End of Le Era ?

Last updated : 30 January 2002 By Christian Kelly
Could this be the end for Le Tissier ?
With his contract up at the end of the season, Matthew Le Tissier gears up his annual reminder for an extension. Le Tissier said: "I would like to get an extension, but I've got to see how the next few months go," he said. "Hopefully the body will stay in working order.

"I've come on as a substitute for the last couple of games, and there was no reaction to the recent injury out in La Manga.

"I would love to get another year here. I'm not looking any further than the end of this season, but I'll be finishing my career at Southampton - it's just a question of when."

"I know there are some people who can stay motivated until they're 38 or 39, and be playing professionally, but I won't be doing that.

"It all depends on the individual. Some people have the right mental attitude to play in the lower divisions after playing in the Premiership. But I don't think I could play in the First or Second Division - that would just frustrate me.

"If I'm not good enough for the top flight, I wouldn't want to play - apart from maybe the occasional Sunday morning friendly."

We'll have to see if Le Tissier can make any impact on the team I the next couple of months. He undoubtedly is still our most skillful player, but lacks the pace to look too effective at the top level.

Of course considering his limited number of appearances recently it's hard to get an accurate picture of how much he could still contribute. He should get a chance against West Ham and that should give us some idea. The last few seasons have been disastrous for Le Tissier with a succession of injuries. He is one of our top wage earners and, as much as it pains me to say it, if he can no longer cut it, then perhaps it's time to go. Well, move into showing some youngsters some of those mercurial skills.

Le Tissier told the official site that May could see him end his career at the Saints: "That would be the perfect time to say goodbye - if it comes to that.

"I am just waiting to see how the next few months go, but there is a chance I may hang up my boots at the end of the season.

"It has been a very frustrating time and it does drain your spirits when you are on the sidelines for so long and go from one injury to another.

"I have not missed training for seven weeks now, so I am feeling good - and long may it continue. If I stay clear of injuries then I would love to continue, but it depends what my body is telling me."

"If things go okay from now to the end of the season then there is a chance the club might want me, and obviously that would be my ideal scenario.

"If I am fit, involved in games and making a difference then I am sure they would want me to carry on. If I am not then I will be the first to know.

"But I would not want to go down the divisions or join any other club at this stage of my career. I think I would find that too frustrating - and when I get frustrated I tend to get sent off!

"At the moment I feel there is a bit left in me and I still have confidence in my own ability to perform and score goals at the highest level."

"I am feeling good. The manager has done a lot of extra running and fitness work in training. I don't enjoy it but I am feeling the benefit.

"It is nice to be back in the reckoning and very heartening. Now it is up to me to make the most of any chance I get."