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Hasenhuttl Using His Time Developing Long Term Strategy For Saints
Thursday, 26th Mar 2020 10:10

With the nation in lockdown Ralph Hasenhuttl has not been sat back doing nothing, it has been revealed he is working on a long term strategy for the playing side of things at the club.

The Daily Echo has carried a story this morning talking about how Ralph Hasenhuttl is working on developing a club wide training schedule for when football returns.

When the Austrian arrived he said he saw this as a good project rather than just a short term stepping stone, although he did also state that he was an ambitious man and wanted to work at the highest level.

Certainly he has embraced the club more than his predecessor Mark Hughes who was clearly unconcerned with anything other than the first team and did not seem to engage with te club or it's supporters on any other sort of level.

From the start Hasenhuttl was different and it was clear to most that here was a manager who could take the club forward.

It has taken some leeway on both sides, from the Austrian himself when faced with several challenges on building a squad due to financial constraints due to poor signings made in the year or so before his arrival and from the club in keeping faith with him in the dark period after the Leicester City game.

But even then there was never any doubt that Saints felt Hasenhuttl was the best man they could have for the job, they remained clear on that point.

Now he is keen for the club to adopt an approach to developing youngsters that has them using the same methods as the first team.

So, as opposed to an Under-9s team for example playing possession-based football, they will start moving towards playing without the ball, this is what Hasenhuttl has dubbed ‘iBook’, the St Mary’sboard are also on board with the project and feel that it makes sense.

In truth this is something that was under development before Ralph Hasenhuttl arrived, certainly Les Read was a big advocate of the system, however with perhaps the exception of Claude Puel, a succession of Saints managers were only really concerned with what went on with the First team and not the entire club and that is why Hasenhuttl is so rated.

Of course there could be issues should he leave, but if he does then the system would now be in place and it would be easier to keep implementing it, the arrival of Matt Crocker will hopefully be another asset in this department as well.

The Daily Echo reports:

"Should Hasenhuttl’s ‘iBook’ prove to be successful, it will bolster the number of youngsters breaking into the first team.

The collation of training videos and analysis will be made available to all the academy coaches.

This should lead to players gaining an understanding of what Hasenhuttl demands from members of his squad before they are invited to train with them.

The theory behind this is that instead of a youngster taking a few months to become accustomed to the Austrian’s methods, they will already know what to expect.

Hasenhuttl has previously spoken about the importance of having all the coaches throughout the academy singing from the same hymn sheet.

However, with the rigours of a Premier League season, he just hasn’t had the time to put it into practice.

But now professional football has been postponed until the end of April, with his first team training at home until at least April 13, Hasenhuttl is left with plenty of spare time.

He has also used this time to continue scouting potential signings ahead of the summer transfer window. "

This is good news for Saints supporters, after the Les Read era started to go off the rails, the club have struggled to not only to bring through academy players who become genuine first team regulars, even Yan Valery and Michael Obafemi who have had some success are still not classed as first team regulars at present, but also to make the right signings.

A few years ago Saints used to look at a lot more things when signing players including their personal lives and attitudes etc, this seems to have been ignored of late and although some like Wesley Hoedt and Mo Elyounoussi had the ability to succeed at St Mary's circumstance prevented them from doing so, indeed Mario Lemina is undoubtedly a talented player, but his attitude stinks, a few years ago we would have noted that and avoided him like the plague, but then we seemed to lose the plot.

It is things like this that supporters don't see so can't care about, in the past few years the club have been poor in communicating these sorts of things to the supporters, educating them that the successful clubs at any level are the ones that look at the bigger picture, try to build a structure rather than just lurch from manage to manager with changing methods and personnel.

In the last week there seems to have been a change in this, the club are now talking themselves us telling the supporters what they are trying to do and hopefully this will help the club improve and hopefully the first team as well in both the short and long term.

This is the future of the club, let's embrace it, let us not let the past drag us down, there will be turbulent times ahead in the future, every football club has them whether it is failing to win the Premier League for a club like Manchester City or getting relegated, but we can ride them and this structure will help us do it.

Photo: Action Images

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