Football Insights – Louis Saha
Former Premier League title winner Louis Saha gives his exclusive insights and opinions about some of his former clubs Man United, Everton, Spurs and Fulham. In the exclusive interview below, Louis gives his opinions about the Super League, Manchester United's Europa League semi-final, the sacking of Jose Mourinho and more! New customers to GentingBet, we are the online casino and sports platform for Genting, one of the world's leading entertainment and leisure groups with over 50-years experience in running casino's and hotels, from Asia, to the US to the UK. We offer an exclusive casino experience available anywhere and on any device and for sports fans you can back your favourite teams or players on our premium sportsbook. Why not give us a try by claiming our new customer welcome offer for casino and sports and join our growing community of customers that expect a premium experience.
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Louis Saha On The Super League
Where were you when you heard about the ESL and what were your initial reactions when you heard about it? And then how did you feel in terms of how the story developed this week with it folding away?
Like everyone watching I saw it on Social Media. I wasn’t surprised. I was shocked because although you could be curious about how the competition will be structured, you start to understand the actual attack against football.
That’s the story. I couldn’t have a real understanding on how far those guys are willing to go. I’m not into politics but I felt like it was so obvious, a bit like how Trump would say things during the fight for the US Presidency. It was so obvious and the reaction of everybody is to say no that’s so wrong and it went against the fans.
And then the actual response straight away was to try and research and understand why these guys at the top of the richest clubs felt that it was possible. It was crazy for me, it was a clear sign that something is wrong in football.
You’re in France and there were no French clubs involved in this stage. Was it a very negative feeling from within France about it as well?
No to be honest we must understand this from any club’s perspective, whether they be in France, England or in Czechia, you feel like it’s an attack against football. The Champions League represents so much around the world.
The South American players look at the Champions League. They look at the biggest clubs in the world who are Manchester United, Real Madrid, those clubs are the example, they lead by example of how to be a champion for everyone.
Now they are saying something different because ‘Champion’ doesn’t mean anything anymore. Because to be a Champion you compete with everybody, not just a select few. It wasn’t an attack on the French, or the English, it was an attack on football, an attack on the values of football. Crazy.
Given that two of your former teams, Spurs and United, were involved; did you feel like it meant a bit more to you?
Definitely because this is part of the reason why you choose a club. You pick a club because of values and how they work on the field. Every dream you have as a child is represented by them. It’s like coming back from 3-0 down to a draw and winning a Championship. It’s magical stories that drive us to build histories, legacies.
All this is tarnished, I really couldn’t believe it. So yes it was really disturbing for me and for it to be my club (Manchester United) at the forefront. These guys wanted it and to build it, I really was like “WOW”. I was in shock.
Were you following the reaction of fans on social media? In England there was this uproar of anger. Were you following that and what did you make of it?
Yes I followed the reaction. Obviously social media helps you to understand quicker than ever before. You have this double effect. If you are doing something great you get put on a pedestal but when you do something wrong it’s even worse because straight away it goes viral in such a way that everybody, universally, feels attacked.
I think if you like sport, and 4 billion people like sport, you feel there is emotion and you see it in social media, in the press, on interviews with Gary Neville you see it and you see how deep it is. For him to attack his own club in some way or some of the biggest clubs in the world it was an indication of how bad it was. Like everyone, I tried to understand and make sure that what I say is right so I researched more to understand.
As a player you are asked to play football and if you are fan you are asked nothing but to express your passion and desire to be the best fan or the best club. These things are in your control to go to the stadium or not. But here you are not asked your opinion about something you love and you have no control when you are the most important actors.
All these things made it shocking and I felt so bad for the whole of football. For what we represent to the World, it was a during the pandemic the players were asked to play under such risk with where they would play and the precautions that had to be taken. Because people at home needed something to bring emotion back to the horrible reality. I don’t know how to express myself further with words because the feeling was so strong.
I’m sure you’ve seen the announcement for Ed Woodward leaving Manchester United. Are you surprised by that? Do you feel vindication for the anger that has been there? How do you react to his imminent departure?
I think Rio Ferdinand made a good point yesterday on Ed Woodward, he asked for answers more than just someone who is going to be accused for the action that they tried to process without consulting the players and the fans, no one knew! You are taking the decision alone, there is no referendum or consultation.
