official unveiling to southampton supporters. So why did you reject the first press conference for your unveiling???
Well, Thank You. There were some certain factors that needed me to reject the first Press Conference. First the supporters weren't ready at the time as they were not convinced I was a logical choice and I agree with them even I would have hesitated to appoint someone who had such an awful history taking charge of my team. Honestly I would not have let myself get anywhere near the team. I was moved when Mr. Cortese approached me and I decided I needed to get my life back on track and do something that would make myself worth something. Second I wanted the supporters to calm down, some set of good results in the friendlies would make them get behind the team as well and change their hearts towards me and ease off a little pressure off the team. Also i needed as much time as I could get to know my team better and evaluate what's best for the team without much of the distraction to deal with.
So have you overcome the severe alcohol addiction problem???
I have to admit that its really hard to stay sober when you have been drowning yourself in booze for the past decade and more. But I have changed myself. You can see that I have been sober for a very long time now. Infact i haven't had a single drop of alcohol in me since I took over this job. You can figure out how hard it is and you can see how committed I am to this job. So You can say I'm over it.
How was the pre-season and how did the team work with eachother?
Well the pre-season was more than decent, on the good side. The team was able to win all their pre-season matches and the team morale is high. The team looks compact at the back except for some occasional hiccups which will be sorted after more matches. The attacking unit seems to be working quite well now and the mid-field is getting used to a more passing and pressing game. The team is gelling well, Not may first-team players I have brought to disrupt the team-work so they are doing well.
How has the transfer business worked out? And will their be another signing? How good are your signings and what do you hope from them?
The transfer business has been good. We have captured some good players for the future. We have balanced the books by selling some players and replacing them with better players. The team is set to play well and I expect them to do well. As for further deals, its unlikey we've got some good balance in the team and with the league games starting i don't think I would disrupt the team balance but I cannot rule out further deals as we are always trying to improve our squad, if a player with good value for money and team is available we will use our funds which is available to us. As for my signings, Samuel Umtiti is probably our second best defender after Lovren and he's still a youngster. I can expect him to be the best defender in the premier league in a couple of years and who know he may become the best in the world. Gonalons, well when he was transfer-listed we jumped at him straight away as he can be quite valuable for our team and provides us with experience, the chance of good depth and more variable style of play. Juan Sanchez Mino is a very good wingback and I am sure we can rotate him with Shaw and he is quite versatile as well and can cover the midfield positions when required. McEacharan is an excellent english youth product and he will be quite an important player for us in the near future and now will be a backup player for us now. Fierro is a good striker who provides us with depth and has quite some potential as well.
How about the right-back position? With only Nathaniel Clyne on the team who can play there, don't you think that re-enforcement is needed in that position?
Well, we've been playing Steven Davies out there in pre-season and he's training for that position. He's looking good to challenge Clyne in that slot with his passing and defending game so we have cover there unless a major injury crisis occurs. Also there isn't much option in that place in the market and It's better to have some versatile player and we've got one.
What do you think about today's transfer market?
Its inflated and its hard to buy players for their market value. You have to dig deep in the scouting area to find value for money players or risk end up paying double the amount for a decent player. But I hope this inflated market will soon be back to normal.
You are seen as a controversial figure by most football fans in general. How does it affect your mentality? And what do your team think of you in general?
Controversial?? Well I haven't had a word with media since joining for more than a month. I have remained patient. Controversial would be someone like Jose Mourinho but the fans love him and their players support him well as well. Think of me in the same mould but on a smaller scale at the moment. You can think that I'm Controversial, I couldn't care less. I just want to win and become addicted to winning and thats my mentality whatever others think and the players know what I want from them so they respect the vision that I have over their playing style. Controversial I may be but on the other side Driven I am to improve this club.
So you've been playing a winger-less formation of 4-3-3 hybrid in the english football which is rare and where does it leave Adam Lallana, the captain who's a winger himself? Can you explain some of your style to us?
Adam Lallana is quite a versatile lad, he will fit into my system. You just have to wait and watch. He's the motivator of the team and he is pretty much an important part of my plans. As for my system, wingers aren't really that important in this modern game. In the past the wingers used to provide width to the team but now they cut inside making them pretty much a attacking midfielder. I want width and I will use my full-backs and wing-backs for that purpose. Modern wingers operate as second strikers like Ronaldo or attacking midfielders like Hazard, so I'd rather get a full striker and a attacking midfielder into the team which are more available and suitable for the team and make the team operation more fluid so that it compensates for the lack of wingers and the team will press and keep possesion. And this formation will be suitable for all the teams all over the world not just for the english football. As for physicality, a player with better technique will thrive in a more physical league barring injuries. So I think It will be a sucess.
How do you vision the club in the near future?
Well I envision the club with great success in the near future with the possibility of european football in the coming few years. It maynot be possible at the present time but the club will take tiny but strong steps to make it happen but as for today, we want to avoid relegation first, then make a mid-table finish, and maybe possibly end up in the top half. So that's what I'm targetting, all in little baby steps, No Overambitious thoughts.
Southampton seem to have had the toughest starting fixtures with Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool as first 3 fixtures what are you hoping for the club in those fixtures??
The start will be tough, sure but it also provides us with the chance when these clubs will have to gel with new signings, we will give it our best but these clubs are realistically among the top 5 sides in the league so if we can scrap away a win against any one of them it will be marvellous. But there is also a chance that we might suffer heavy losses against them and the team morale may go down so low that we might not recover. So we'll be trying to avoid that as its the crucial period for us. Its hard but we're hopeful. we've had good pre-season so we're in good mood. We'll fight till our last breath.