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Southampton 2 v 1 Tottenham Hotspur
Barclays Premier League
Saturday, 9th March 2019 Kick-off 15:00
Hasenhuttl Speaks Ahead Of Spurs Game
Friday, 8th Mar 2019 11:07

Here is our round up and opinion on Ralph Hasenhuttl's comments ahead of the visit of Tottenham Hotspur to St Mary's.

Ralph has spoken and here are his comments and our assessment ahead of the game.


"I don’t expect too much justice from VAR. I have experience of it when it was in its first year in the Bundesliga and there were lots of problems in the beginning because it still comes down to human decisions. The most important thing is that everyone in the stadium knows what it is about and what is being checked and that the decision is taken in the stadium and not 300 miles away.

"The referee sees the incident, he knows the atmosphere and if he made a big mistake or not and then decides if he wants to change it. It has a lot of challenges to face, it is easier for offside or not because you can take the line and maybe it is an inch either way.

"On the other hand, for fouls or handballs in the box, it is always a difficult decision to make because it is still the referee who must decide.

"The last decision has to be made by the referee because he sees the scene in real-time and makes a decision in his mind in that moment. If he thinks he has made a mistake then he has the chance to overturn himself. Everyone must know what it’s about and if it takes two or three minutes the crowd will get angry and it can kill the atmosphere in the stadium."


Ralph is right to have reservations about VAR, but I would question why it matters where the VAR officials are, it is about being clinical and not being affected by outside causes, a foul is a foul the atmosphere should not affect it. The only real doubt over VAR is the time it takes and pressure applied to referees to look at it for minor incidents.

...on Man United and the 'big six'

"One game we took points against Fulham, the other against Man United we didn’t and that is the only thing that interests me. We didn’t play so bad at Old Trafford and to see the momentum behind them last night you can imagine how big the performance was. We took them to the limit and made them play their best to beat us.

"The Champions League shows that these top teams in England are in really fantastic shape and they are in the moment showing that the Premier League is the best in the world.

"Although United lost 2-0 to PSG, they can still do outrageous things when they need to. They were very clinical and that’s something we have experienced in the Premier League; if you want to win against teams like this, you have to be perfect."

Ralph is right that we made United up their game, but is the Premier League the best in the World ? I would say that the Big Six are as good as in any other country, but after that the rest of the League is pretty much of a muchness, the difference between us and say Wolves is a lot about errors made , luck and momentum, we have conceded last minute goals in three of the last four games that have cost us four points that would see us safe by now.

on Spurs...

"It’s outstanding to see what Pochettino has built; he has created quality without spending huge money and that shows how good he is. I think if you see the performance of this team, they always play the perfect pass at the perfect time and find the space that is available and to play against them is very difficult.

"Preparing for a game like this, you see so much quality; it’s a perfect example of technical quality meeting tactical performance. It will be a very interesting game at the weekend.

"We showed against United that if we find a good balance with our pressing then we can create a few problems for the big teams too.

It is not normal to sustain that for 90 minutes and not give them a chance because you can’t defend everything but we showed we have the quality to win balls and set counter-attacks. Against Tottenham, we have to give them the biggest fight we can imagine and be committed and know exactly what we need to do."

I'm not quite convinced about Pochettino at Spurs, on one hand yes he has taken them into the top four on a regular basis, but he has done that without winning a trophy or more importantly without really looking like winning a trophy.

The "not spent a lot of money" is a bit of a myth, in 2017/18 they spent £110 million, during his tenure they have totalled around £250 million in incoming transfer fees, it is only the last year they have spent little, but they haven't needed to in key areas, could you buy better than Harry Kane for instance.

Has Pochettino got the best out of the Tottenham squad, I would say that perhaps he has not.

Pochettino is coming to a crossroads, if he doesn't win anything this year and with Spurs in a new stadium, he will have to win them a trophy or he will go.

on Harry Kane...