We need an answer to “why have you done this?” The action of resigning is not enough. We need an explanation, we need answers, we need a solution, we need consultation, we need proper communication. This isn’t the owners’ game, it’s not my game, it’s everybody’s game. It’s the most followed sport in the world, it’s a guide in life for so many.
In interviews in the past and you come across as having been very proud to have played for Manchester United and the successes you had there. Does this change anything for you? Or can you separate?
I can completely separate yeah. For me it’s a few men calling the shots who don’t understand the history of Man United. They are not Manchester United. The fans are, the players do an amazing job to build that reputation.
It’s not because of one year of bad management or bad ideas that the club is ruined, they just picked the wrong idea. They thought it was the right solution but they were wrong, especially when they don’t communicate and make decisions without consultation because they are the boss. That’s not how clubs should be run, or any company.
Because yes, you have the customers, the fans, and let’s say now there are different types of fans. Some who can travel wherever to any game, travel any distance to go see and support their teams. Then you have fans that are looking at social media and love their players, they are fanatic about one or two players and can have many clubs that they are following.
Those fans have to be respected but that is not the core value of sport. Sport is local, it’s historic, it’s all about those moments where you win and lose as a team. It’s the same for the fans. Now it’s about data, viewers, money, stats, all those things, no. It has to be a balance about values and a respect of history and tradition. All those things. We live in different countries with different cultures. There are things that take time and need decisions and referendums.
Do you feel that now could see a change in football? Or ownership in clubs and the way that they are run? Do you think there will be any major impact after what’s happened?
I hope so. To make it very simple I think they will come back with another plan. Clearly it seems like economically they are losing a lot of money and they’ll figure out a way to get a bigger slice of the pie. They’ll try to do something because these guys are very powerful.
They are driven by, like any business, shareholders and these guys want their money back. We have had this model for many, many years. But maybe now governments, or people with power maybe sponsors, or the fans themselves taking over and saying I want to be part of my club and be a part of decisions.
I don’t know what the model is, but maybe there is a way to generate money differently because we, the fans, participate. But if you are keeping my club with authenticity, with access to certain things in a proper way, there is a model that works. But if you are going to take our club hostage it won’t work. This model won’t work.
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Louis Saha On Manchester United
Second in the table, a Europa League Semi-Final next week. How do you assess the season so far for Manchester United and the job that Ole has done?
I think if you asked anybody six months ago they wouldn’t have believed United would be in that position. We weren’t playing great and players weren’t playing to their full potential. Now we have four or five who are doing well. We are seeing a pair that we all dreamed about with Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba playing at a top level.
This brings a lot of confidence to the youngsters, into how to defend because you don’t defend, you attack more. All those things are pleasing the fans I’m sure because they can recognise the style of Manchester United. It feels like we have been playing games the way we love. Obviously, there is still room to grow, but being in that position to maybe win a trophy as a team is what they need.
I think Ole’s target is to win with this squad. The Premier League is probably over but they’ve made a good statement with some of the performances that have happened against some of the big teams. Maybe sometimes less against teams that sit back. But things have moved in the right direction. Of course, United is about winning trophies but yes it has been really hard over the past 5 or 6 years so to be honest I’m quite pleased with what we’re seeing now.
For Manchester United to challenge City next year, what do they have to do to close that gap?
I think they have to have consistency through the year. They missed 7 – 10 games in terms of energy and concentration, in terms of ambition. That kind of aggressiveness that you need to remain there.
Even if you are not playing well, physically you are struggling a little bit, you should have this rage in you that ignites. Not with one or two players, but you need 6 or 7 soldiers. I can’t see that in the body language of some players. For example, let’s say a player, he’s not young but he’s really improved, is Fred, and McTominay as well to be fair.
It’s not about the quality because yes maybe the quality is represented by Rashford, Pogba and Fernandes because they are the forward players, but those guys (Fred and McTominay) bring the confidence because they bring the fire.
They bring the tackle, the spirit that you can remember the likes of Roy Keane and Gary Neville having. Those players are the ones who make us win trophies and I would say talent is what makes us win games we should have lost.
