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Saints Return To The Blueprint For Hughes Replacement
Tuesday, 4th Dec 2018 10:42

With Ralph Hasenhuttl looking set to be named new Saints manager in the next 24 hours it looks like Saints are returning to their original blueprint in appointing the Austrian.

Initially the appointment of Ralph Hasenhuttl does not look an exciting one for Saints fans, indeed very few would have heard of him prior to the weekend, however on a closer examination his managerial record is a lot better than you would think and comparisons could be drawn with Mauricio Pochettino another name whom few had heard of when he was appointed Saints boss in January 2013.

What it shows though is Saints are getting back to the blueprint drawn up by Les Reed when he joined the club in 2010 and built upon since, Reed has had a bad press of late and his sacking was no surprise and although he was not perfect and had his faults you have to acknowledge that from a footballing perspective he was the man calling the shots, after all if a Canadian Ice Hockey coach would have no idea about the footballing side of things then it is fair to say that a Swiss banker would be in no better position.

Reed had to go his last two managerial appointments were not good and his failure to address the issues in central defence following the departure of Jose Fonte were massive faux pas and the biggest factor in losing the 2017 EFL Cup final and our subsequent problems, Reed panicked and did not stick to his guns and once you do that in football then you are lost.

Ralph Hasenhuttl however is a return to the blueprint an up and coming coach with a good enough grounding to take the club forward, the intriguing question is how much does this appointment owe to former Saints head of player recruitment Paul Mitchell, up till the end of last season Hasenhuttl worked with Mitchell at RB Leipzig and indeed Mitchell was recently linked with a return to St Mary's.

But who is Ralph Hasenhuttl ? his surname literally translates to Rabbit Hut but all joking aside he had a fairly average career as a centre forward playing mainly in Austria and Belgium as well as Germany at the end of his career.

He then turned to coaching in 2004 after retiring from playing, starting at SpVgg Unterhaching a team in Germany who play mostly in the third tier, he worked his way up to manager in 2007 before joining another German 3rd tier team VfR Aalen with whome he gained promotion to the Bundesliga 2.

Next up was FC Ingolstadt 04 in October 2013 and it was here that his managerial career started to take off with promotion to the Bundesliga in 2014/15 for the first time in the club's history and subsequently 11th place the following season, but he then chose not to renew his contract and left.

He wasn't unemployed long and soon joined RB Leipzig then newly promoted to the Bundesliga, in his first season he took them to 2nd place and then followed that up with sixth last season before leaving the club in May 2018.

So Hasenhuttl although spending the first ten years of his coaching career in the lower leagues, has really taken off in the last few seasons and rumours persist that Bayern Munich are watching him with interest and Saints had to move fast in case the move was hijacked.

But the most intriguing part of this story is how Saints have identified Hasenhuttl, was this the work of Les Reed ? is our relationship with Paul Mitchell still strong and indeed could he return to replace Les Reed ? or is Ralph Krueger more astute than we have thought, perhaps all will be revealed soon.

Photo: Action Images

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highfield49 added 11:00 - Dec 4
I think we're all hoping that this speculation leads to the light at the end of a long dark tunnel. Fingers crossed that he becomes the new manager, can lead us up the table and restores our fading pride in the biggest team south of London. A return to fast paced attacking football will lift us all.

arthurfane added 11:04 - Dec 4
Exciting football is on the horizon once more, or here's to hoping. Ralph's style has very clearly rubbed off on all the teams he has managed, and success has followed him everywhere. He may well have a tougher job on his hands at Saints, but have high hopes in him, not just to keep us up but to blow away the cloud that's been hovering over this club for the last few years.

saintsnutcase added 11:19 - Dec 4
For the first time in two and a half years, we can’t blame the manager any more. Let’s hope the players are good enough.

pintsizedsaint added 11:59 - Dec 4
I agree: Feels a bit like we’re going back to the Southampton Way here. A bit more decisive, with some bold moves. We may not know Hasenhuttl but he is revered in Germany and Austria and is synonymous with bold attacking football.

Let’s not underestimate this: we are struggling at the foot of the premier league but have been able to quickly convince a highly regarded manager to join. Whilst SFC have clearly been able to satisfy his wage demands, the most important aspect is satisfying his ambition on the pitch. It sounds like he’s been convinced and that bodes well for investment going forward.

Let’s get back to the exciting old days - when we were a team other teams were fearful to play against. I kept my powder dry on Hughes (always wanting to see the club do well) but it was clear that was a desperate roll of the dice that should never have been followed up with a ridiculous 3 year deal. Hughes was never the future - the premier league has changed so much in his managerial career and it requires a new philosophy of management. I wish him the very best though. Whilst I am convinced we stayed up due to other teams poor performances (rather than Hughes’ acumen) I am still grateful for his contribution and ability to bring a bit of stability and man management to the club. Yet he should have never received a contract.

bstokesaint added 12:20 - Dec 4
For the first time in a while (probably since the Koeman appointment) I am feeling quite optimistic about this guy. He's sounds very ambitious and if Mitchell is linked for a return that can only be a good thing. In the meantime let's hope we find a rich owner who can take us forward.

saintjf added 12:55 - Dec 4
Nice words on Hughes pintsized. I liked and respected Hughes and hoped it would work out. Yes, he was not the future. I can see that now. We are seeing changes higher up in the club and what looks like a decent new manager. Lets hope we can get behind the new set up.

