Graziano Pelle is fulfilling a childhood dream at Saints

Graziano Pelle

Graziano Pelle

First published in Football Basingstoke Gazette: Photograph of the Author by , Senior Sports Reporter

Graziano Pelle is fulfilling a childhood dream by playing in the Premier League.

After breaking his Saints duck in the Capital One Cup win at Millwall, the Italian striker is hoping to score his first goal in English football’s top flight on Saturday, when Saints return to London to take on West Ham. “Since I was young, one of my dreams was to play in the Premier League and finally I got it,” said the 29 year-old, an £8m summer signing from Feyenoord.

“I remember watching Alan Shearer and Dennis Bergkamp playing really well and I always loved to watch Manchester United.

This league is so exciting, every time it is so exciting to watch.”

Pelle is relishing his role as Saints’ targetman.

“It’s not just enough to play in the Premier League,” he continued. “I want to improve. I think it’s the most difficult competition, especially for a striker because the defenders are really tough.

“They have great midfields in front that fight. Every ball I have to use everything and be strong up front for my teammates.

“But I like difficult games and the challenge because of the quality of all the teams.

“I know that in the first two games I did not do what I should do in several cases but I’m improving. The defender pushed me a bit [at Millwall] but did I fall? Never! I’m a big man, I have to always be aware of that, the referee will not reason me and I have to be more aggressive. I’m negative with myself every time because I want to improve. I will always try my best to be better.”

Pelle was relieved to get off the mark in injury time at Millwall, when he completed an impressive second half by firing in the second goal in a 2-0 win.

He continued: “Dusan Tadic told me ‘I’ve never seen you so happy when you score!’ He was joking but it was partly true because he knows how much I care and how important it was for me to score and to win the game.

“Winning is most important, but when you have both it’s great. It’s like when a girl is pregnant, you have to wait nine months and for me it was almost the same feeling!

“I had to be more sharp to score the goal but better later than never. We didn’t do so well in the first half. I enjoyed the second half but we still have to be more focused and not give 45 minutes to the opposition.”

Comments (18)

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6:12am Thu 28 Aug 14

White and red till dead says...

Oh dear, I hope his head is not already at Man Utd. No mention of joy of playing for Saints....
Oh dear, I hope his head is not already at Man Utd. No mention of joy of playing for Saints.... White and red till dead
  • Score: 10

7:09am Thu 28 Aug 14

KiwiSaint74 says...

Who needs to watch Shearer or Bergkamp when there's Le Tiss?
Who needs to watch Shearer or Bergkamp when there's Le Tiss? KiwiSaint74
  • Score: 13

7:25am Thu 28 Aug 14

SFCOLDBOY says...

On Tuesday he was all at sea in the first half.
That said, the same as all the rest.
Second half with him attacking our end, after the inspiring Corky, coming on, he worked his socks off.
He got really upset with himself because he was just missing the goal or the keeper was pulling off great saves.
We the fans were continuously singing his name and even though he was obviously tiring he was noticably lifted by us.
We and he got the reward for this and you could see the change in the player once he had scored.
Yes, he has a long way to go in terms of being a new talisman for the club, but I would like to think we saw the biginnings of a new era.
COYS
On Tuesday he was all at sea in the first half. That said, the same as all the rest. Second half with him attacking our end, after the inspiring Corky, coming on, he worked his socks off. He got really upset with himself because he was just missing the goal or the keeper was pulling off great saves. We the fans were continuously singing his name and even though he was obviously tiring he was noticably lifted by us. We and he got the reward for this and you could see the change in the player once he had scored. Yes, he has a long way to go in terms of being a new talisman for the club, but I would like to think we saw the biginnings of a new era. COYS SFCOLDBOY
  • Score: 37

7:41am Thu 28 Aug 14

Berkshire Saint says...