In terms of looking ahead, they will do their best to chase down Manchester City. This weekend they face Leeds who we saw recently beat Manchester City and have probably been one of the most entertaining teams to watch this season. What do you expect from United going to Leeds this weekend?
I think going to Leeds is going to be a tough game physically. Mentally you need to be very focused because you are challenged physically. It’s the team who are able to express themselves in those kinds of circumstances who can win. So I think it’s going to be a tough game and an entertaining game.
Leeds play a fast game and lots of high pressing and lots of good players. They don’t have the big name players, but they are very smart and very composed so it will be a good game.
So do you think United will come out on top?
Yes I think they are still favourites and playing well. They have that kind of fire that expresses confidence as well. Even if they go down, like they went 1-0 down against Tottenham and won 3-1, you see them being unfairly behind but still not panicking and remaining in control.
They manage to express the talent at some point in the game and physically that’s what they need to do. Even if they have moments where Leeds dominate, because they will in some patches of the game, United will still come out stronger because they have the better players.
With United probably cantering to a second placed finish, a lot of the attention will turn to the Europa League next week. They are favourites to win it, do you think that’s correct and they will go on to win it?
If you look at the last 2 or 3 months as a fan, I feel frustrated because they shouldn’t be in the Europa League, they should be in the Champions League. They missed 2 or 3 games in a row where they disappeared for some reason.
They could have been in the Champions League. Let’s say they are not going to be in the Semi-Final of the Champions League necessarily but that is the level that I thought they could be. They have really good players but maybe sometimes the fire is missing. But I think they should be favourites for the Europa League because they have the better players.
In terms of some of the players, there is some uncertainty about some of them for next season. One of those is Edison Cavani where it’s not quite clear whether he’ll be staying. Would you like to see him stay for one more season? Or do you understand if he departs and a younger striker comes in potentially?
That’s the thing with Cavani, it all depends on the plan. If you want to structure the team around a number 9 who can score 30 goals and play 30 games, to really move us forward, to help us maybe win the Premier League and challenge in the Champions League.
That’s the plan. It will depend on the transfer strategy. But definitely I was a big advocate for Cavani. He brings the fire, he’s the model for high pressure and constant mobility, and he has the experience to know where he has to be in the box.
All those things are important and were missing in certain games. I think he managed to help certain players like Rashford, Greenwood and Martial who have benefitted from seeing those types of performance.
Just on Bruno Fernandes, he’s favourite to be the player of the year according to the bookmakers. Do you think that’s justified? How do you look back on his season?
I think Bruno is a player with influence on the team. He’s a player who is able to win a game on his own, he was the one for United. United being in second place and in the Semi Final of the Europa League, it’s because of him.
I don’t see any other players in the Premier League other than Kevin de Bruyne, when he’s not injured, who have been better than him or had a bigger influence than him. Other players have done great but in terms of consistently providing the right influence on his team, he’s the best.
In terms of the England team, the English media are giving huge praise to Luke Shaw and he seems almost certain to go to the Euros with England. How have you reflected on his season and his impressive recovery from where he was perceived from being perhaps a year-or-so ago?
I have definitely been impressed with Luke Shaw. But that was pivotal for his improvement. He needed to hit rock bottom, be criticised, be challenged fitness wise. His quality was in there, I think he’s a top left back with massive potential.
Sometimes, like with every player, people will talk about attitude or ambition, and it was a challenge for that but he’s a top player. I think this year what happened is that he worked hard in training, I think he worked on his consistency making sure that defensively he was always on it, and offensively he naturally expresses what he can do.
He’s very composed, he crosses the ball well, he will pass correctly to his strikers or wingers, and really supports that energy that we need. Sometimes players with different tools, different aspects of their game can provide more.
So I’m saying play outside of your comfort zone. Sometimes United, especially when they’re not playing well, they all remain in their comfort zone. That’s when players with fire do what they think is required to help their teammates. I remember all the time, Wayne Rooney was doing it, you’ll see Gary Neville, Ryan Giggs, they will do even more. John O’Shea even playing as a goalkeeper! Whatever it is, those things are major to win championships.
With Paul Pogba there is always speculation around him. He’s played 22 times in the Premier League this season, 3 goals and 3 assists, Luke Shaw who we just mentioned, has 5 assists. How do you feel with Paul Pogba? Is there still space for him there? Do you want him to be central to Manchester United’s plans?
