Southampton’s Austrian manager Ralph Hasenhuttl has agreed a four-year contract extension. Hassenhuttl replaced Mark Hughes in December 2018 and is the first manager since Ronald Koeman to last longer than a year at St Mary’s. Koeman exited in June 2016.
Ralph Hasenhuttl Agrees Southampton Extension
Here’s to 4️⃣ more years of special moments ❤️ pic.twitter.com/OaYgHe3W47
— Southampton FC (@SouthamptonFC) June 2, 2020
Hasenhuttl has been desperate to repay the faith shown in him by the Saints board. After a 9-0 loss to Leicester City in October, anybody could be forgiven for calling for the sack. But, the club did not see fit and stuck to their plan.
Southampton had picked up just two wins from their opening ten league games. The sheer embarrassment of losing 9-0 in your own back yard is enough to raise questions.
However, Southampton seem to be in a better situation and that game now feels a distant memory. The board clearly believe Ralph is their man and deem him worthy of such a long deal.
Earlier Than Planned
The former Austria Wien forward, now 52, had previously stated that there would be no discussions about a new deal until the club had attained 36 points in the Premier League. Just two short of that tally and on an enforced break, there has obviously been time to bring forward discussions, which have transpired into an agreement.
This could provide a timely boost amongst the players, with the long-term future of the club under Hasenhuttl’s guidance secured. Four points short of the traditional 40 said to be required to stay up, Southampton may not need much more for safety. Once they’ve achieved that, they may start planning for next season. With important decisions to be made ahead of a difficult transfer window.
Hasenhuttl has managed to deliver a more attractive philosophy to the football club, something his predecessors failed to do. Southampton’s managerial recruitment had become something of note since Mauricio Pochettino’s appointment in 2013. When Pochettino moved on to bigger things at Tottenham Hotspur, he was replaced with Ronald Koeman. Koeman became another shrewd recruit down south.
Since then, the Saints have endured some testing times under the likes of Claude Puel, Mauricio Pellegrino and Mark Hughes. Hasenhuttl has managed to get the fans back on side and the club appear on the right tracks again.
Hasenhuttl trusts the youngsters of the Southampton academy, something that will always win you over with the fans. He has handed debuts to Will Smallbone and Jake Vokins. There is a pathway for the famous academy that has delivered in the past with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Gareth Bale, Luke Shaw and Theo Walcott.
Shane Long to Follow Suit
The Daily Echo believe longtime Saints striker Shane Long is to follow the manager in signing a new contract with the club. His current deal is set to expire in June, however, both parties want the same thing – the Irishman’s stay at St Mary’s Stadium.