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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