I’m a big fan of Paul. To be honest some games, like last season, he was alone. He was without Bruno, without the players around him playing with full confidence. Now all those forward players have ambition and energy, now Paul has no excuse.
He’s really a top player that we can ask a lot because he’s able to do so much and provide so much for his team. Now it will be very important that his fitness will be totally right because he has been hit by COVID and a few injuries. I can’t wait to see him start the season with a proper pre-season, a proper set up of tactics with the manager to give him the platform to go and destroy the season. This is the potential.
Of course, I don’t like when it comes to speculation and his agent comes and talks instead of him. In so many ways it brings the attention back to Paul when he doesn’t need that, he needs to let his football talk.
This is where, as a fan, you get frustrated because he sends the wrong image. That’s not him, I’m sure. I know him well and the guy is strong, he will hold his ground, he will show that he is passionate but he’s not going to show weaknesses or be influenced by anyone. That’s the kind of situation we have with him. But he’s super motivated on his own. Paul isn’t going to be a Roy Keane or a Wayne Rooney, that’s not the same style or personality and we can’t ask him to be someone else. He’s going to be Paul Pogba.
Looking ahead to next season. Jesse Lingard has been somewhat of a revelation at West Ham in terrific form. Do you think there is still an opportunity for him to come back and be a part of Manchester United next season? Or would you expect or understand if he did choose to move on?
Jesse is a great player with great energy levels. He will score goals and he will create chances because he’s the type of player that’s really hard to follow. He moves all over the front line and can provide that, at West Ham it becomes even more visible.
Of course he’s going to be that type of player that can open up in some places because he’s done the extra mile, he’s done the extra run. Different clubs have different requirements. You may not play week-in week-out because you have competition in front of you. It’s going to be his own management, his own choice.
I’m sure as a player he’ll want to do that at Manchester United, as a kid that’s grown up there and do the best for the club, but that’s not for me to decide. He definitely has the potential to come back and I’m sure that’s why he went on loan rather than signed permanently. But for sure he knows that West Ham is not the same calibre as Manchester United.
To where United could strengthen. There’s been rumours about looking to recruit a new Centre Back and there’s been Raphael Varane and Milenkovic linked. Do you have any views on those or are there any other names that may head to Manchester United to boost the defence? And do you think that is the area they should look to improve on?
I think when you are attacking, the way United are. Sometimes counter attacking, sometimes with lots of numbers in the box – so Pogba, McTominay, Fred – just bombard, you need good defenders. You need quick full backs that are able to come back and help the two central defenders.
If the central defenders aren’t super strong in 1 on 1 they can need help and improvements. They need that kind of challenge to improve domination in games. Those kind of players can bring that. Varane for example is an incredibly experienced player having won the World Cup and Champions League. At the same time his great quality is his speed.
He’s very, very fast and he can hold any striker that comes at him. So any defenders with the same kind of profile will be interesting. It doesn’t mean that it’s the only weakness that we need to address, it’s more about spirit and how we can finish actions that we are creating.
There’s two types of defending, you can defend by attacking really well, and defend because you’re afraid of your opponent and you find a tactic to protect your defenders. When you do that you are on the wrong path for United.
At the other end of the pitch there’s rumours about Harry Kane and Erling Haaland being linked to Manchester United. Can you conceive that United will go out and spend the big money on a star striker this summer? And would you have a preference between the two?
I think when you look at Harry Kane and Haaland, it’s two different profiles but they score goals. Haaland has a great future, he is a top striker and you can see he already has that fire in him so he will really help any side in this world because of that.
He’s got the size, he’s got the speed, he’s got all the qualities you need to be a top striker. Harry is more about consistency, you know what he’s going to give you. He’s like a super striker, but a super team player as well.
A captain in so many ways. So yes these guys can give a lot to Manchester United but again it depends on the strategy of the management with the transfers. If they want to win a Championship these are the kind of players you have to get. The one player with 30 games and 30 goals it’s scary. When you have one of these kind of players with the youth we have in the side, my god, it’s scary.
Do you still feel Manchester United remains a club where the best strikers in the World want to come? You’ve got Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea, do Manchester United still have that lure to bring the best talent?
