Nathan Tella has offered his thoughts on the competition for places in the Southampton squad…
Southampton forward Nathan Tella has welcomed the competition for places within the squad this season and explained why it will help throughout the campaign.
The ex-Arsenal forward believes that it will motivate himself and others to work harder in training in order to impress the manager.
“That’s what I want, I like competition. I think it will bring the best out of me, make me want to do more, work harder, and show that I can do more.
“As well as myself, it will be good for the defenders if the attackers are training well every day, they will have to train even better to stop us from scoring.
“That will be good for the team because when it comes to the game, they will have had that confidence that they can stop us training well or creating chances so they can do that against opposition in the Premier League.”
Tella has been a victim of the competition in the wide/forward areas this term as he has been limited to just 10 minutes of football in the first three games of the Premier League season. He played the final 10 minutes against Everton before sitting on the bench for the matches against Manchester United and Newcastle.
However, he was given game time in the top-flight by Ralph Hasenhuttl last season. The 5ft 8 winger played 18 times in the Premier League, including seven starts, and provided a goal and an assist. Whilst he was unable to show it consistently, this does prove that he has the ability to score at the top level.
Hasenhuttl once hailed Tella as a jewel and admitted that it is difficult for defenders to deal with him. He told Southampton’s website:
“This energetic young guy is one of the jewels we have in our Academy and I like to push him because I think he showed today that as a striker, he is not so easy to defend.”
It is now down to Tella to show that he can produce consistent performances week-in-week-out, but he is not going to do that if he does not get the opportunity to do so.
Therefore, Hasenhuttl should unleash Tella in the next few weeks and hand him a start or two in the Premier League to see if the competition for places has spurred him on to improve.
At worst, including Tella in the line-up could prompt whoever drops out to up their game and work twice as hard in training to win their place back.
This is why Hasenhuttl should make use of the competition in his squad by rotating and offering chances to players to show what they can do, starting with Tella.