SFCOLDBOY wrote:
On Tuesday he was all at sea in the first half.
That said, the same as all the rest.
Second half with him attacking our end, after the inspiring Corky, coming on, he worked his socks off.
He got really upset with himself because he was just missing the goal or the keeper was pulling off great saves.
We the fans were continuously singing his name and even though he was obviously tiring he was noticably lifted by us.
We and he got the reward for this and you could see the change in the player once he had scored.
Yes, he has a long way to go in terms of being a new talisman for the club, but I would like to think we saw the biginnings of a new era.
COYS
Here's to a new era. I work with a Feyenord season ticket holder who said that Pelle became a cult figure for them and with great backing from us (and decent service ) then there's every chance he'll be a success with us.
[quote][p][bold]SFCOLDBOY[/bold] wrote: On Tuesday he was all at sea in the first half. That said, the same as all the rest. Second half with him attacking our end, after the inspiring Corky, coming on, he worked his socks off. He got really upset with himself because he was just missing the goal or the keeper was pulling off great saves. We the fans were continuously singing his name and even though he was obviously tiring he was noticably lifted by us. We and he got the reward for this and you could see the change in the player once he had scored. Yes, he has a long way to go in terms of being a new talisman for the club, but I would like to think we saw the biginnings of a new era. COYS[/p][/quote]Here's to a new era. I work with a Feyenord season ticket holder who said that Pelle became a cult figure for them and with great backing from us (and decent service ) then there's every chance he'll be a success with us. Berkshire Saint
  • Score: 26

7:44am Thu 28 Aug 14

saintbobby says...

This guy seems to be on to it as far as the quotes in this interview go.

He has acknowledged that he had a slow start, but emphasises an ambition to do well and sounds very keen.

I have said before that it is reasonable we give him, the other new boys and the whole team, a little time just to settle.

Forster's comments alongside Pelle's do give us encouragement and they all deserve a big cheer. If it comes together with 3 points on Saturday, then we will be really happy.
This guy seems to be on to it as far as the quotes in this interview go. He has acknowledged that he had a slow start, but emphasises an ambition to do well and sounds very keen. I have said before that it is reasonable we give him, the other new boys and the whole team, a little time just to settle. Forster's comments alongside Pelle's do give us encouragement and they all deserve a big cheer. If it comes together with 3 points on Saturday, then we will be really happy. saintbobby
  • Score: 18

7:52am Thu 28 Aug 14

Oldfan says...

It is a pity Pelle has not hit the ground running . We all hope it works out for him as he does seem to be a real trier. If it does not it will not be due to a lack of effort or because he possesses an ego bigger than his ability.
It is a pity Pelle has not hit the ground running . We all hope it works out for him as he does seem to be a real trier. If it does not it will not be due to a lack of effort or because he possesses an ego bigger than his ability. Oldfan
  • Score: 8

8:04am Thu 28 Aug 14

kingsaint76 says...

It's gonna come good for him, he is gonna batter the hammers! I seem to remember one Rickie Lambert scoring his first goal in the league cup. He seems very sincere and genuine in interviews, I hope he can start finding the net with regularity!
It's gonna come good for him, he is gonna batter the hammers! I seem to remember one Rickie Lambert scoring his first goal in the league cup. He seems very sincere and genuine in interviews, I hope he can start finding the net with regularity! kingsaint76
  • Score: 16

8:09am Thu 28 Aug 14

COYR07 says...

SFCOLDBOY wrote:
On Tuesday he was all at sea in the first half.
That said, the same as all the rest.
Second half with him attacking our end, after the inspiring Corky, coming on, he worked his socks off.
He got really upset with himself because he was just missing the goal or the keeper was pulling off great saves.
We the fans were continuously singing his name and even though he was obviously tiring he was noticably lifted by us.
We and he got the reward for this and you could see the change in the player once he had scored.
Yes, he has a long way to go in terms of being a new talisman for the club, but I would like to think we saw the biginnings of a new era.
COYS
Great to hear the fans support away on Tuesday needs to continue at West Hoof. Hopefully first of many goals for Saints.
[quote][p][bold]SFCOLDBOY[/bold] wrote: On Tuesday he was all at sea in the first half. That said, the same as all the rest. Second half with him attacking our end, after the inspiring Corky, coming on, he worked his socks off. He got really upset with himself because he was just missing the goal or the keeper was pulling off great saves. We the fans were continuously singing his name and even though he was obviously tiring he was noticably lifted by us. We and he got the reward for this and you could see the change in the player once he had scored. Yes, he has a long way to go in terms of being a new talisman for the club, but I would like to think we saw the biginnings of a new era. COYS[/p][/quote]Great to hear the fans support away on Tuesday needs to continue at West Hoof. Hopefully first of many goals for Saints. COYR07
  • Score: 14

9:14am Thu 28 Aug 14

nomorerumours says...