Manchester United still have that appeal to the biggest players, now more than last year. When you look at games of the past 2/3 years I have to admit that I was switching off the TV. I couldn’t bear watching the style of play and I’m not saying that about the game itself, I couldn’t understand the energy level.
I was in shock. I put myself in the place of a fan who is 30 years old and his whole family is Manchester United fans, it was unacceptable performances sometimes. When you look at it now you can say, wow, I’m attracted.
I’m seeing a type of play with players like Bruno, Pogba, Rashford, all those players who bring values as well. Rashford has brought back the values you love in this club like caring, family, those are important for people. The brand has been tarnished a bit in the past few days because of the ESL but for players who want to play Champions League I think it’s a great place.
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Louis Saha On Tottenham
It’s been a fascinating week for them, not only with the ESL but with Jose Mourinho’s departure. How do you reflect on their season and what did you make of the news about Mourinho? Were you surprised?
At the start you understand why Mourinho was brought in because of his record for winning trophies and changing the mentality. I think he brought that mentality initially, maybe not the style of play. So after a few weeks where you see some performances you can say it’s Mourinho’s style, but it was down to the players.
When you have Harry Kane and Son’s partnership working, you’re going to have games where you win and give off the impression of having some kind of consistency. So I’m not surprised to see him having some kind of reaction with the press, the way he sometimes attacks his players, we know this about him and this is his style.
We know sometimes he attacks, sometimes he counter attacks, sometimes he defends. With his style I think he tried to improve. All this is hard for Tottenham because it’s a club who wants to be in the Champions League, winning the Premier League and they are not having any success.
The debate with Roy Keane and Jamie Redknapp the other day, I can recognise why Roy Keane is saying that. Sometimes it’s true. Sometimes that kind of soft approach, and as a group you need consistency and aggressivity and all that. Sometimes the club hasn’t show that but their potential is massive, that’s why the expectation of the fans is right up there.
In terms of the timing of sacking Mourinho, it’s very unusual to see a manager leave the week before a cup final and it’s not like Tottenham make a cup final every year. What do you make of the timing?
When you look at the cup final, yes it’s strange timing. When you look at mentality, if the Chairman has heard that within the dressing room there is some issue, some irrecoverable situation you have to make a decision. The Chairman has to make decisions and it may be painful but sometimes enough is enough.
I’m not inside to know what happened. The timing is not great if you want to win a cup. But at the same time it could be another approach because the pressure that he brought is gone and the next manager may come, with the win against Southampton, and bring some freedom, some fresh air and let the players express themselves and be as aggressive as you can.
Sometimes with players this can be the best speech you can have. They are professional, they know what they are doing. Just sometimes they need the right push, the right animation for them to express themselves. Sometimes it’s good and it works, sometimes it doesn’t.
Against Southampton we had Ryan Mason become the youngest ever man, 29 years old, to manager a Premier League game. Do you feel he has any chance of getting the job long term? And if not the bookmakers are talking about Julian Nagelsmann, Mauricio Sarri, Brendan Rodgers, Scott Parker, Eddie Howe. Do you have any thoughts on who you think might be a good next manager?
I think you named the main contenders. If you are a club with the stature of Tottenham who wants to win the Champions League you need a manager who was up there managing at that level. That kind of level, perhaps three of four seasons of managing a side in the Champions League and if you want to win it you need that kind of vision, that kind of experience.
It’s a nice experience for Ryan as an ex-Tottenham player and I wish him the best, and to win the remaining games and who knows to seduce the Chairman but I think that’s unrealistic because it’s going to be a very tough job. Inevitably some games you won’t play well and everyone will be on your case because you’re too young and find excuses to challenge you and you always have more to defend than to play for so it’s really bad for players because all the time that kind of topic of the next manager is going to be on the table.
So is there one name you can see being a good fit?
Nagelsmann is a good fit because he’s young, he’s got a style that will fit in some way, there’s other I’m sure. But the style of one manager is one thing, will he have a great relationship with the players?
But the pedigree and the way that he will bring the players to another level is hard to put a profile with the perfect fit because there is no perfect fit. You need the experience with the players, 6 months or 1 year to establish yourself then 2 or 3 more years to bring the project to a good outcome. Those things are about the chairman to understand the project need 4/5 years.
