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Aston Villa Target Hasenhuttl And Steven Gerrard To Replace Dean Smith
Sunday, 7th Nov 2021 21:09

According to media in the West Midlands, Aston Villa's short list to replace Dean Smith after his defeat at Southampton on Friday include Saints manager Ralph Hasenhuttl and Glasgow Rangers boss Steven Gerrard.

A couple of months ago some Saints fans were calling for the head of Ralph Hasenhuttl after what they saw as a bad start to the season, although thankfully the Saints board could see what the Austrian was trying to achieve at St Mary's and look at his tenure as being a long term project. Certainly back in October CEO Martin Semmens had been quick to back his manager and tell the club's supporters that it is not about the odd bad result or period, but the way the club is heading in the long term.

Fast forward a few short weeks in football and even a lot of those who wanted Hasenhuttl gone are now starting to see that we are building a decent squad again, there is still a lot of work to be done though and hopefully Ralph sees it that way as well.

Aston Villa have lost 5 Premier League games in a row and now Dean Smith is gone, as I said football is sometimes very short termist, after 6 games Villa were flying high and talking about challenging for Europe, they had raked in big money from the sale of Jack Grealish and spent it on three big signings including Danny Ings from Saints.

With half a dozen games gone Smith's standing was high and Hasenhuttl was under fire, yet now the pendulum has well and truly swung.

So most Saints fans will be dismayed to hear that the Villa board are considering Ralph Hasenhuttl as a replacement for Smith as well as ex Liverpool player and current Rangers manager Steven Gerrard.

I have always backed Ralph Hasenhuttl and seen what he has had to try to achieve with a limited budget, some fans could not see the irony of demanding Gao Out for not putting money in and then slating the manager for not being in the top 10 with no money to spend. I do understand that this was not the opinion of most Saints fans, but the vocal minority on social media, but it felt like it was.

To lose Hasenhuttl now as he approaches his third year at the club would be a disaster in my opinion, he has given us stability that we have lacked for over 30 years evidenced by the fact that he is the longest serving manager since Chris Nicholl left the club in 1991.

He has also build a structure within the club that has been lacking for a long time and slowly has built up a squad with a mix of quantity and quality.

This is why he has attracted the interest of of Aston Villa now and if he carries on with the progress he has made at St Mary's Aston Villa will not be the last club to show interest.

Hopefully Villa will look elsewhere, with the money their owners have, they are looking for instant success and a name manager and not another manager in a similar vein to Dean Smith who like Hasenhuttl has worked hard for his club and rebuilt it after it's relegation in 2016, yet that progress has been rewarded with the sack after a short run of defeats.

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Saidou added 22:28 - Nov 7
Aston Villa are trying to buy there way to success in a much similar way that Everton tried and failed miserably. These two teams are so desperate to prove their "Big Club" status.

Why would you get rid of a manager who has a number of his best players out injured/suspended this early into the season? Its like they have no trust/belief in their own ongoing processes. All they have is money, media hype, panic and panic.

This reminds me of how Southampton is methodically and strategically a much well runned club despite being a "Small" one.

lemmsy added 22:49 - Nov 7
Personally I think there should be a transfer window for managers,some may scoff at this but we have it with players so why not.It would prevent this hire & fire nonsense that costs each club tens of millions & has seen 5 premier league managers sacked already this season.
From a saints point of view I assume those ‘supporters’ who were suggesting Ralph should be sacked & we were no better than a mid championship side will now be crying please don’t leave.

JoeEgg added 07:15 - Nov 8
This is nothing new Nick. Ralph has been touted for management jobs before and will be again. Commentators need to make sensational news to attract their readers thats all.
I have said this so many times - if clubs like Leicester can aim for top four then so can we. Ralph, probably through the efforts of our scouts rather than his own, has acquired an exceptionally promising squad of players which we must keep and develop, and stop thinking like a struggling bottom half of the table club looking for survival. Ralph should consider himself lucky and honoured to be given such a position.
We are all entitled to our own opinions and I have played for Saints and supported them all my long life. I wish Ralph all the best but personally I have always thought that Eddie Howe was the man for the job - I have given my reasons before; It looks like Newcastle for Eddie - he's a great guy, knows the Premier League well;, and has an exciting future there. I wish him well.
As for Saints. Pretty obvious we need to find players who can take their chances in front of goal. A great goal every now and again is fine, but we need consistent goalscorers as Ings was - when, of course, he wasn't injured!!
I am not being negative although it may seem that way to some. I believe this club has the potential now to be a top xix club and even challenge in Europe. Good luck Ralph - I hope you make it to the very top and with the Saints.

wrathoftazz added 08:09 - Nov 8
"have always backed Ralph Hasenhuttl and seen what he has had to try to achieve with a limited budget, some fans could not see the irony of demanding Gao Out for not putting money in and then slating the manager for not being in the top 10 with no money to spend. I do understand that this was not the opinion of most Saints fans, but the vocal minority on social media, but it felt like it was."

What total nonsense. Supporters, no matter how you try to belittle or cast them as a minority, wanted Ralph out NOT due to budgets, but due to 2x 9nil defeats in different seasons, sub decisions that -looked like they- were pulled from a hat,, not being reactive or proactive to decisions, formations or questions... the choice of the starting squad members and finally, the constant excuses as of late.

