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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.

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DellBoyWally added 12:09 - Sep 15
No No No Howe. He has a far from impressive record gaining "success" from a club overspend which soon became reality when it became obvious he wasn't capable of managing a PL team to any level of security. Surely his short spell at Burnley, which was a disaster, should demonstrate his lack of talent for the "big time".
Oh, and he got Bournemouth relegated.
As Nick mentions, Bournemouth spent more than Saints and consistently finished behind us!
Did he turn down Celtic? More likely the opposite; they saw his failings and said "no thanks". and his agent(s) quickly cover this up with a rather weak story that his home was too far away! I'm sure it didn't get further away after applying for the job! And if he is such a talent why have no other clubs, PL or Championship, been linked?
Bringing in Howe would be akin to the worst player acquisitions of former regimes.
No No No Howe

highfield49 added 13:08 - Sep 15
I've been trying to think of one positive reason for Howe getting the job at Southampton and failed, primarily because he's next to useless. Mind you, if he gets the train from Bournemouth to Southampton and changes platforms he can get a connection to Fratton. Now if he can get Pompey relegated I'd take that as a huge positive.

landsdownsaint added 13:35 - Sep 15
Ralphs part of the furniture now , I’d be gutted to see him leave even though some of his selections are baffling I also like his passion

SaintPaulVW added 13:43 - Sep 15
I just don't think he fancied moving to Scotland. It strikes me as a bit bananas to turn down a job because you have put your hopes on a job that isn't currently available and for which there would be other candidates in any case.

geezershoong1 added 14:22 - Sep 15
Where does this crap come from?

felly1 added 14:42 - Sep 15
Ralph along with any other manager will probably struggle at Saints simply due to the quality of the team/squad. We've shown enough spirit so far this season to suggest we can stay up and at the most optimistic guess maybe finish close to mid table.
Managers aren't miracle workers, I like Ralph and I want him to stay, we can all be critical of decisions he makes at times but does anyone think Steve Cooper or Eddie Howe would turn us into a winning machine with unquestionably perfect managerial decisions all the time??
Pull the other one! At best we'd get a spell of new manager syndrome and then quickly return grim reality!!

WestSussexSaint added 14:51 - Sep 15
While Ralph is in place now the club will have plans on who should be next if he left/was sacked. Howe and Cooper maybe on that list. That is not to say the club expect a change anytime soon and I hope he is around for at least the duration of his current contract which I think runs until 2024. That said I think some of the credit he built up in the project restart period has been lost from the second half of last season, regardless of the mitigating circumstances. While this seasons start has been reasonable a bad run between now and Christmas could see that replacement list getting dusted off.

JoeEgg added 16:32 - Sep 15
Have to disagree with almost everyone except WestSussexSaint who in my view has it spot on. Ralph now has an excellent squad and no excuses. He lost a lot of credability during that terrible second half last season and I still believe Mssrs Ings and Vestergard left at least partly because they also lost confidence in Ralph and saw no future for themselves staying with him. To rubbish Eddie Howe is also a big mistake - the guy would be an ideal work mate ALONGSIDE Ralph _ but I guess that is too much to hope for.
Ralph has messed the defence about so much its no wonderthat half the time they dont know where they are! And how does Walker-Peters feel after showing so much promise and then being made to sit on the bench?! Ralph should be given until Christmas to produce a great run from a highly promising squad of players. If he fails he has to be shown the door!

NewburySaint added 20:45 - Sep 15
No thank you to Howe - I’ll never forget, or forgive, him for chopsing off after we appointed Adkins in that allegedly he was offered the job (his version) and turned it down before we went after Adkins.

Firstly I don’t believe that, but even if it was true thank you Eddie because we ended up with a much better manager!

halftimeorange added 21:11 - Sep 15
I can't see Ralph leaving unless we get into the doomed situation. He's trying to build his reputation here and, if he's successful (or even part-successful), he seems the sort to see out his contract. Equally, anything around or just below mid-table is hardly going to persuade the board to be rid of him. Neither Howe or Cooper offer anything more than we already have and anyway, Ralph's better-looking and more stylish than both with his stubble and now sporting waistcoats. That's the image we want at St Marys.

