Why Hasenhuttl's New Contract Is Great News For Saints Supporters
Tuesday, 2nd Jun 2020 12:32
Most Saints fans will be delighted that Ralph Hasenhuttl has committed himself to a new four year deal, now we can perhaps get back on track with our long term strategy.
My opinion is that this is great news for Saints supporters, who have recognised in Ralph Hasenhuttl a man who has a passion for the game and for the club he works for, since the departure of Ronald Koeman who seemed a great fit for the club, subsequent appointments didn't feel right.
But from the start Ralph had something about him, he has ambition he has drive and he has shown he has a connection to the club and it's City, I am not naive enough that he will be here for ever, football is not like that anymore, being blunt if other clubs are not interested in Hasenhuttl then he is not being successful here, the fact of the matter is that we have to use the ambition of players and managers to further our cause as well as their own, that is the way forward for us and is the Southampton Way.
The nature of football now means that contracts for players ultimately offer only the security of a transfer fee when they leave, they are not an indication of how long a player intends to stay, some fans will point to the sale of players as evidence the club has no ambition, but conveniently forget the fight it put up to hold Virgil Van Dijk to a contract he had been happy to sign eight months earlier.
So the fact that Ralph has signed a new deal is positive as it enables us to start looking at the bigger picture, to build a strategy and not just a manager interested only in getting a short term result, we have had enough of that in the past with the likes of Mark Hughes and even Harry Redknapp.
In Hasenhuttl we have a man who has ambition to manage at the highest level, but he knows that the managers at big clubs who are there long term are the ones that involve themselves in every aspect of the playing side, who want an ethos running within the club, a way of doing things fro top to bottom, who are not just interested in 20 players in the first team squad.
Many Saints fans hate Jurgen Klopp, but they do that because he is manager of Liverpool, most I have spoken to hate the position he holds rather than the man he is, when we had Mark Hughes we slagged him off for a lack of passion, but in Klopp we saw him run onto the pitch in moments of excitement, embrace his players, acknowledge the fans and deep down that is what we want from our manager.
But that is not all we want, we want someone long term who can build us a plan, a strategy that can survive changes in manager when he leaves, that we can build on rather than rebuild and that is what this contract now gives us.
It is just the start though, now Ralph can start to build the club his way and perhaps revamp the coaching staff a little, I have said before that our current coaching staff has little actual coaching experience especially at Premier League level, now I would like to see this revamped a little, it is good to see that Richard Kitzbichler has also extended his contract, this is good in that it shows that Ralph has faith in him, that they are working together, his background is in the analytical side of the game though, we still have a gap for a good experienced coach at this level and i would hope to see that area addressed.
So this is a positive day for Saints and it what it needs now is for all Saints fans to get behind the club in a positive way, yes there have been mistakes made in the past few years, but the people who made those mistakes are no longer at the club, there has been almost complete change in the running of the club and the way things are done.
To call Saints a selling club is wrong, we haven't sold anyone of note since Virgil Van Dyck, and that is evidence something has gone off course, now we have to give those now in charge the benefit of the doubt and judge them on what they do, not what has happened in the past.
Now we can hopefully have some stability within the club and build on that stability, amazingly since Glenn Hoddle arrived in January 2000 Ralph Hasenhuttl is the 18th permanent manager, only 4 have been here for 2 years or longer with Nigel Adkins and Gordon Strachan at 2 years and 4 months being the longest serving.
Since Chris Nicholl departed 29 years ago after 6 years in charge, no manager has managed more than 2 1/2 years in the job that is a truly both a shocking and amazing fact.
That is not good for long term progress and we finally now have a manager who is looking long term, who is working closely with the club to plan the way forward, would I put money on Hasenhuttl seeing out his contract, the answer is no, football is a fickle mistress, he will leave for two reasons, either he will fail and be sacked or he will succeed and be poached, I would rather it be the latter and perhaps this time we will be better equipped for the club to move forward when that happens.
But as I am being constantly told on social media, football is nothing without fans and every club needs it's fans on its side not on it's back, hopefully today is the day there is a mindset change and we can get back on course.
Photo: Action Images
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