White and red till dead wrote:
Oh dear, I hope his head is not already at Man Utd. No mention of joy of playing for Saints....
Although he did not actually mention that he enjoyed playing for Saints, almost the whole statement is referring to him at our club. His reference to ManU are from his watching some of the EPL matches. It does not suggest that his ambition is to play for them. In fact, my impression is that Graziano is a humble fellow but is determined to improve and succeed at our club. There is a huge mutual respect between Pelle and RonKo and even when he has scored his 20+ goals for us this season (I'm sticking to my earlier prediction) I would expect him to stay with us.
[quote][p][bold]White and red till dead[/bold] wrote: Oh dear, I hope his head is not already at Man Utd. No mention of joy of playing for Saints....[/p][/quote]Although he did not actually mention that he enjoyed playing for Saints, almost the whole statement is referring to him at our club. His reference to ManU are from his watching some of the EPL matches. It does not suggest that his ambition is to play for them. In fact, my impression is that Graziano is a humble fellow but is determined to improve and succeed at our club. There is a huge mutual respect between Pelle and RonKo and even when he has scored his 20+ goals for us this season (I'm sticking to my earlier prediction) I would expect him to stay with us. nomorerumours
  • Score: 10

10:09am Thu 28 Aug 14

notaclue says...

It quite often takes a whole season for a striker to adapt to the epl, you can see that at Spurs and Man City with the players that they bought 12mths ago starting to perform now.
It quite often takes a whole season for a striker to adapt to the epl, you can see that at Spurs and Man City with the players that they bought 12mths ago starting to perform now. notaclue
  • Score: 4

10:30am Thu 28 Aug 14

Mister E says...

Berkshire Saint wrote:
SFCOLDBOY wrote:
On Tuesday he was all at sea in the first half.
That said, the same as all the rest.
Second half with him attacking our end, after the inspiring Corky, coming on, he worked his socks off.
He got really upset with himself because he was just missing the goal or the keeper was pulling off great saves.
We the fans were continuously singing his name and even though he was obviously tiring he was noticably lifted by us.
We and he got the reward for this and you could see the change in the player once he had scored.
Yes, he has a long way to go in terms of being a new talisman for the club, but I would like to think we saw the biginnings of a new era.
COYS
Here's to a new era. I work with a Feyenord season ticket holder who said that Pelle became a cult figure for them and with great backing from us (and decent service ) then there's every chance he'll be a success with us.
How refreshing is he in this interview!
Puts a certain self centred, arrogant waste of talent recently departed to shame. Osvaldo, who?
[quote][p][bold]Berkshire Saint[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]SFCOLDBOY[/bold] wrote: On Tuesday he was all at sea in the first half. That said, the same as all the rest. Second half with him attacking our end, after the inspiring Corky, coming on, he worked his socks off. He got really upset with himself because he was just missing the goal or the keeper was pulling off great saves. We the fans were continuously singing his name and even though he was obviously tiring he was noticably lifted by us. We and he got the reward for this and you could see the change in the player once he had scored. Yes, he has a long way to go in terms of being a new talisman for the club, but I would like to think we saw the biginnings of a new era. COYS[/p][/quote]Here's to a new era. I work with a Feyenord season ticket holder who said that Pelle became a cult figure for them and with great backing from us (and decent service ) then there's every chance he'll be a success with us.[/p][/quote]How refreshing is he in this interview! Puts a certain self centred, arrogant waste of talent recently departed to shame. Osvaldo, who? Mister E
  • Score: 9

10:31am Thu 28 Aug 14

Littleton-Saint says...

