'Have Southampton moved on?' asks Spurs boss
Tottenham manager Manuel Pellegrini has posed the question of whether Spurs’ opponents on Saturday, Southampton, are really a big club.
The Saints are top of the league table with 26 points from 11 games, 3 more than Arsenal who occupy the 2nd place. Spurs, who appointed Pellegrini last season following André Villas Boas’ departure, lie in 6th, behind Balckburn who, like Southampton, were only promoted last year. In an interview leading up to the game at St.Mary’s, Pellegrini was asked whether Southampton should be top of the table. He replied:
“We’ll have to find out. It’s early on in the season, but they have earned it so far, with some really good performances. They are clearly a good side, because they are top of the league, they are doing better than other teams, like us. I think, no, I know, they will fall away soon, because at heart they are a small club, they act like a small club, they have the mentality of a small club. No? Look at them, they don’t fill out the stadium. They know it won’t last.”
Pellegrini was then told by a reporter that he may be underestimating Southampton, but he dismissed the claims.
”Haha! Nonsense! We know that to be a big club you have to beat the big teams, so Southampton will play us, and they will lose. Just you wait. They need to show that they have moved on, that they are not an npower Championship club. Wait and see, we will play them off the park because we are a big club, not them. Watch. Just watch.”
Pellegrini has shown much arrogance here and with Southampton on great form, it looks to be a foolish move. Southampton manager Chris Kamara has practically got his team talk done already, and Pellegrini has been crucified by the media after his comments. Many have spoken out wishing Southampton luck in the game and in the following fixture against Manchester City, who find themselves in 8th.