Southampton Name Ralph Hasenhuttl as New First Team Manager

Ralph Hasenhuttl
BERLIN, GERMANY - MAY 12: Head coach Ralph Hasenhuettl of Leipzig reacts during the Bundesliga match between Hertha BSC and RB Leipzig at Olympiastadion on May 12, 2018 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Thomas Starke/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Following the sacking of Mark Hughes as first-team manager on Monday, Southampton moved quickly and efficiently to name their next manager. Landing their first-choice pick, Southampton have named former RB Leipzig boss Ralph Hasenhuttl as the club’s new manager. Hasenhuttl’s first match in charge of the club will be this Saturday’s contest at Cardiff City.

Southampton Name Ralph Hasenhuttl as New First Team Manager

Joining a Saints side that sits tied in 19th place in the Premier League, Hasenhuttl has some work to do. However, unlike recent hires, the Austrian does have some things going his way.

First, of course, will be his winning experience as a manager. Also making Hasenhuttl’s appointment a good one is the full support of the Saints supporters, something that could not be said for the two predecessors.

Notably, the former Austrian international has had success at every club he has managed. Beginning his managerial career in the third tier of German football, Hasenhuttl stabilized a weak SpVgg Unterhaching and almost managed to lead them to promotion during his first full season in charge of the club.

Moving on from there, he also had extremely successful campaigns with both VfR Aalen and FC Ingolstadt, leading both sides to promotion from their respective leagues. In fact, FC Ingolstadt not only managed promotion to the Bundesliga under Hasenhuttl but also managed an extremely impressive 11th place finish during their first ever top-flight campaign.

However, Hasenhuttl’s major breakthrough came during his tenure with RB Leipzig. Joining up with the Red Bull-backed club in 2016, Hasenhuttl led the club to a second-place finish in the Bundesliga during his first season at the club as well as a spot in the UEFA Champions League. While his second campaign with the club led to a still-impressive sixth-place finish, he eventually decided to leave the club following the end of last season.

More importantly, though, is the aggressive style that Hasenhuttl loves to employ. Utilizing pace and a need to push forward on the counter-attack, the Austrian urges his sides to attack and defend as one. Even more exciting is the pressing that Hasenhuttl’s teams perform when not in possession. Cutting off passing lanes, the side will look to create many turnovers.

Of course, this is a throwback to many of the golden days at St. Mary’s. Playing this exact way under both Ronald Koeman and Mauricio Pochettino, Southampton became a great club in the Premier League. That said, Ralph Hasenhuttl is not a cure-all for Southampton but it is a step in the right direction for the Saints.

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