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If Only Ralph Had Been Here At The Start Of This Season !
Monday, 1st Apr 2019 10:38

Based on his current record after 16 games in charge, if he had started this season with this form then we would have been the surprise side of the season and chasing Europe.

Ralph Hasenhuttl has been in charge for 16 games now and racked up 24 points, an amazing total given that he is working with a squad that could be said to be far weaker than his predecessor Mark Hughes had to work with given the players that have left the club in January or have been unavailable through injury.

I have always maintained a couple of things over the past couple of years, firstly that our squad is not as bad as some would have you believe and that is now being proved under Ralph and secondly it is all about perception.

The perception of late has been that we are relegation fodder and the league tables don't lie, yes they still don't look good but that is not the fault of Ralph Hasenhuttl who took over a squad low on confidence and low on points.

So the question has to be asked that if the Austrian had been in charge for the first 16 games of the season just where would we have been in the table if he had got the same points as from his reign so far.

The answer is that we would be sat in joint 7th place with Everton on 24 points and only two behind Manchester United in 6th.

Of course it is only speculating about what could have happened, but if it had then the perception about the club would be far different amongst our own supporters.

If Ralph had come in and done that then Saints supporters would be have the feel good factor, to put it in perspective in his first season Ronald Koeman gained 26 points from his first 16 games in charge, no one would argue that he had a better squad to work with in terms of key players and quality so that shows how much good work Hasenhuttl has done so far.

A year later in the season we finished 6th and Koeman only had 21 points on the board, so again that shows the progress we have made over the last few months.

There are some Saints supporters who a few weeks ago doubted Hasenhuttl and were starting to moan a little, they dd not seem to cut the Austrian the slack he deserved, he was and still is working with a squad that is short of a central defender and a striker, two key positions and possibly one other key position, he came into a squad low on confidence and to a club surrounded by negativity, he has changed all that around.

There is still a little way to go this season to ensure safety but we are in a good position to march forward, we will still have our setbacks, the errors will still happen in key positions, just hopefully not as often as they have.

But there is brightness on the horizon, we can look forward with confidence to next season, we have to accept that ambition is not judged by fine words, that we can only cut our cloth to our financial position, but having said that if football was judged on spending alone then Fulham would be in the top 7 , it's not about spending money it is spending it wisely.

The perception of Saints is changing in the supporters, we can see some good things happening on the pitch, recently the board have shown they are aware of the situation that has arisen and have dealt with it and made the changes where they needed making.

We just need two wins now and that will propel us to safety then we can look forward to next year and if Ralph repeats his first 16 next season then things will look bright.

Photo: Action Images

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A_Saint_in_Stoke added 10:51 - Apr 1
Looking forward to seeing our players under Ralph express themselves - when the pressure is off - and once Premiership status has been achieved for next season ?

highfield49 added 11:50 - Apr 1
Despite all of the progress made since MH was sacked I still can't help feeling nervous until we have another couple of wins chalked up. Looking at the fixtures awaiting Cardiff, Burnley and Brighton my heart says we're home and dry but my head tells me not to take anything for granted. It's going to be a massive relief if we can go into the last three or four games not looking over our shoulders at other team's scorelines. Great job RH let's get it done asap.

lemmsy added 11:50 - Apr 1
I’m looking forward to all the people on this site & on a few other FB sites who wrote we are championship next season eating humble pie and acknowledging that the board aren’t as corrupt as some might say. Also accepting that appointing RH was exceptional!

Sanguin added 11:53 - Apr 1
Before Hassenhuttl, I didn’t believe that changing the manager would accomplish anything. I pointed to the same problems under three successive managers, all stemming from the January where we lost Fonte and van Dijk got injured. Twice, changing the manager didn’t seem to improve our situation with us making mistakes at the back, failing to score and throwing away leads.

I have been humbled. Hassenhuttl has dispelled all of my beliefs. I love him.

GeordieSaint added 12:27 - Apr 1
Assuming we stay up, which is looking pretty good now, the summer could be interesting. There is so much dead wood to be trimmed which could really free up the wage bill and a few quid transfer money. You would imagine Ralph having a bit more success with his players coming in than certainly Puel and Pellegrino did. Some of the young players will get more of a shout too. We actually look like we have a plan and some team spirit for the first time in a while.

SanMarco added 12:46 - Apr 1
I totally agree that Ralph has been our best appointment for years and years. I don't think people who thought we were going down under MH should eat 'humble pie' because I think they were right - that's exactly what would have happened. Ralph's record is similar to MoPo's in his one full season as manager - I think most would agree that MoPo had far stronger attacking and defensive resources at his disposal. Ralph has done far better than any of us dared expect.

