Saints Need To Follow Anfield Blueprint
Tuesday, 3rd Mar 2020 09:46
Many would say that Saints showed Liverpool the blueprint for their recent success, now they need to follow Liverpool's example in building for the future rather than by knee jerk decisions.
When Markus Liebherr took over at Saints he had his backroom team put together a blueprint that was all about developing players both from the academy and from other clubs whilst maintaining a managerial foundation that was based on continuity rather than sacking a manager on a knee jerk reaction.
Sadly after his death that blueprint was ripped up as both Alan Pardew and Nigel Adkins were sacked without truly getting their feet under the table and then Mauricio Pochettino took the Tottenham money and ran.
We hoped Koeman was the man for the job, but sadly he too sold his soul for silver and since his departure in 2016 Ralph Hasenhuttl is the fourth permanent manager in four years and now the longest serving in that time.
That has not helped anything and Hasenhuttl's task has not been made any easier by the upheavals behind the scenes,.
But it seems that those in charge now have found the original blueprint in a drawer somewhere and are starting to implement it again, the first sign of that was when Hasenhuttl kept his job after the Leicester debacle, it at least showed that Martin Semmens and his board were not people who panic at the first sign of trouble.
Ironically back in 2014 when Liverpool started to raid us, they saw us as a blueprint for their own rebuild, at that time they had failed to win the title since 1990 and hadn't won much else other than that, they had just spectacularly blown the Premier League and spent big in an attempt to try and win it in 2015, but it all went wrong and they started to have a rethink.
Brendan Rodgers left and in came Jurgen Klopp and finally Liverpool had realised that whatever you are trying to achieve in football, if you want lasting success then you have to build foundations.
That meant backing Klopp and this they did despite the fact that Klopp won nothing in his first 3 1/2 seasons in the job, but both the club and supporters kept faith in the German as the man like Liverpool managers in the past like Shankley and Paisley to look to build long term and see it as a project not just a brief spell of success.
Now that is the blueprint Saints need to follow, they need to keep faith with Ralph Hasenhuttl and so do the fans, managers make mistakes and the Austrian has had some criticism on social media for his selections at West Ham, that is the nature of the game, even the top managers pick the wrong team sometimes, we have to see this as a blip not roar into panic mode and melt down.
It might be a little hard for some to see, but we are now looking like we are back on track with our blueprint and we have to be patient.
Saints did not spend in January, but then again nor dis most clubs, what they did was look at the bigger picture, keep our money in the bank for the summer and rebuild properly.
The last two seasons haven't been great, but we have survived them, some of those who were responsible have now gone and new men in, of course it is far from perfect, but we now can see the light at the end of the tunnel.
We have to base our success on what we can realistically achieve at any given time not what is a pipe dream, for Liverpool it is the League title and the Champions League, for us it is a top 10 finish and challeging for a cup and European qualification, that is not pie in the sky promises it is realism, if it is titles and glory you are after then you had better join the 20 years season ticket waiting list at Anfield.
So Liverpool kept faith with Klopp and we need to do the same with Ralph Hasenhuttl, he has bought into a project, but he wants to see everyone kicking in the same direction as well, if we want to succeed we like Liverpool have to forget the past and only concentrate on the future, set our sights on what we can achieve not what we can't.
It is about building those foundations when you build a house you don't build the ground floor and then try and put the roof on before you have build the first floor, it is one step at a time and when you have taken each step you move on to the next one.
Markus Liebherr's plan was never for him to pump millions in, it was always to firstly stabilise the club, secondly to get it promoted and thirdly to then sell it on and bring in those who could make the next step.
Gao is part of that process, he is not the man to pump in multi hundreds of millions, but he can help us take another step.
The biggest part of football club's incomes these days is not the Premier League money, if Liverpool win the league and we finish 12th then they only get £22 million more than us, that is nothing in the grans scheme of things .
What matters is a club's ability to fill it's stadium and in doing so attract more sponsorship money, selling replica shirts will bring in some money, but if you are selling shedloads around the World then you will attract more money from shirt sponsorship etc.
We have to build on what we have, no one is saying we have to touch our caps and defer to the big boys, we just have to forget about them and concentrate on what is success for Southampton Football Club, not what any other club is doing.
If we as fans cannot see this then we become just another Championship club reflecting on past glories and what could have and might have been, whilst claiming to be a sleeping giant.
But we cannot afford to drag ourselves down before we have even seen the results, we have to give Gao and this board a chance if only because they haven't failed us yet and there is no other option,those that want a new buyer should reflect that any such buyer wants to buy something good he wants to see that that fanbase that will bring in the income is there and can be a help not a hindrance.
Fans are the lifeblood of football clubs, what makes a club are it's supporters, there has been an air of negativity around St Mary's for too long, we the supporters can help change that, if Gao does us wrong there is plenty of time to moan about it after it has happened, but we don't need to do so before he has.
So in conclusion we like Liverpool have to bite our tongues and sit tight, success won't come overnight, but it can come over time with the right blueprint in place, Liverpool management and fans kept faith with Jurgen Klopp even when it looked like he would be just another in the long list of failed Liverpool managers since 1990, but now he is on the verge of joining an elite band of those who have won both the title and the Champions League/ European cup, that list is not a very long one, but bigger than managers who have won trophies for Saints, perhaps Ralph is destined to be only the second.
Photo: Action Images
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