The Slate Will Be Wiped Clean Under Hasenhuttl !
Wednesday, 5th Dec 2018 09:15
The anticipated arrival of Ralph Hasenhuttle could rejuvenate some players but could mean the end of their time at St Mary's for others, but the Austrian will decide with his own eyes and not on the past.
Ralph Hasenhuttl is known for a pressing style that starts from the front and goes right through the team, his formation can be fluid but the constant thread is that it is about pressing the opposition in the final third, winning the ball and damaging them.
This was the style of Mauricio Pochettino and to a lesser degree Ronald Koeman both liked to invite the opposition on and then go on the break.
But both had one component in their team that Hasenhuttl won't have and that is a solid defence that can soak up pressure and then get the ball to start the counter attack and this is a key element that initially at least the Austrian will have to work around till January when surely we will sign a central defender.
Hasenhuttl will come n and give all his squad a clean slate, his opinion of the players will start from his first training session and he won't care what the players have done before, tat does not matter, it is now all about what they do going forward.
This is also the mindset the supporters have to have they have to forget what has gone on in the past couple of years and look at each individual player freshly.
It cannot be denied that some if not most have been underperforming in that time, but there are extenuating circumstances for that, mainly based around the past three managers styles.
The issue at the back is going to be about our ability to defend counter attacks and this has been the problem since Fonte left and van Dijk was injured, we have had no one at the back who can organise a back four and stop us being exposed on the break.
This cost Claude Puel his job, after losing both his central defenders he realised that he could not commit to attack and changed his style to a totally defensive strategy that was more about protecting the two central defenders than pressing forward.
With the crowd demanding a more attacking and entertaining side after Puel went, Pellegrino and Hughes were under pressure to give the fans what they wanted and ultimately they did not have the squad to do this, the defence was not good enough or more importantly the centre of it as both Bertrand and Cedric played in our top six season.
In midfield we will perhaps revert to a similar formation to Koeman with two central midfielders sitting in front of the back four one in front of them and then two wide men supporting a central striker. In Lemina, Hojbjerg, Romeu, James Ward Prowse & Stuart Armstrong we have five proven players for three positions and two of them will surely be glad to see the back of Hughes who had frozen them out of the team.
Sadly I think Steven Davis will go in January and he can quite rightly be considered a club legend, but he hasn't got the legs for 90 minutes of hard pressing play and I think he will be allowed to leave and rejoin Glasgow Rangers.
Attacking wise we have the tools at Hasenhuttl's disposal, Nathan Redmond will finally get to play his best role and the one he was bought for, he showed for the first goal on Saturday that he can run at players and create chances, likewise Shane Long could play a vital role in what might be his swansong for the club, Hasenhuttl's formation is made for him, Long was often the unsung hero alongside Pelle & Mane, but he wasn't far behind either in the scoring stakes but well ahead of them in what he did in the lead up to goals.
Danny Ing's is also a natural for the way we will play, fast pacy and able to link play and Michael Obafemi is a raw talent that needs to be nurtured but could explode into life at any time.
The only player perhaps not suited to the style is Charlie Austin, or at least that will be the popular view, people will say he is too slow to chase and press, but then again Pelle nor Rickie Lambert before him were known for their pace and ability to close down defenders yet they prospered in the style that Hasenhuttl will employ so perhaps there is room for Austin at least in the short term.
I have always maintained that this squad with a good quality central defender who can organise and lead the team is good enough for a top ten finish and a foundation to build upon, as I have said the slate needs to be wiped clean and everyone given the chance to show what they can really do.
The manager will certainly do that, if he can do it so should the fans, judge on what we do going forward and not what has happened in the past, if we don't do that then we can never move forward we will remain rooted in the past.
Photo: Action Images
Please report offensive, libellous or inappropriate posts by using the links provided.
You need to login in order to post your comments
Blogs 31 bloggers
Letters from Wiltshire #27 by wessex_exile
Welcome to 2021, and hopefully a vaccine-driven start to a much better year for everyone – which as you can guess was going to be my introduction two weeks ago. From a selfish perspective, hopefully an improved year for the U’s as well that sees us cement at the very least a play-off spot, but why stop there – don’t mess around with the lottery of play-offs, go straight for it with automatic promotion (who am I kidding). First up in that quest is a tough match against Tranmere Rovers Cambridge United, and no longer with Chuck to help us out. Still, set up for Jevani to put one over on his former club.
Letters from Wiltshire #26 by wessex_exile
Well, after a piss-poor Xmas period so far for the U’s, culminating in the Roots Hall horror show on Boxing Day, let’s hope the U’s have burned off those festive calories and are raring to go. They’ll certainly have to be at their best against a Cheltenham side aiming to force their way into the automatic promotion places. In other news, we now finally have confirmation that there will be a trade deal in place with the EU once Brexit arrives in 2021. It remains to be seen whether it’s a good deal or not, and more to the point, who for, but at least it’s not the economic uncertainty of no-deal.
Letters from Wiltshire #25 by wessex_exile
A little earlier than usual, but as we approach the end of what has been a most difficult year for everyone, I’ll keep the introductory editorial brief, as I’m sure you will all be very busy in the coming days rescuing what you can from this pandemic-ravaged festive period. I simply wish you all peace on earth, goodwill to all (yes, even our South Essex cousins), and here’s to a happy, prosperous and most importantly healthy 2021 for us all.
Letters from Wiltshire #24 by wessex_exile
Welcome to our last match before Christmas. With South Essex going into Tier 3, by the time we take to the pitch at Roots Hall, it’ll be another behind-closed-doors match. With the Tier 3 boundary creeping inexorably closer, one wonders how long the JobServe will hold out and still be able to allow fans to attend. Robbie is doing all he can to make it possible for supporters to attend, and I confess I’m seriously considering our January 2nd match against Tranmere. In other news, I’m relieved to read that the FA will not take disciplinary action against Colchester United after a shameful minority chose to boo players and officials taking the knee, in the words of the EFL “as they highlight the inequality and injustice experienced by the Black Community”. I noticed a tiny minority chose to boo at our mid-week match at the Abbey Stadium, but I was pleased to hear they were immediately drowned out by the remainder of the 2,000 cheering and applauding. I admit I’m a little anxious about today…
Letters from Wiltshire #23 by wessex_exile
As I’ve been providing updates on the ongoing US presidential election, it is worth mentioning that the Electoral College votes have now been cast, which formally confirms Biden as the new President-elect. Normally a formality, as the losing candidate has usually long-since conceded defeat, but these are far from normal times, and America has far from a normal lame-duck President. Still, at least the threat of members of the Electoral College ignoring the popular vote in favour of an outcome demanded by Trump has failed to materialise. In the UK, new Covid tiers were announced this week, with London going into Tier 3. Colchester stays in Tier 2, but only just, with as far north east as Maldon, Braintree and Chelmsford also moving into Tier 3 – and as if you need reminding, Tier 3 means no supporters at matches.
[ Vote here ]