Nick often makes the point about the squad being stronger than 'some would have you believe' - I would modify that to say that it is a squad that shouldn't be relegated but is not good enough to expect 24 points from 16 games, that is Ralph. We have a great midfield, the strongest outside the big six in my view and it is this that will keep us up (I include Redmond as a midfielder) - our attack has either injury prone players or players who don't score and our defence still doesn't have a true quality CB after all these years of everyone pointing it out. The board MUST back Ralph as he sorts these problems out over the summer - if they do then next season will be one to look forward to.

bstokesaint added 12:52 - Apr 1
I think we should be home and dry with our fixture list compared to everyone else around us, but we can’t afford to be complacent. If there wasn’t incentive enough to win against Liverpool on Friday night already, 3 points in that game would be amazing step in the right direction.

I still look back to the Cardiff, Burnley and Man U games and think we were a couple of inches away from another end of game disappointment. Ralph’s doing a cracking job with the players at his disposal, but for me he’s a long way off being able to achieve over a full season what Koeman and Poch did. The board need to back him properly in the summer. We’ve been stung by some expensive flops over the past couple of seasons, but we can’t afford to continue to use those examples not to strengthen, especially in central defence and an out and out goal scorer.

SaintPaulVW added 13:32 - Apr 1
If only he's here at the start of the 20/21 season imo

BoondockSaint added 14:17 - Apr 1
Just because he has made a silk purse out of a sow's ear, it doesn't mean he doesn't want better material to work with.

To echo SaintPaulVW: The worry is other teams will think "Imagine what he can do with our players/budget after he what he has accomplished with that lot!"

Jesus_02 added 14:18 - Apr 1
Hopefully we can shift a few players to make way for some decent incommings.

As much as anything the entertainment value has returned.

Long may he run

helpineedsomebody added 15:16 - Apr 1
if any one wants to try and poach RH £50 million pounds & that is the starting price

underweststand added 16:48 - Apr 1
Pochettino came to the club, and changed the playing style to succeed, and only bought a few new players during his time ...and who can forget his fantastic coup in signing ... Dani Osvaldo (shock horror). I bet that episode won't feature big in his autobiography .
Not only did Cortese borrow a huge chunk of money in order to sign D.O., but the deal (surely one of the most catastrophic since ..I don't know when) eventually cost the club around £25 million we could ill afford to lose.

I would also like to know how MP can continue to take the credit for "developing"
Luke Shaw (who had already played a dozen PLÖ games under Nigel Adkins) before he arrived. i believe that MP is a good coach and has the charisma to motivate, but he has still to win something for Spurs and one wonders how long Mr. Levy's patience will last - if they fail to qualify for CL next season, and only end up playing 19 home games in their new stadium.


underweststand added 16:55 - Apr 1
Now I've got that off my chest ...Ralph H. is more than a breath of fresh air .... more like a tornado, and has developed the "also rans" who didn't even make the bench under Hughes into top class players and now everyone understands that it's " His way ....or the highway".

It will be interesting to see who he signs, and what he does with the squad next season.

lemmsy added 18:09 - Apr 1
SAN Marco
I agree under Mark Hughes we were in free fall but there were people suggesting the board & owners wanted us to go down for financial reasons , also there were plenty saying we were down after Ralph’s appointment.the moment Ralph was appointed I did a load of research about him & it was all inspirational,I really feel somebody deserves credit for his appointment

perazi added 22:04 - Apr 1
Yes, whoever appointed Ralph deserves the keys to the City. There's been a lot of flak directed at the Board and Administration - most of it justified; Reed being replaced was long overdue, but Ralph's appointment has literally saved the Club's bacon....well almost.

I still think the squad is alarmingly weak with a gradual decline over two seasons. If/when we confirm our status for next season Ralph will hopefully get his chance to reshape the playing group.

Just watching Arsenal beat the Geordies had me thinking Ralph could have them challenging for the title.....let's hope he stays with us!

DPeps added 06:52 - Apr 2
Yes, RH has been a great appointment and someone at the club deserves credit for getting him in. The decision making generally seems improved post-Les.

From what I understand, RH's coaching is similar to Klopp's, in that a lot of the fitness work is done preseason so that the focus during the season is on tactics and opposition. With this in mind, having a full season of Ralph could be brilliant.

Agree with others about the need to strengthen, as well as shipping off unwanted players. I imagine the strikers are the main concern for Ralph, as none at the moment seem to fit what he would want. Unfortunately I don't think Ings is the answer because of his fitness issues.

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