codge added 13:11 - Dec 4
Until we fix the defense problems we all know we have, it does not matter how good a manager we get we will still struggle.
Hopefully the new man will see the problem quickly and get the funds to fix it.

saintlee added 13:45 - Dec 4
Have I lost trust in our board ?? To some degree, yes I have. Wasnt Pellegrino touted as a manager who played attractive attacking football,. Yes he was. Look how that turned out.
I do however, and against my better judgement believe that they may have actually got this appointment bang on. Whatever Kruger has said to him seems to have persuaded him to join us which flies in the face that no funds are available in January. No way would a coach of this quality would agree to join us unless certain assurances have been made.
New broom sweeps clean. Forget the start we made. The season starts now with some hope. Its not gonna happen immediately but lets get behind him and the team and show him what a magnificent club we really are.

wibbersda added 14:03 - Dec 4
Doesn't seem to stick around long. I can see the same pattern as MP1 and RK here.

saintmark1976 added 14:19 - Dec 4
I have some sympathy for Hughes and his management team now departed. It wasn't them that killed the "Southampton Way". That honour rests full square with the owners who ww


saintmark1976 added 14:28 - Dec 4
the owners who made decision not to adequately invest in thww

saintmark1976 added 14:32 - Dec 4
Sorry, I've just thrown my key board and computer out of the window!

BoondockSaint added 14:35 - Dec 4
Hoping this is the dawn of a new age.

But if he wants to play attacking football, he is going to need some fast, fit players who can score, which we don't have at the moment-so Mr. Gao better open up the vault.

BoondockSaint added 14:35 - Dec 4
Hoping this is the dawn of a new age.

But if he wants to play attacking football, he is going to need some fast, fit players who can score, which we don't have at the moment-so Mr. Gao better open up the vault.

skiptonsaint added 14:35 - Dec 4
Would be a great appointment
And I agree with saintlee that it would look like we will be active in the transfer market in jan for this to happen as he must of been promised funds
Does this clear the way for Boufal and Carillo to come back
And can we make some space in the squad by offloading and if so who ?
Interesting couple of months ahead

BoondockSaint added 14:39 - Dec 4
Sorry about the double post!
Only hit Add Comment once!
Must be an echo in here.

landerwal added 14:54 - Dec 4
A good article although the managerial appointments, pre Hughes, were also of unknowns. The main thing is though that we have not jumped on the managerial roundabout of a short term appointee e.g., Moyes Anadyce . Hasenhuttl will hopefully turn things around quickly getting us out of the relegation zone and mid table or even higher giving a solid foundation for next season. The only thing I would add it has not been only our defence that needs improvement, it's our attack. A third of our goals have been scored in the last two matches. Even if our defence improves, our position in the Premiership will still be perilous if we don't put the ball in the net and start winning. Hughes was sacked because he only won three games. Our new manager must give priority to this problem or in Fraser's words "we're doomed."

SaintBrock added 15:04 - Dec 4
Sorry, I've just thrown my key board and computer out of the window!

Sorry to lose you!

10i added 15:48 - Dec 4
As an Austrian I am pleasantly surprised as I think Hasenhüttl is the best Southampton could get at this Moment. In fact i doubted he would come here as his success throughout all of his Clubs as really impressive and he there were rumours back then during his Leipzig time, that if not Bayern Munich then at least Dortmund would be his next Destination.
At Ingolstadt he took a Team that had lost seven of the first nine games and were in the last place to a respectable tenth place finish in the second Tier and even promoted them the next year by winning the title. In the Bundesliga, they where called the Relegation candidate number one by the experts and had the lowest market value and wage structure of all Clubs, he really impressed with his enjoyable Football and managed them to the 11th place. There he was called the "pressing-munster". He surely prefers quick Players with iron lunges, which I doubt he will find here as some seem to be under the unfittest Players in the league, which might be a result of the last years and which can't be turned around in a few weeks...
He is able to to install quite other Systems too (as in Ahlen) and one who is known for reading the game very well - he has great statistics in Goals from substitues...

All of this seem to be Things we were mising over the last Seasons. So yes, I really am overwhelmed and I think finally this might turn our Season around!

aceofthebase added 16:00 - Dec 4
Doesn't anyone want to sack the new guy? Come on guys we have our reputation to think of.

SanMarco added 16:07 - Dec 4
This is good news. I echo the comments above about it not being Hughes' fault. He was dealing with a very difficult situation and whether he actually 'kept us up' doesn't really matter - we stayed up, he'd have got the flack if we'd gone down so give him the praise. Bad idea to give him a 3 year contract though.

The key question now is what happens with our defence. The new guy will need to be very good indeed to martial our current resources into even a semi-effective unit.

warrens76 added 16:33 - Dec 4
'after all if a Canadian Ice Hockey coach would have no idea about the footballing side of things then it is fair to say that a Swiss banker would be in no better position.'

BS, firstly Cortese handled Billions on behalf of the owner and was well versed in Sports investment,,, A serious, ruthless banker who drew up the template for saints in weeks against Ralph, tell me you are joking Nick..

LoisDeem added 09:23 - Dec 5
Hopefully, we'll SOON be playing in the manner that suits our strengths, that's pressing in the opponents half and not fannying around in front of our goal keeper. In the MEANTIME, more cohesion throughout the team will see us steadily climb the table. The manager should then be allowed (LATER) to go through his squad adding and culling as necessary, hopefully with the aid of someone skilled in this department (Mitchell) where the club is sadly still found wanting at this time.

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