Oh When The Saints podcast has already managed to nail done some great interviews with former Southampton players who helped the club rise from League One back to the Premier League.
On Monday, OWTS podcast’s new interview with Radhi Jaidi will drop and host Patrick Surlis kindly asked Jaidi five questions on behalf of St. Mary’s Musings.
Jaidi, of course, was part of the Saints defence that moved up two divisions before coaching Southampton’s Under-23s team after retirement. Now, he’s managing Hartford Athletic in the USA.
You can catch this upcoming podcast - and listen to the back catalogue - on your preferred podcast app here.
So, here are Jaidi’s answers from this exclusive interview which you won’t hear on the podcast.
SMM: Who were your favourite teammates during your time at Southampton?
Radhi Jaidi: That’s a difficult one because I had a bunch of great teammates.
I couldn’t choose one, but I was close to Jose Fonte, Morgan Schneiderlin and Papa Waigo when he was at Southampton. Because of the language barrier and being able to speak French, we were close. Guly do Prado as well – probably these four or five players.
He was really good and effective for us [Guly]. That calmness, composure and technical skills he brought to the midfield made a big difference.
SMM: What are the similarities and differences between being managed by Nigel Adkins and Sam Allardyce?
Jaidi: Totally different. We’re talking positive leadership against a leadership I can’t really characterise. He [Allardyce] was effective as well in his way.
Sam Allardyce, you have to say was innovative. In 2004 he was using all the modern tools to support players. From Pro Zone to new training facilities with all the modern facilities – ice and hot baths, different types of masseurs, acupuncture. All that stuff.
That’s the difference between both of them, but I learned a massive amount from them both.
SMM: Who are among the players to especially look out for from the Southampton U23 team?
Jaidi: I would advise Southampton fans to look out for most of them.
What I was trying to encourage and influence during my time with the U23s was for fans to keep watching games at Southampton’s youth levels.
There’s a lot of talent there, and with the right support, they could make the first team.
SMM: What was your proudest moment as a player or a coach during your time at Southampton?
Jaidi: One moment was to see five U23 players get involved with the first team last season.
The moment when Ralph Hasenhuttl came into changing rooms to ask me to substitute Tyreke Johnson at half-time during a game as he needs him to train with the first team next day and play with them on the weekend – that was unprecedented for me.
I’ve never seen that with any coach and it was an amazing feeling even though I had to sub a player when he was playing well. It was even difficult explaining it to Tyreke. I had to say: “You’re training with the first team tomorrow and will probably play in a game so make sure you train with them well.”
That was amazing. Overall, last season was successful in many aspects. It’s a long-term experience that I’m grateful to have.
SMM: Who did you see as the most talented Southampton teammate while you were playing for Saints?
Jaidi: There’s two of them and they’ve made it to the heights at Liverpool. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Adam Lallana. Both are very talented and full of quality.
At the time, they had the potential to make it and play at the highest level and with the national team. They made it.
The most important thing is to maintain that consistency of playing at their best for as long as possible. Unfortunately, Alex went through some injuries but he proved he’s different class each time he’s come back.
Even at a young age, they were both technically very good.