Nathan Jones’ most memorable quotes as Southampton manager
Southampton have confirmed that they have parted ways with manager Nathan Jones.
The Welshman was giving his marching orders after the Saints somehow lost 2-1 at home to 10-man Wolves.
They remain rooted to the foot of the Premier League table, but their saving grace is they have not yet been cut adrift, which is why a change of manager was so necessary – their season can still be saved.
Jones leaves Southampton as almost unanimously unpopular among fans, but to the neutral, he was box office, constantly reeling off bizarre quotes in his press conferences and interviews.
Here are Jones’ best (or worst) soundbites from his brief time at Southampton.
Let’s start at the finish while it’s still fresh in the memory.
Having led 1-0, Southampton were beaten 2-1 at St Mary’s by a Wolves side that played around an hour with 10 men.
But according to Jones, this put the Saints at a disadvantage. How could they expect to compete against a team with one fewer player?
Jones is a devout Christian. He references his faith in pretty much every interview he does. Sometimes, he admits that the will of God is one of his tactics (hey, he did manage the Saints after all).
In his last pre-match press conference, Jones made this statement, ensuring us that he definitely believes in himself. Okay.
Oh yes, having a pop at the fans, a sure-fire way to save your skin.
Jones’ post-match presser after losing 3-0 at Brentford was a doozie and this is the first of several entrants in this list.
With Southampton staring another defeat in the face, Jones withdrew Romeo Lavia and Samuel Edozie, to that point clearly their two best performers.
The fans chanted than Jones didn’t know what he was doing. He disagreed.
Cor blimey, this was iconic.
In that same Brentford press conference, Jones explained why Southampton poached him from Luton.
The full quote read: “There weren’t many better than me in Europe for aggression, clean sheets, defending inside your box and xG.”
Yep, same Brentford press conference.
After admitting that he had compromised on some of his principles, Jones was asked if he had let outside noise get to him. He said he had not.
In another press conference, Jones was asked to elaborate on what he meant by ‘people in the village’ and revealed that even he didn’t know what he was on about.
There was no way to condense this quote into the title box, so here it is in full:
“I could have stayed in a mining community, been a PE teacher and had a nice life, married a nice Welsh girl. I don’t. I want to test myself on every level & that’s nothing against Welsh women. I want to test myself.”
Goodness knows how he went on this tangent.
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Tottenham director Fabio Paratici banned from football worldwide by FIFA
Tottenham managing director of football Fabio Paratici has been banned from football worldwide after FIFA extended the punishment imposed in Italy following his involvement in Juventus’ penalised accounting practices.
In January, the Italian giants suffered a shock 15-point deduction after the club was deemed to have inflated player transfer values in swap deals among other financial offences.
Paratici joined the Juventus hierarchy in 2010 and was the club’s sporting director between November 2018 and the summer of 2021, before he took up a similar role at Tottenham. The investigation into Juve’s accounts scrutinised transactions between 2019 and 2021 – when Paratici was at the heart of the club’s dealings.
At the start of the year, Paratici was one of several former Juventus board members that were banned from football following the conclusion of the investigation by the Italian Football Federation. Initially, Paratici was handed a 30-month ban from just Italian football, although the threat of extending the scope of that punishment internationally always loomed.
On Wednesday, FIFA released a statement confirming that they had indeed taken up that option, extending the ban handed out to Paratici and the other Juventus board members – including former owner Andrea Agnelli – worldwide.
The statement read: “FIFA can confirm that following a request by the Italian FA (FIGC), the chairperson of FIFA disciplinary committee has decided to extend the sanctions imposed by FIGC on several football officials to have worldwide effect.”
Paratici was due to be in court this week for a a preliminary committal hearing regarding a portion of the charges levelled at Juve, but the date for those proceedings have been shunted back to 10 May. Juve appealed their 15-point penalty – which the prosecution only recommended as a nine-point punishment – and will hear the ruling of which on 19 April.
On this edition of Talking Transfers, part of the 90min podcast network, Scott Saunders, Graeme Bailey & Toby Cudworth discuss Julian Nagelsmann’s future and links to the vacant Tottenham head coach role, Barcelona’s ambition to bring Lionel Messi ‘home’, Brighton teenager Evan Ferguson, Florian Wirtz, Kalvin Phillips and more!
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Sir Alex Ferguson & Arsene Wenger inducted into Premier League Hall of Fame
Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger have become the first managers to be inducted into the Premier League Hall of Fame.
The duo won 16 Premier League titles between them across respective long-term spells with Manchester United and Arsenal.
With 13 of those championships, Ferguson is the most decorated manager in the history of the competition. He is the only coach to have won the Premier League three times in a row, doing so on two different occasions.
Ferguson said: “I’m truly delighted to be inducted into the Premier League Hall of Fame. It’s an honour when you receive recognition like this. However, it’s not just about me as a person. It’s about the job at Manchester United and the bond we had over many years, so I’m also proud for the club, the staff and my players.
“My job was to send the fans home happy. United’s history and my own expectations were the things that drove me, and I then had to try and develop all my players with the same expectations and make sure we could go out and achieve them.
“I feel Arsene is a very worthy inductee as he transformed Arsenal Football Club fantastically. They became a tough team to compete with and we both wanted to win, which motivated us further. Through the years since retirement, we’d go for dinner together in a little restaurant he knows well in Switzerland. He is a really interesting man and I enjoy his company, but it is still my job to pick the wine!”
Wenger arrived in England in 1996 as one of the Premier League’s first foreign coaches, and quickly proved sceptics wrong, transforming Arsenal into title winners and changing English football’s culture with his scouting and dietary expertise.
The Frenchman won three Premier League titles with Arsenal, including an unbeaten ‘Invincibles’ season in 2003/04.
Wenger said: “I am very grateful to have been selected for the Premier League Hall of Fame. We always wanted to give something special to the fans and when you have players capable of remarkable things, the most important thing for me is the obligation of perfection.
“I’d like to be known as someone who loved Arsenal, who respected the values of the club and left it in a position where it can grow and become even bigger.
“To share this with Sir Alex is a great honour for me. It’s like two boxers, you fight like mad and go the distance together. At the end of the day, you have respect and it will be a great opportunity to meet with him, share a good bottle of wine and memories of our old battles.”
In addition to Ferguson and Wenger, there are 16 other inductees in the Premier League Hall of Fame.
Alan Shearer and Thierry Henry were the first two people inducted when the Hall of Fame was created in 2021. They were followed later that year by Eric Cantona, Roy Keane, Frank Lampard, Dennis Bergkamp, Steven Gerrard and David Beckham.
In 2022, Wayne Rooney, Patrick Vieira, Sergio Aguero, Didier Drogba, Vincent Kompany, Peter Schmeichel, Paul Scholes and Ian Wright were inducted.
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