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Hasenhuttl Feels The Supporters Will Be Vital
Friday, 7th Dec 2018 10:13

New Saints manager Ralph Hasenhuttl is not underestimating the role the fans will need to play if the club is to achieve it's aims.

Speaking on the official site this morning the Austrian has shown that he has perhaps been reading social media as he did his own due diligence on Southampton Football Club before deciding to join.

If his namesake Ralph Krueger and his board have perhaps underestimated the importance of the supporters to a football club in the past couple of years it appears that Hasenhuttl does not.

That would be natural having played and managed in Germany for much of his career, a country where all the clubs are what is known as 50 % +1 fan owned and now has perhaps the most organised and influential supporters groups in Europe.

In his first day of employment you can see why the Austrian has been likened to Jurgen Klopp, he has an enthusiasm for the game and for everything surrounding it, he has a personality and he wears his heart on his sleeve.

Saints fans have been crying out for passion from the club itself, Hasenhuttl certainly has that and has a personality and passion that no Saints manager has ever had before, yes we have had managers with a love for the club, we have had managers who have done a good job, but ultimately few ever engaged with the supporters.

In recent years Ronald Koeman was perhaps the nearest to Hasenhuttl, he had personality, Mauricio Pochettino was respected, but he was hard to either like or dislike as at Saints he refused to speak English at press conferences so never truly engaged with the supporters, Gordon Strachan had that fire in him, but they like most of those that came before or after them always seemed to have that detachment, you never really thought they cared

In the longer past the nearest to Hasenhuttl would have been Alan Ball and this is no bad thing to compare the Austrian with the sadly departed legend not just at Saints but in World football, but I think Hasenhuttl has that little bit more than Ball in that like Klopp although he played professional football, he will first and foremost be known as a manager rather than a player and in modern football that is fast becoming the trend, the best managers are those that never reached the truly big heights as a player, they are thinkers who have to work that much harder to earn respect rather than relying on their status to get by.

I can accept Hasenhuttl being compared to Klopp, many Saints fans don't feel that way, they hate Klopp, but perhaps some of that is because of the fraught relationship between Saints and Liverpool over the past 5 years, the Merseyside club are seen as having pillaged us far too often.

But the fact is the same fans who hate Klopp have been bemoaning the lack of passion, the lack of understanding from Southampton Football Club from top to bottom, speak to Liverpool fans they will tell you they were saying the same things till the arrival of Klopp, they will tell you all is still not right with the owners, but they will also tell you Klopp has united them and they love him for that.

So Hasenhuttl is going to be compared to Klopp, he is going to be called "Klopp Of The Alps" but you just get the feeling that this is not a bad thing.

Speaking about the Saints Supporters on the club's official website he said

"In every club I have been working until now it was the most important thing for me, because I know that it is very important that they help us when it is going tough, when it is a difficult situation,” said the new Southampton manager.

“I think the best example was on Wednesday, at the end of the match, you felt that the supporters never stopped helping them on the pitch.

“I want to take them with us. That's always what I have preferred to do at my former clubs, because the kind of football we want to play is to show them that, even if we don't win, we have done everything to do so.

“When we as a club develop in every situation, and also the fans, I think something can grow here which is remarkable.”

But he also knows it's one step at a time and the first target is to pull clear of relegation.

"There are really two targets at the moment, The first is the near future, and in the near future the only target has to be to stay in this division.

“That’s tough enough, so that's the main goal at the moment – do everything with first decisions to get out of this zone where we are at the moment.

“Nine points after 15 matches is not a really good return. That's too less to make it one year again in this division.

“The first goal is to get out of this zone and raise your performance to a higher level.

“But also there is a mid-term target we have, to develop this club in all directions.”

Ralph Hasenhuttl is a manager who is being touted for bigger things, his six month spell without a club was his choice, he is focused on where his career is going and making the right choices , he sees Saints as a club able to progress his career and he as a person who can progress the club's.

It's time now for the supporters to get behind Ralph Hasenhuttl and the team and all kick in the right direction to help him achieve his first target of keeping Saints in the Premier League.

This doesn't mean that all is OK with Southampton Football Club as a whole, they still need to improve their performance off the field and show that they have a plan and they have a vision, Ralph Hasenhuttle clearly thinks they have but they have told him far more then they have told us the supporters.