Many pundits think Spurs have one of the best squads in the Premier League. Where do you think they should be with the squad they have?
The Premier League is a tough league. If you think you have the best squad it doesn’t mean anything. The best squad is what? What is the base for that? They can control the ball and be technically very gifted but a good team can be experienced players without that much quality in terms of technical ability or be that exciting when they play, but they are bloody efficient on everything they do and so hard to beat.
They have that fire that goes in to a draw, in to a win and this is depends which criteria. If it’s skill and how to score goals they have two great players. They have some really good players in midfield. Very strong numbers defensively they are good players. But do they have that kind of experience and fire? I can’t comment on that.
Let’s look ahead to Sunday. It’s a final for Tottenham against Man City, how do you assess their chances of being able to lift the trophy?
It’s a final. Of course they have a big chance. The football history tells us it’s all about the details. They need to free their minds and believe in themselves and enjoy the day. I still feel like it’s a massive opportunity and they definitely have the players to do it.
Do you think they would have had a better chance with Mourinho?
We’ll never know!
Tottenham did win last night against Southampton in the last minute. How do you think that impacts the game going into the Final with the momentum of a win?
It’s always important. But when the whistle blows for the final, you forget everything. Maybe the win brings the players and manager in to a different mood. It can make the manager feel more respected in a certain way so he’s not going to answer about the last performance and start on the wrong foot. It’s a good opportunity to come with confident players.
Son scored which is good, and we hope that Harry will be back and do his thing.
How much rests on Harry Kane’s fitness in your opinion?
Harry Kane is huge, he’s more important than the Mourinho factor. The security is him. His consistency is incredible. Whether he plays and scores, or he will play and assist, it’s what the stats tell you. He’s a terrific player to have in your squad, especially in a final.
If Tottenham do win on Sunday, does that make it a good season for them?
I think winning on Sunday does mean a good season for them. You need a trophy, you need that emotion and it’s a great foundation for next year. Having that in mind, it’s always better and a good way to start a new era.
So many people tend to forget the pandemic was tough for everybody. It’s not a normal season so it’s very important to recognise we don’t have all the facts on what happened, the injuries and so on. The trophy means you have done better than others, many teams won’t win any trophies so it’s a positive.
How far off are they for challenging for the Premier League title with this set of players?
I think to win the title they are missing that aggressiveness for them to be consistent. Maybe it’s having teammates making each other accountable saying this is unacceptable or I don’t like this. It was more normal to see that in our era, it’s really hard to see that now. In this generation it’s hard to criticise.
This is where you have, within your squad, players who are actually able to drag you to another momentum in some way. This is what is missing so until they have sorted that, and I don’t know when and I don’t know how, it’s going to be tough. It’s like when you have memories, Leicester for example have done it without experience, they have come up and played with aggression. They had certain types of players, certain types of quality and they gave 200% every game.
It was so hard to beat and I know that this is aggression, this is what I’m saying how it’s not about the quality of the players. They are not far away with quality but maybe sometimes for us it’s a marathon, you need 8 players who totally understand the tactics and the energy they need to remain there and believe about how to do it. Then things click, fans believe and all those things happen and it becomes history.
A word maybe on Gareth Bale who scored a lovely goal last night. Tottenham invested heavily in his wages to bring him to the club. How do you assess his contribution to the club this season?
I think Gareth has done well when he came up with that belief that he needed games and Tottenham is a great platform to do that. He played some great games and has come back to a fitness level that he is happy with.
He said in the press that he wanted to come back to Real Madrid but I think it was a great story and a great plan and if they win a trophy it’s perfect and Gareth will be a part of that. I’m very pleased with what happened with him. He’s such a lovely guy, a simple guy that lived through some kind of amazing life that people don’t understand. But simplicity prevailed for him. Some people will attack him for that because he’s real and he’s true to his core, he’s authentic.
A word on Dele Alli. There’s been a lot of fans who would have liked to have seen him play a bit more. Do you think this is the summer where he has to leave to resurrect his career?
Dele has to make a decision with what he wants to do and he has to fully commit to it. If he stays he has to work super hard and use what has happened in the right way and to enjoy even more what he does. It’s hard when you can’t express it, when you can’t play and show how good you actually are.