A1079 added 22:39 - Sep 15
I am with WestSussexSaint.

I am not looking for Ralph to go and I still hope he is successful but I think he lost a lot of credit in the bank with fans with a second 9-0 defeat and a disastrous second half of last season. We also have the lowest number of wins in the PL this calendar year and though we have had a half reasonable start to this season with some promise a failure to get a run of wins soon may start to see his remaining banked credit run out.

I am not sure I believe this Eddie Howe stuff. He has not said anything himself and he did say when he left Bournemouth that he would not rush into another job. He may fancy Saints because of the locality etc but he would be short sighted to wait in anticipation of a possible departure of Ralph.

davidargyll added 10:59 - Sep 16
…and I want to go to the moon! Just because somebody “says” he wants something is a million miles from even being considered for the job, let alone getting it. FFS, why do you repeat this utter rubbish? I thought this was a thought-provoking blog, seems you’re no better than Twitter but purporting to be better informed.

underweststand added 15:39 - Sep 16
Of course the Board would be daft NOT to have a replacement list in mind (in case Ralph were to cross the road against the traffic - or whatever) but a number of " so-called fan sites " are printing stories about the "currently unemployed" Steve Cooper and the
" Howe scenario" has been in print ever since the day he left Bournemouth.
There is no valid reason for releasing a story like this, as it's in very poor taste, and must be a little unnerving for Ralph as it's rather like a man having to read his own obituary.
All were agreed that our starting fixtures this season are the worst challenge we've had for almost a decade, and those who will stupidly call for Ralph's sacking if we return from City pointless need a reality check PDQ.
City's destruction of their CL opponents last night shows the sort of quality there is in their £ Billion squad, and Saturday's game will be one of the biggest challenges Saints have this season.

As this thread revolves around two highly unsuitable candidates as a theoretical replacement for our current manager, this story should go "on the spike", if not straight into the waste bin.

underweststand added 15:53 - Sep 16
As a postscript to the above...the stories emerging about KWP being ...upset / dissatisfied / angry / sad ...over not being selected is just another needless " space filler " which has run on a few" pathetic" sites.
Kyle ..along with every other player in the club... knows that no-one has a Divine Right to a start place in the team and will (hopefully) accept it. Ralph said that after last season's injury chaos he wanted two players for every position - and now he 's got it.

There must have been an element of .." if this lad ( Tino) is as good as they say let's see how he performs in an un-winnable fixture" like away at Everton. Despite the result Tino was a stand-out player and continues to be so in the games that followed. Ralph may shuffle the pack in order to play both Tino and Kyle, but the inevitable question .." who do you drop in order to accomodate both ? " ..is much harder to answer.


KriSaint added 17:16 - Sep 16
I like Nicks conclusion (No thnx to Howe & Cooper/yes to Ralph continuing), but the article I try to forget.
Howe & Cooper are not needed and not wanted in a time where Ralph has finally succeeded in getting rid of dead wood and strengthening our squad (despite having to accept Ings & Vesty leaving).
We are unbeaten in 4 league and cup games, got a clean sheet vs WH,
and City conceded 3 times yesterday evening while - at least - 3 of the goals they scored themselves were gifts (amazing own goal, stupid penalty and some really, really bad defending).
Citys defense will without doubt get rotated, but same goalkeeper, who looked quite off yesterday.
COYS - put out a physically strong team with nasty skills & tactics and surprise that disgraceful, financial-fairplay-f*cking kingdom-*slam-owned-elite-business-club, who probably used their power to get Jon f*cking Moss as ref. in this match; the 2nd worst ref. in the PL.
Send them home crying because they couldn't get 3 points at "The Etihad" - probably the ugliest name for a stadium in the world of football.

KriSaint added 14:09 - Sep 22
And so we did! YEEEEEEEEEEEES, and had it not been for Jon f*cking Moss' scandalous overturning of a stone wall penalty decision + red card against Man. Etihad, we would have been 1-0 up against 10 men with 40 minutes left to play - injury time included.

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