It is now a tale of two Ralph's, one has spoken and asked the fans to back him and his team and promised that they will give 100% on the field, if we want him to succeed then we have to do that, stop the bickering, stop the snide comments on social media and find our pride again in Southampton Football Club, you just get the feeling that Ralph Hasenhuttl could be the man to deliver that.

Photo: Action Images

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pintsizedsaint added 10:36 - Dec 7
Very impressive first press conference. Gives the air of a manager that is no-nonsense and has very clear ideas. Use of modern approaches to the game much welcomed.

A1079 added 10:42 - Dec 7
100% behind the new manager even if things do not immediately go to plan. I really hope as fans we can create some strong vocal support and atmospheres, that will make him feel at home.

The only issue I slightly take with your article. I disagree that no one before him has connected with the fans - Lawrie McMenemy did understand the fans and really connected. Ok, may be not straight away, but he was seen by many fans as the key to the success and achievements that we enjoyed at the time. I recall many times at the Dell where he would walk down the touchline during a game and speak to fans and try to get them going if they were a bit silent.

highfield49 added 11:19 - Dec 7
Let's face it the appointment of Hasenhuttl has gone beyond every supporter's expectations. I, for one, genuinely believed that we were going to end up with an Allardyce, Moyes, Bruce as manager. I'm now wondering if the removal of Les Reed was the turning point in the new man's agreement to join the club, he seems to have a very clear picture of the players he wants to keep on the squad and is very much his own man. In my view it will take a few weeks to get the playing system changed and the players in place able to meet his expectations. What I have no doubt about is that this guy will give it 100% and anybody who doesn't share his vision will out on their ear next month.

SaintNick added 11:28 - Dec 7
A1079, I didnt say "No One" ever connected with the fans, i actually said few, he was hated in his first two years at the club though, but you are right he was key to our success at the time

saintjf added 13:26 - Dec 7
If he is good I hope he stays for more than a season or two.

darthvader added 13:52 - Dec 7
Stepping stone? Probably .. I said that to a reporter outside the dell the day that Glen Hoddle became our manager .
It happened , he was doing well for us then fücked of to Spurs. It's happened since with both poch and RK.

If that's the case then at least that would mean we are doing well if a "bigger" club comes in for him. However only really poch has done well since so with that in mind if we do well, he may want to stay longer .

I've a good feeling though, if he can GEt them playing better ,attacking pressing football , with our strikers scoring goals... Then happy days.

Come on you redzzzz

SaintBrock added 14:56 - Dec 7
Hasenhüttl Nick, Hasenhüttl FFS

LoisDeem added 15:41 - Dec 7
Yes, very engaging, personable and positive -just what we need.
Hope that Bednarek will come into the reckoning too.
Talking of the airbrush (as distinct from the thing I used to put through my luxurious feather cut locks in the seventies) -I do concur with others that some previous managers did engage with the fans -a lot more than the last handful of encumbents -definitely Lawrie, WGS, Dave Merrington and Nigel Adkins come to mind and are still men of the people. Hope your memory's not being dulled by the recent negativity Nick.

Three Points Please.

luke47ni added 15:42 - Dec 7
Who knows how long it will take Ralph to get Saints sorted but I and confident he will get them sorted and for the first time in several years I feel the club has "got it"!

LoisDeem added 15:58 - Dec 7
I am in awe of this new manager...
Anybody else getting the Kinky Boots show ad coming up with the site will see that he's also playing lead in that too, our boy's certainly not shy.

underweststand added 12:36 - Dec 8
The first few games will set the standard for how "the fans" can relate to RH.

If we put up a good show against those top sides who are on the fixture list, then win. lose or draw... fans will (hopefully) understand that he is going to have to change the personnel and the formation at a time when we aren't in a winning position, and not the ideal time to experiment.

Our squad aren't on the same salary levels as the top sides, but then again neither is their footballing ability. If RH decides he can't use a player (for whatever reason) we'll be best off getting rid of them - even at a loss- and quickly reducing the wage bill and enable us get in fresh blood who can DAJFU...." Hasenhuttl style."

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