If you check my posts after the 1st 9nil defeat, I still supported Ralph BUT, you can polish a turd all you want but it will still remain a turd.

highfield49 added 08:52 - Nov 8
I suppose it depends on what is considered a turd before deciding on whether it can be polished or not, so I'll elect my turd of the week as Eddie Howe, whether he is a great guy or not. I can't figure out why this guy, who seems to be Newcastle's third or fourth choice to fill their vacancy, has any great reputation. In his spells at Bournemouth he got them promoted and relegated and hardly set the football world on fire in his other managerial appointment. I still think that Newcastle will struggle to survive the drop because there aren't too many players of the desired quality and fitness levels who are going to join the club in January unless it's purely for the wage packet. Danny Ings might be interested in a move I guess apart from the fitness issues.
As regards RH going to Villa I just don't see it happening, he must be well aware that the sacking of a good manager like Dean Smith after a run of bad results is not a place that he would want to be. With a fresh squad of young talented players on an upward cycle he can really make a name for himself and eventually move on to bigger clubs than Villa.

stmichael added 09:23 - Nov 8
A handful of people on social
Media wanted RH out but I have never heard the crowd home or away turn on him.
He knows that…

underweststand added 09:51 - Nov 8
Hard luck on Dean Smith who had many players out, and with no Grealish to help solve the problem. Ralph had a similar situation last spring when he had a bunch of raw teenagers on the bench and a blank scoresheet whenever Danny Ings was injured.

Sacking a manager and giving the new guy an unlimited transfer budget is no guarantee of success even for rich clubs, and whilst the rest of us get by selling our best talents and buy new young talents in cut price deals, and the "Covid fan-ban" cut deeply into finances for Prem. sides who had to service " big salary" with little or no real income.

With Eddie Howe still pausing with pen in hand at Newcastle (a recipe for greater disaster IMHO), now Villa and Norwich also have to find a new man to keep them out of the drop zone, and the recent article that rumoured Brendan Rogers as replacement for Ole at Man U may not be too far off the mark.
When you need to employ a new manager, there is often a very short queue of top men at the Job Centre, especially as Conte has now committed to Spurs, (another case of a good manager who is potentailly on a short stay) if he doesn't deliver some sort of silverware in the next 18 months.
Conte, like Pochettino and Mourinho before him will have the consolation of a big pay-off if he fails to convert Spurs' "super squad " into a real footballing side that he knows can't depend on Kane and Son forever.

That "vocal minority " that Nick refers to really needs a reality check on Saints ' formula for "success". Blow the dust off their history books, and see that, aside from those Koeman seasons, (when we played good football and got to travel in Europe), the "norm" for a Saints' season is usually avoiding the drop, and hopefully finishing above 10th place.

After Koeman's sudden departure, we saw that you can only appoint a new man from those who are available, and any "good manager " doesn't stay unemployed for too long.
Much that can be argued over during Ralph's time so far, but I think there is more to come when he gets the players he wants and really needs - without spending a fortune.


Centurion added 10:03 - Nov 8
The 'vocal minority' have had an undue influence on the fortunes of the club in the past. Managers being moved on and even not appointed!
Agree with your comments Nick. We need a bit of stability.

underweststand added 10:30 - Nov 8
As a P.S. to above ...where several have written about the ongoing Howe / Newcastle saga. Newcastle have 30 points to play for BEFORE we meet them on January 2nd.... and that is the first chance for Newcastle to sign any new players.
My guess is unless they have picked up around half that number (perhaps 12-15 points), they will already be beyond the point of no return and whoever is manager will be too far down the slippery slope into the Championship.

davidargyll added 10:32 - Nov 8
Highfield49 Spot on!

And ditto underwestand. Agreed, Eddie Howe may be a lovely guy but he is, was and always will be a very average manager at best. And the stats show it. I would imagine the Newcastle junta with their dodgy reputation want someone who is available, so they’ll be no more adverse publicity (which there undoubtedly would be if they were to try to extract an in-place manager) at least in the short-term. Whether they’ll be able to attract anybody decent under his management I very much doubt, but maybe he’s doing it because Mrs Howe needs a new coat…

And re the Villa job, if you look at what Dean Smith did with the Grealish money, it was mostly blown on average players who are not delivering (including our dearly departed Danny). That’s what got him the sack and I think you’ll find that the money they’ll have to pay any club inc the Saints to get their manager is now prohibitive. I always thought they were a very overrated club, although Grealish carried them while he was there. But now I think they’ve got real problems.

And finally JoeEgg, do I trace just a hint of a change in your usual theme of “we lose because of Ralph, we win despite him”? If so welcome back from the dark side!

SaintPaulVW added 11:27 - Nov 8
Were they available, RH and Gerrard would be sensible choices for AV. However I don't think Ralph is so AV can jog on!

As has been said above unless we have all been sold a pup, Ralph is in on a long term project that has given him stability. This provided him with reassurance during the big downswing of last season.

AV have just panicked and sacked a manager after 5 games ignoring their own injury crisis. Unless the next manager is a faith healer then that's not going away soon and may even get worse.

Unless AV dangle a big pay packet and that is what is really attractive then I don't see a problem. However as always, Ings, Koeman etc that may be what someone is really after.

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