Eddie Howe Holding Out For Southampton Job But Ralph Is Still The Man !
Wednesday, 15th Sep 2021 11:01
According to reports in Scotland former AFC Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe turned down Celtic as he is holding out for the manager's job at St Mary's to become vacant, but would Saints fans want him or indeed do the club need him.
Back in the summer Eddie Howe who has been out of work since leaving Bournemouth after they were relegated at the end of the 2019/20 season, turned down Celtic and is holding out as he feels that the Southampton job might become vacant.
That is if you believe articles that are starting to appear in the media.
In the past week or so there has been an increase in this sort of rumour mongering article, not just with Eddie Howe but also recently linking ex Swansea City manager Steve Cooper.
But why would they start to appear just as Saints boss Ralph Hasenhuttl seems to have finally got the squad together he would want and after a period of financial austerity enforced due to poor signings made before his arrival and now has a chance to start to move the club forward.
The answer surely lies in the agents of the managers themselves and those who surround them.
According to a source close to the Eddie Howe camp, via Football Insider, the ex-Bournemouth man is set on making a return to the south coast to manage Southampton, although the article goes on to say that it is believed that Hasenhuttl's job is safe at the moment.
Location was said to be the key factor in why Howe turned down the Celtic job, according to "Bournemouth Legend" Brett Pitman and it seems that Howe fancies Saints purely based on how close it is to his home.
But is Howe truly the right manager for Saints ? I would say that the answer to that is no, yes in many respects he fits the bill, a young progressive coach, but his track record away from Bournemouth is not that great either as a player or coach.
In many respects his career is akin to that of Nigel Adkins, in that both took their clubs from League One to the Premier, however that is where the similarities end, Howe also took Bournemouth up from League two to League one before leaving to manage Burnley in the Championship where he was not exactly a success and left by mutual consent.
When he returned to Bournemouth he completed the job he had left unfinished taking the Cherries to the Championship in 2013 and then to the Premier League in 2015.
He then enjoyed 5 seasons in the Premier League, but although the perception is he did that on a shoestring the reality is far different, in his first season he spent £54 million and in the following 4 seasons a whopping £173 million, outspending Saints in the process.
But results on the field declined and with the owners realising that the club could not move up a level the spending stopped and also the proposed move to a bigger stadium was scrapped.
So I would suggest that Howe's track record is no better than average, would I prefer him to Ralph Hasenhuttl? the answer is no.
Likewise Steve Cooper described by the Sun as "Top of Southampton's wanted list" he had only coached at youth levels up until the summer of 2019 when he was appointed Swansea City boss, two play off spots were good but not good enough and he was sacked in July of this year.
Personally I think that Ralph Hasenhuttl is still the man for the Southampton job, although some of his selections this season have been a little puzzling, he has made a solid if not spectacular start to the season.
But as he approaches his 3rd anniversary in charge of the club, he has led it through a difficult time where as a manager he has been hampered by a lack of funds due to a high wage bill due to poor signings made prior to his arrival, meaning that not only was transfer money thin on the ground, but also there was no capacity to increase the wage bill until a number of players were got off that wage bill.
But this summer has been different, we have got a number of high earners who have contributed nothing over the past couple of years off the roster and have seemingly spent wisely to bolster a thin squad.
He has brought us managerial stability and it is a shocking stat that he is now the longest serving manager since the departure of Chris Nicholl in 1991, in that 27 year period between Nicholl leaving and Hasenhuttl arriving we had 22 permanent managers, indeed in the 18 months before Ralph arrived, there had been 3 managers Claude Puel, Mauricio Pellegrino & Mark Hughes.
Hasenhuttl has brought us a degree of stability at the club we have rarely had in 3 decades, a time in which the longest serving manager was around 2 1/2 years.
Having taken us through a tough period the Austrian now deserves the backing of both the board and the supporters to now try and take us on to the next level.
Last season's woes were beyond his control, a horrendous injury list that decimated the squad for the final 5 months of the season, he has learned from his mistakes and hopefully we can reap the benefits.
We have found a manager who wants to be here, see's it as a long term project and has worked hard behind the scenes in all areas of the club to revamp the foundations and strategies.
Now is not the time to lose faith with him, but to support him and put the situation into perspective.
Ralph Hasenhuttl has taken us through a tough period and kept us firmly in mid table and avoiding relegation battle, that was the job he had to do whilst we had our hands tied with expensive failed signings still getting high wages, that does not mean he has an excuse, now he has to up the ante and deliver.
But he should have the opportunity to up that ante and prove he is the man for the job, or would it be better to go back to having a conveyor belt of managers who are either not up to the job or are just using us as a quick stepping stone.
Photo: Action Images
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