Football: Venison to ease burden on Le Tissier

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The Independent Online

Barry Venison's arrival at Southampton can relieve the pressure on Matthew Le Tissier, believes Jimmy Case, the man the former Newcastle and Liverpool player has been bought to emulate.

Case, another former Liverpool player recruited by Lawrie McMenemy during his first spell at The Dell, is still idolised as the cornerstone of the side during seven successful years towards the end of his career.

Now he looks to Venison to do the same and relieve the frustration that contributed to Le Tissier's dismissal against Liverpool on Sunday. "He's a figurehead that the young players can look up, to and it should be great for Le Tissier," Case said.

"He [Le Tissier] has had everything on his shoulders for so long. They're still waiting for the others to come of age, and he needs the help that someone like Venison can give him."

Venison has cost just pounds 850,000 to free from two unhappy months in Turkey with Graeme Souness at Galatasaray and Case believes that McMenemy, now the Saints' director of football, has signed another bargain.

"He can play well in so many positions and anybody who has signed him before, from Liverpool through to Newcastle, has been delighted with his commitment and ability. He's a good acquisition," Case said.

"When you look around the country and the money involved to get any player, then the price to bring him back is a great deal. He will be good for the club."

Venison is looking forward to playing alongside Le Tissier and said after watching Sunday's game: "It's a mouth-watering prospect".

"Obviously he is not playing well at the moment but I am sure that he will come through again. But he does not need any pressure taken off him. He is a quality player and he handles it very well."

Venison is as comfortable at full-back as he is in the centre of defence, but the Southampton manager, Dave Merrington, is looking to him to anchor the midfield in the same way that Case did.

"He [Venison] is a great utility player but it was his performances in midfield which won him his England call-ups. He did a great job there for Newcastle and I hope we can get him to do the same for us," he said.

"He'll add that little bit of what Jimmy Case used to give us. He will have that kind of influence in terms of leadership and experience."

McMenemy adds: "He is the type of player we used to sign years ago but they are not so common now. He has played at the highest level for a long time. I had him with me at Sunderland and he has done well with Newcastle and Liverpool.

"Going to Turkey will have broadened his experience. He was there just long enough to get a taste and learn a bit but not too long so he will be able to slot straight back into the Premiership."

Richard Jobson has admitted his relief at joining Leeds three months after a move was ruled out on medical grounds. The central defender, who finally completed his pounds 1m transfer from Oldham on Monday, is expected to make his debut in against Coventry at Elland Road on Saturday.

Jobson, admitted it was a "a blow" when Leeds turned him down in the summer after he failed a medical.

"There is no point in dwelling on these things," said the 32-year-old after signing a two-and-a-half year contract.

"It has always been my ambition to get back into the Premier League. It has taken a little longer than expected but I have finally made it."

The Leeds manager, Howard Wilkinson, explained the club's reversal on Jobson. "An agreement was reached between ourselves and Oldham three months ago but it had to be called off because of a medical report by our people, who were concerned about Richard's fitness to play football," said Wilkinson.

"He went back to Oldham and we have closely monitored his progress since. It is not the first time something like this has happened and it won't be the last."

Jobson is ineligible to play for Leeds in their Coca-Cola Cup tie at Derby tonight.