Hasenhuttl's Faith In Che Adams Is Paying Off
Tuesday, 20th Oct 2020 09:13
For much of last season as he struggled for a goal, some Saints supporters were pointing to Che Adams signing and saying it was another failure, but the man who mattered Ralph Hasenhuttl seemingly did not have any doubts.
As Christmas approached last season Che Adams must have wondered whether he had made the right move to join Saints, initially he had been first choice but he had struggled to score, it was not for the lack of trying but nothing seemed to go right for him, he made all the right runs, got in all the right positions, but he just had no luck in front of goal, he wasn't blazing the ball over the bar, he just had no luck.
By mid September he was taken out of the firing line and as Saints started to revive in December he was reduced to the role of bit part player, he was down to getting a few minutes at the end to run down the clock.
Rumours were starting to circulate that Leeds United would be making a bid in January, then out of the blue for the trip to Chelsea he was back in the starting line up as Ralph Hasenhuttl made the shock decision to rest Danny Ings and Shane Long and play Adams and Obafemi in attack.
Whatever the reasons, this was a gamechanger for Adams, he had his best game for the club up to that point and showed that he was worth keeping faith with, Obafemi took the plaudits in a 2-0 win with a great goal, but the architect was Adams who led the line, laid on the goal and for me was the man of the match.
But this was not the complete redemption of Che, he was not yet back in as first choice, but his role now was a lot more prominent, he was no longer just coming off the bench to run down the clock. he was getting more game time and contributing.
But a goal was still not coming and as the season headed into its last games before lockdown, Adams had not gone to Leeds and most Saints fans had kept faith with him as their manager had, they could see there was a player in there, but were accepting that it might be next season that he truly blossomed.
There were little glimpses of what he could do, notably at Leicester and in a 2-0 home win against Aston Villa, a win that changed us from relegation battlers to mid table, with Saints under pressure he won the ball, held it and then laid a sublime pass for Stuart Armstrong to run through and score in injury time to finish the Villa hopes.
There was only one more game before lockdown after that and little did we know the impact he would have in that period after the return.
Initially he was a sub in the first two games of the return, but he looked sharp and looked the part and was unlucky not to score his first goal at Watford, but that goal was not long away, a glorious long range effort in the 1-0 win against Manchester City.
The season had changed for Saints and it had changed for Che Adams , a goal at Bournemouth and two against Sheffield United in the final game showed not only he was a Premier League quality player, but that he was forming a great partnership with Danny Ings.
That has continued this season, Adams compliments Ings and both are not just goal scorers but providers, that is not just in assists, both are able to make clever runs that pull defenders out of position and create space for their partner.
That was evident in the 2nd goal at Chelsea, Adams scored it, but Ings was buzzing around pulling the defender out of position to give Adams the space to bring the ball back and fire home, Adams does the same for Ings.
Since the restart Adams himself has made the assist for two of the 9 Saints goals as well as his notch against Chelsea, but his approach play and role in build ups, means that some of his work is not recorded in stats.
So in hindsight Ralph Hasenhuttl has played the Che Adams situation just right, pulling him out of the firing line, building his confidence, reigniting his fire and enthusiasm and then unleashing him at the right moment.
Certainly the Austrian manager publicly at least always kept faith with Adams, the final decision to keep him or let him go to Leeds in January lay with Hasenhuttl, how near it was to a coin toss is something only Ralph knows, but sometimes as a manger you need a bit of luck and Ralph made the right decision on this one.
Now after starting all of the first 5 games of the season Che Adams is very much the undisputed first choice partner of Danny Ings and that partnership if it keeps getting better at the current rate could see us have a great season, I would say that outside of the Big Six and there is not a better partnership in the Premier League, although Everton fans currently might not agree.
Photo: Action Images
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