Graziano Pelle pearler is pure pleasure for Ronald Koeman during Southampton's 2-1 win over QPR

The summer signing was on target again in the 2-1 win

Nick Szczepanik
Monday 29 September 2014 08:45
Graziano Pelle celebrates scoring for Southampton
Graziano Pelle celebrates scoring for Southampton

The two spectacular goals in a game won 2-1 by Southampton over Queen’s Park Rangers drew contrasting reactions from the scorers’ managers.

Saints’ Ronald Koeman was delighted with Graziano Pelle and his rapid adjustment to the demands of the Premier League following his £8m summer move from Feyenoord, where he and Koeman worked together. Harry Redknapp bemoaned the fact that if Charlie Austin does not score for his QPR team, nobody does.

“He scored a lot of goals for me at Feyenoord but this one was amazing, how he scored and the moment in the game,” Koeman said of Pelle’s winner, an overhead volley of imagination and stunning technique. “But apart from how he scores goals it’s important that the player has shown his qualities. He is learning fast.

“In the first two weeks I told him, ‘It’s not Holland.’ In Holland if you bring 70 per cent of your physical effort you will win the battle. In the Premier League you have to bring more than 100 per cent, and he’s doing that. Then you see how good he is as an attacker.”

Pelle’s own analysis of the goal, created by a headed pass from playmaker Dusan Tadic – another Koeman summer import from Holland – revealed a promising understanding to rival that of Adam Lallana and Rickie Lambert, now both departed for Liverpool. “Usually Dusan, when the ball comes to him, he uses his body to bring it onto his left [foot], but I saw him make a small look on my side,” Pelle said. “We like to play with each other and I just felt that he was going to pass to me with the head. I expected it and I scored an amazing goal.”

Pelle even has hopes of a place in the Italy squad at 29 after being named in a preliminary squad in August by Antonio Conte, the head coach. “I believe in myself, so if I was not even inside a small thought of the trainer it would be strange,” he said. “I’m doing well and I know by myself when I deserve something, when not. But for me now the focus is to do good with Southampton and if it will come, I am going to be super happy.”

Redknapp was subdued after an away performance that showed vast improvement on successive 4-0 defeats at Tottenham and Manchester United but brought no reward bar the memory of Austin’s instant control of a cross by Eduardo Vargas and volleyed finish, his second goal of the season but only his team’s fourth.

“You look at last year and Charlie got 17 goals and no one else got anywhere near,” Redknapp said. “We lost a lot of goals when [Loïc] Rémy left on the Saturday before the deadline and you are hoping Matty Phillips and Vargas and Junior Hoilett will weigh in. The midfield’s got to score some goals otherwise we will not score enough – that is the problem.”

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