The hardest is when you’re injured and you can’t do anything about it. The main thing for him is to play. To feel like he is loved, to feel like he is supported. Then he will express his talent because he has got plenty.
That isn’t easy and that’s football. Sometimes you have better players who have bad patches because you’re not playing well, you’re not feeling right. But he has all the tools to bounce back and be a great player.
Can Tottenham keep hold of Harry Kane this summer? Could it be the year he finally leaves?
I would not be surprised if he finally leaves, because he is such a big player for his club and country. He is so consistent, he’s given his life to Spurs. Now he has to think about himself and where he may want to fulfil his dreams, he may have to go.
Louis Saha On Everton
Everton face Arsenal this weekend. Which club do you think is in a stronger position going in to next season?
I think Everton by far is in a stronger position going in to next season than Arsenal. Arsenal is a team that hasn’t performed or won the Championship for a while now. They perhaps have a bigger recent history, but Everton is a growing club with a top manager and a new stadium on the horizon.
I am really pleased to see Arteta managing Arsenal, they have a lot of potential. The foundations at Arsenal have been built for a long time, but I’m not sure on their direction at the moment.
Can Ancelotti make Everton into a Champions League club?
Yes, I definitely do think he can turn Everton into a Champions League club.
How do you reflect on the season James Rodriguez has had and what about Richarlison, can Everton keep hold of him?
Both have been tremendous for Everton. They are confident and have charisma. It’s a huge question for the chairman if he can keep hold of them, it’s important they try to, they’ve had a big impact. James can be hard to predict, Richarlison has been very consistent.
Should Everton look to keep hold of Moise Kean? Do you think he’ll return after his successful loan spell at PSG?
He left on loan and has done very well at PSG, albeit he is playing in Ligue 1, where he has the luxury of playing with Mbappe and Neymar. He should have grown in confidence. It’s a challenge for him now to show Everton they can trust him.
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Louis Saha On Fulham
Can Fulham still escape relegation this season?
It’s going to be tough. Whether you are at the top or bottom you need consistency and that hasn’t been there recently for Fulham. It’s important to take points against those around you. They have a chance to stay up, I really hope they do, they were responsible for my big step in the Premier League, there are some interesting fixtures ahead for them.
How do you feel in regards to Scott Parker’s role this season? Would you like Fulham to stick with him even if they do go down? If Fulham do go down, do you feel they are in good shape to immediately get back to the Premier League?
I think they could come back quickly if they did go down. The Premier League is tough, but they have the right foundations. I think Scott has done a great job, but they should have taken more points. In some ways it feels like they’re often at the wrong end of penalty and VAR decisions and they’ve missed out on important points.
There are not many occasions where they’ve played dreadfully. They have generally been in games and doing ok. Overall, Scott has done a tremendous job, the team haven’t let him down badly in any of the games.
How do you assess the role this season from your former teammate Mikel Arteta at Arsenal? Do you expect them to have a better season next year?
It can’t be worse in some ways. What’s happened now with the Super League will only add to the fans’ frustrations. They have a great history. I want to see United or City competing with great sides. That’s the Premier League with fantastic battles. Arsenal are definitely not playing great.
Who do you expect to win the Champions League this year?
I’m a PSG fan and what they have delivered this year, especially against Bayern Munich was terrific and they did very well against Barcelona. It was tough to beat them, but I feel that this year, they have tremendous players, the team is playing well and I am excited and hoping to see them go all the way.
It’s not easy though the Champions League, you have huge opponents, it’s about who does best on the day.
What has been the problem with Liverpool this season? Do you expect them to challenge again for the league next season?
It’s a great squad. It looks like they’ve been impacted by confidence. They have great players and a great manager, I think they’ll be back to the level we expect next season.
How do you reflect on Chelsea’s season? They’ve arrived in the CL Final. What have you made of Tuchel?
They are in the Semi-Finals of the Champions League, so they have a chance. The manager seems to have given them more confidence, though I have to say I’m not sure about their style of football and not all their signings have been a success. I don’t think they are playing at their full potential, I don’t think they are impressive to watch.
If everything goes right for them on their day, they could win the Champions League. Offensively I feel they are missing something to create more chances going forward. There is definitely room for improvement which, in some way, is encouraging.