I thought Pelle looked good in the second half against Millwall. He scored, hit the upright and forced a great save. I have been critical of him, but I can see that with the right midfield support, he will score goals. I feel that Pelle will grow with us. The main problem may be Les and his itchy selling fingers come January or next summer. Les just can't contain himself! Heh heh!
I thought Pelle looked good in the second half against Millwall. He scored, hit the upright and forced a great save. I have been critical of him, but I can see that with the right midfield support, he will score goals. I feel that Pelle will grow with us. The main problem may be Les and his itchy selling fingers come January or next summer. Les just can't contain himself! Heh heh! Littleton-Saint
  • Score: -3

10:45am Thu 28 Aug 14

buckeroo says...

Every one needs to give him encouragement, we know the Dutch league is a lot poorer. And encouragement is the only way graziano will get that form in the premier league. If he does he will be a legend. In graziano I have faith, he's strong and I can wait for jay rod to link up with him. We all know it'll take time but I'm sure in a few more games Graz will be up to scratch.everyone needs to send him a message via twitter to show our love for our new hitman. I do.coyr
Every one needs to give him encouragement, we know the Dutch league is a lot poorer. And encouragement is the only way graziano will get that form in the premier league. If he does he will be a legend. In graziano I have faith, he's strong and I can wait for jay rod to link up with him. We all know it'll take time but I'm sure in a few more games Graz will be up to scratch.everyone needs to send him a message via twitter to show our love for our new hitman. I do.coyr buckeroo
  • Score: 5

11:53am Thu 28 Aug 14

NC Fan4Life says...

notaclue wrote:
It quite often takes a whole season for a striker to adapt to the epl, you can see that at Spurs and Man City with the players that they bought 12mths ago starting to perform now.
I agree but as an experienced 29yr old, I hope it won't take all season !!

Having seen him play in all the last four games I am worried that he will prove to be at Championship level, hence his better showing against Millwall as against his poorer performances against Bayer Leverkusen, Liverpool & West Brom.

I am concerned about his basics, for a big man he has not won many crosses and those he has were usually miss-directed, he has not yet shown that he can hold the ball up well and his lay-offs have been poor.
Also we have tended to play the dreaded long ball game at times only for him too loose possession.

That is why I want to see us buy a proven Goalscorer by Monday night.

A top winger with a good cross might help get the best out of Pelle though, but not sure Redmond or Townsend are good enough to do this.

Come on Les get them in !
[quote][p][bold]notaclue[/bold] wrote: It quite often takes a whole season for a striker to adapt to the epl, you can see that at Spurs and Man City with the players that they bought 12mths ago starting to perform now.[/p][/quote]I agree but as an experienced 29yr old, I hope it won't take all season !! Having seen him play in all the last four games I am worried that he will prove to be at Championship level, hence his better showing against Millwall as against his poorer performances against Bayer Leverkusen, Liverpool & West Brom. I am concerned about his basics, for a big man he has not won many crosses and those he has were usually miss-directed, he has not yet shown that he can hold the ball up well and his lay-offs have been poor. Also we have tended to play the dreaded long ball game at times only for him too loose possession. That is why I want to see us buy a proven Goalscorer by Monday night. A top winger with a good cross might help get the best out of Pelle though, but not sure Redmond or Townsend are good enough to do this. Come on Les get them in ! NC Fan4Life
  • Score: 0

12:44pm Thu 28 Aug 14

jls217 says...

KiwiSaint74 wrote:
Who needs to watch Shearer or Bergkamp when there's Le Tiss?
You have to be a Lionel Messi to appreciate the genius of LeGod. Until Messi mentioned he used to drool over watching him no youngster outside of Southampton had even heard of our Pie prefect!
Somewhere there has to be another one just like him waiting for a Saints scout to say, "Have you ever thought about attending The Southampton Academy - as many burgers as you can consume"
[quote][p][bold]KiwiSaint74[/bold] wrote: Who needs to watch Shearer or Bergkamp when there's Le Tiss?[/p][/quote]You have to be a Lionel Messi to appreciate the genius of LeGod. Until Messi mentioned he used to drool over watching him no youngster outside of Southampton had even heard of our Pie prefect! Somewhere there has to be another one just like him waiting for a Saints scout to say, "Have you ever thought about attending The Southampton Academy - as many burgers as you can consume" jls217
  • Score: 0

12:56pm Thu 28 Aug 14

SaintJD says...

