Hoedt And Cedric Could Be In Ralph's Plans
Wednesday, 10th Jul 2019 08:24
Wesley Hoedt & Cedric Soares have travelled to Austria with the Saints squad and Ralph Hasenhuttl is not yet rulling them out for the coming season.
This won't be great news for some, but Ralph Hasenhuttl has wiped the slate clean from last season for his squad and this means that Wesley Hoedt and Cedric might not have played their last games for the club.
Hoedt especially became the target for a section of the club's support who placed the blame for it's defensive woes firmly at his feet and after being the only ever present in the centre of Saints defence for the first 13 games, the Dutchman was dropped by Mark Hughes after the debacle at Fulham and would not feature again for the rest of the season.
But Hoedt's dropping did little to improve Saints defence and it became clear that others were just as culpable, Ralph Hassenhuttl was working miracles in the middle of the pitch , but in the centre of defence there were still plenty of mistakes and errors and by the end of the season the goals conceded column per game was not a lot different than it had been prior to the Austrian's arrival.
Cedric's first half of the season had been very similar, he had played most of the games up to Ralph's arrival and indeed had even played a big part in January in wins over Leicester & Everton and the draw at Chelsea, but whereas none of the central defenders Jan Bednarek aside were really performing any better than the man who had been dropped, Cedric had a true rival for a single position in Yan Valery.
When Ralph Hasenhuttl arrived he famously announced that the slate was wiped clean and that everyone would get the chance to show their worth, Wesley Hoedt seemingly did not want that chance given that he failed to make a single appearance under the new manager before leaving for Celta Vigo on loan.
A strange situation that didn't appear to have any public rifts, but there was clearly something behind the scenes, perhaps issues with the club's coaching staff pre Ralph.
Now though Hoedt has returned to pre season training and unlike several players who are looking for a move has not remained in the UK this week but travelled with the squad for the training camp.
The Daily Echo reports that he and indeed Cedric have a clean slate with Ralph Hasenhuttl, they state that he is looking at them and has not ruled them out for next season, that they have their chance to show him what they can do.
For Cedric entering the last year of his contract, his time at Saints looks limited you would imagine that the club would be keen to get a fee for them while they still can, especially as they already have a man ahead of him in the pecking order.
But for Hoedt it is different, no one would argue that we don't need to bring in a new centre half whatever, that is a given, the only question is who stays at the club to play alongside.
As said, Jan Bednarek aside no one truly staked their claim for a place, Jan Bednarek improved beyond recognition after Hasenhuttl arrived and that offers hope that Hoedt could follow a similar pattern.
Going forward though, Jack Stephens looks set to go after his errors in the tail end of the season and Yoshida struggled to get in the side under Ralph at times suggesting that the manager was not convinced and about to turn 31 is not seen as the future.
Ralph Hasenhuttl is a practical manager, he looks to get the best out of his players, he does not seem to show favouritism and this seems to be the case now, perhaps in the next few weeks he will decide that Hoedt is not part of Saints future, but he will not rule that out till he has seen him play a little bit more.
I have the feeling that there was more to Hoedt's departure on loan than met the eye, but with the coaching restructuring and Hasenhuttl now clearly with his own men behind the scenes, things have changed.
The slate is wiped clean, let's judge players on what they do going forward, not the past, be they new arrivals or last season's squad.
Photo: Action Images
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