KACHLOUL SHOULD BOOST TOWN HOPES
By Rupert Webster
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Ipswich wanted to sign Kachloul after their promotion to The Premiership a year ago. But the midfielder insisted he was happy to stay at The Dell, and made a cracking start to the season scoring twice in 22 minutes in a 2-2 draw with Derby County on the opening day.
Kachloul's goalscoring feats came to an abrupt halt though, as his refusal to sign an extension to his contact meant that first Glenn Hoddle, then his temporary replacement Stuart Gray, left the former Saint Etienne player on the bench for long periods.
This affected Kachloul's form adversely. Indeed, he did not fire any further goals until the final day of the 2000-01 campaign, when another two-goal salvo helped the Saints say goodbye to The Dell in style, as they beat Arsenal 3-2 in a thrilling match.
However, the 28-year-old did contribute greatly in other areas for the South Coast side throughout the season. Kachloul was even nicknamed Ç£Forrest GumpÇ¥ by team-mates because of his ability to run up and down the pitch all day long.
Kachloul's distribution also proved a potent weapon for Southampton. He set up seven goals in 2000-01 Çô more than any other player at the club Çô having found a colleague with an excellent 29% of his crosses, which is a better proportion than Ryan Giggs, Patrik Berger or Robert Pires managed last term.
After establishing his credentials at The Dell, Kachloul will now be looking forward to taking his career forward with Ipswich as they embark on their second campaign back in the top flight, and first back in Europe.
The Moroccan will hope to avoid any fixtures in France though, as he once got out of joining the French foreign legion by feigning madness in his younger days.