Oldfan wrote:
It is a pity Pelle has not hit the ground running . We all hope it works out for him as he does seem to be a real trier. If it does not it will not be due to a lack of effort or because he possesses an ego bigger than his ability.
Looks far more than a trier to me - his finish for the goal and some of his efforts on Tuesday show what his goal scoring record proves - he has a good all round game.

And though he does indeed have a fine haircut, I don't see any great signs of ego either - he was clearly very appreciative of the support he got from the crowd on Tuesday and if anything seems to lack that little bit of self belief that will turn him into a goal machine once he gets his first Prem goal and gets used to the genius passing and vision that Tadic possesses.

Once he learns to start moving, the the right places, when Tadic has the ball, he'll be scoring for fun.
[quote][p][bold]Oldfan[/bold] wrote: It is a pity Pelle has not hit the ground running . We all hope it works out for him as he does seem to be a real trier. If it does not it will not be due to a lack of effort or because he possesses an ego bigger than his ability.[/p][/quote]Looks far more than a trier to me - his finish for the goal and some of his efforts on Tuesday show what his goal scoring record proves - he has a good all round game. And though he does indeed have a fine haircut, I don't see any great signs of ego either - he was clearly very appreciative of the support he got from the crowd on Tuesday and if anything seems to lack that little bit of self belief that will turn him into a goal machine once he gets his first Prem goal and gets used to the genius passing and vision that Tadic possesses. Once he learns to start moving, the the right places, when Tadic has the ball, he'll be scoring for fun. SaintJD
  • Score: 2

2:40pm Thu 28 Aug 14

SaintJD says...

SFCOLDBOY wrote:
On Tuesday he was all at sea in the first half.
That said, the same as all the rest.
Second half with him attacking our end, after the inspiring Corky, coming on, he worked his socks off.
He got really upset with himself because he was just missing the goal or the keeper was pulling off great saves.
We the fans were continuously singing his name and even though he was obviously tiring he was noticably lifted by us.
We and he got the reward for this and you could see the change in the player once he had scored.
Yes, he has a long way to go in terms of being a new talisman for the club, but I would like to think we saw the biginnings of a new era.
COYS
You guys were a credit to the club on Tuesday by the way and I hope we support and sing for Pelle as much at home games as well - showed the way forward I think. Don't want Pelle to be one of those players who only scores in away games and feels under pressure at home.
[quote][p][bold]SFCOLDBOY[/bold] wrote: On Tuesday he was all at sea in the first half. That said, the same as all the rest. Second half with him attacking our end, after the inspiring Corky, coming on, he worked his socks off. He got really upset with himself because he was just missing the goal or the keeper was pulling off great saves. We the fans were continuously singing his name and even though he was obviously tiring he was noticably lifted by us. We and he got the reward for this and you could see the change in the player once he had scored. Yes, he has a long way to go in terms of being a new talisman for the club, but I would like to think we saw the biginnings of a new era. COYS[/p][/quote]You guys were a credit to the club on Tuesday by the way and I hope we support and sing for Pelle as much at home games as well - showed the way forward I think. Don't want Pelle to be one of those players who only scores in away games and feels under pressure at home. SaintJD
  • Score: 2

7:11pm Thu 28 Aug 14

Chapperall says...

To his credit sounds like he really wants to do well for himself and the team. Let's hope Tuesday game will kick start his season.
However he needs better supply and service and not just the long balls!
I could hear the fans on the radio, well done to them on a wet Tuesday night
To his credit sounds like he really wants to do well for himself and the team. Let's hope Tuesday game will kick start his season. However he needs better supply and service and not just the long balls! I could hear the fans on the radio, well done to them on a wet Tuesday night Chapperall
  • Score: 1

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