"He is not only the guy who is scoring but also moving out of the first line to develop the game; he is more than a finisher and sometimes his influence is reduced to that. He is a very good package and if he has a chance then it is a goal. But, this team showed that when he was injured that they were still successful. Tottenham are not only Kane and that makes it so difficult to face them."

Leading on from the last paragraph, Pochettino initially refused to play Kane in the Premier League in his first season as manager and questions were being asked as to why not with Spurs struggling in relative terms, he was trying to offload him to us at one stage, Pochettino got lucky with Kane.

on Danny Ings and the international break...

"Danny (Ings) is not in the group at the moment. We didn’t take any risks, we want to give him the time to come back during the three-week break after Tottenham. We will play a friendly against a Championship team and he can play for 45 minutes maybe in that time and build up his fitness.

On the up coming three week break.

"This is a new situation for me, missing a league game for the cup. To have such a long break during the season is unnatural. We will have everyone here for the first week and then not for the second. The first, we will take a few early steps to Brighton but when they go to their national teams maybe they will forget what we worked on.

"It doesn’t really make sense, either way we will try to find something to keep the rhythm but it’s not easy."

This break could either help or hinder us, on one hand it does enable us to get the likes of Ings and perhaps Lemina fit, but we will lose momentum. the only advantage is that Cardiff are in the same boat, as long as they fail to beat West Ham this Saturday then whatever our result against Spurs the break will favour us more than them, but the downside is what the teams above us who do play in it do. If they lose then we will have games in hand, if they win them we could be cast adrift from the teams above.

on touchline discipline...

"I’ve had a few touchline bans when I was discussing some things! Normally I try to be very respectful to referees also because I want their respect and that is normally not a problem.

"Sometimes in an emotional situation you can go too far but I don’t know what happened for Pochettino. I have spoken to referees about decisions after the match is a respectful way and that is normal.

"With the suspension, he can sit in the stands with headphones to contact the staff and has a very good view of the pitch, it is not necessarily a disadvantage.

"It was a poor game from us against Spurs last time; I expected before that we would have lots to work on but it was not the team that we are competing against in the league, there was a big difference on the night and that did not surprise me."

A manager in the dug out is always going to see his emotions run high, whilst no one likes to see officials abused it is also good to see managers who kick every ball and celebrate every win, give me a Hasenhuttl and a Klopp who show their emotions and totally immerse themselves in the club they are with than a Mark Hughes type who clearly have no passion for the club or fans they manage.

on team spirit...

"I am always focused on building the team spirit. It’s a fundamental part on which you build everything else like tactical performance or training sessions. It is important that the group comes in the morning and they feel comfortable in the dressing room, there are rules, there is discipline and that builds up a good time together.

"I am a manager who wants to be respectful but also demanding and they know exactly what I want them to show me; if they don’t then I criticise everyone in my team from the best player at that time to the guy in the last row. Everyone hears what is good and what is not good because I want to make everyone better. I think every player appreciates that.

"I have had personal meetings with the goalkeepers recently for example because I have had made a change there, they have to know why I did it and that I want to see more from everybody. I want to create a community that is focused in one direction. We need that because there is a long way to go."

This is what I love about Ralph Hasenhuttl, e is all about team spirit, all about building up players confidence, he knows that a player who is being supported and boosted not only by his manager but his team mates and indeed the supporters has a better chance of playing better and therefore earning his team points, lesson in kind for some here.

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Photo: Action Images

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SaintBrock added 19:01 - Mar 8
I am growing rather fond of Hassenhüttl's press conferences, he really is a charming bloke with a good sense of humour and fun and no detectable ego to get in the way. He is also very open and honest to questions and probably tells us more than the board would otherwise allow. Loved the (almost) revelation of which Championship side we will play in a friendly next week (bet it's Norwich?).

Remember too he is speaking in English and joking in English, not bad at when the you consider what we've had to endure since Koeman left and Pochettino's bloody useless interpreter before him!

Never thought I'd look forward to wah-wah's a coach has to say again.

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