When Saints’ opening fixture of the new Barclays Premier League season was pushed back a day for television coverage, no-one was more pleased than Matt Le Tissier.
The Southampton legend remains in his role as a pundit on the Sky Sports programme Soccer Saturday for the 2014/15 campaign, and as far as he’s concerned, the more games screened live the better.
“The more live games that we get the more I’ll be able to come to,” he told saintsfc.co.uk ahead of the new season.
“I don’t really like the Saturday 3 o’clock games as I’ve got to sit in the studio and wait for the goal reports to come in.
“It will be great once the season kicks off,” he adds. “You look towards the games with the big boys. The Man City game here has also been chosen for live coverage, so that will be nice as I’ll be able to get down for that one.
“The new season coming around is always an exciting time. I never used to look forward too much to coming back to it for training, but once the season started and those three or four weeks were over and you knew you were building up to that first game, it was a pretty exciting time.
“One of your favourite moments as a player is stepping out on the first day of the season and knowing that if you win that game you could be top of the league at the end of that day. It didn’t happen very often though!”
Saints travel up to Liverpool on the first weekend of the season for a game that Le Tiss will be able to keep a close eye on, and hopes that the team fare a little better on Merseyside than he did during his playing days.
“We didn’t win there very often, that’s my memory of Anfield,” he recalls.
“I was involved in a 3-2 win I think, but I was on the bench that day. It certainly wasn’t a happy hunting ground. I scored twice up there in my whole career and unfortunately both of them were in a 4-2 defeat so it didn’t really count for anything.
“Playing at Anfield is one of my more special memories though because as a kid growing up, Liverpool were always the top team and were winning European cups while the atmosphere that’s created just before kick-off with, ‘You’ll never walk alone’ and the scarves going up, which was a pretty special moment.
“It doesn’t surprise me that it was picked for live television this time around with Adam and Rickie going there. It makes it a little more spicy and there’s the fact that we were one of only two teams to win there last season. It’s going to be good fun and it will be interesting to see what the season brings as this will become a nice pointer for us.”
Le Tissier also gave his approval to new boss Ronald Koeman, even if he has had to forget about the Dutchman being the villain against England in a World Cup qualifier all those years ago.
“I was as gutted as everybody when he scored that free-kick against England all those years ago, but I’m sure we can forgive him for that now,” he said. “It was a long time ago and he should have been sent off, we all know that! We won’t harp on about it 20 years later though.
“I think it’s a cracking appointment,” Matt affirmed.
“It was a big blow for the club losing the manager and three players because everybody starts to panic, but a couple of those players have been replaced and hopefully they’ll start well to fill the big boots that Adam and Rickie left.
“With Ronald coming in, he’s a fantastic name in world football and should attract good players to this football club and that’s probably one of the most important factors.”