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Whatever Your Opinion On Ralph Hasenhuttl He Deserves Respect
Friday, 21st Oct 2022 09:33

After the outbursts at Bournemouth on Wednesday night, it was clear the Saints fanbase is split on the subject of Ralph Hasenhuttl, but there is no need for it to become toxic and sadly that is fast becoming the case and there is no need for it.

I have no problems with Southampton supporters having the opinion that it is time for Ralph Hasenhuttl to go, that is their right, what I am concerned about however is the level of vitriolic abuse that is being thrown at him.

Although the majority of supporters seem to still be behind the manager, there is a growing number who are not just against him, but they seem almost to want to see us lose games as they think that it will hasten his departure.

On Wednesday at Bournemouth there was a cry of "You don't know what you are doing" halfway through the second half, now I could understand that if we were 3-0 down or similar, but the fact was we were 1-0 up, the substitution was reasonable in bringing on a defensive player for an attacking one and we were hardly hanging on for dear life.

A small minority took up the chant, but it quickly died out and the Saints supporters present got on with the job in hand, backing the team to a vital win that took us up to 14th place and within 3 points of 9th place after the game.

Some would say that shows that we are heading in the right direction, but others would not and still would want Ralph to go, I spoke to someone after who said they were sorry we won the game as it meant that Hasenhuttl would still be in charge for the next game.

This is symptomatic of the attitude of some and the abuse that the manager is getting is getting beyond a joke, as I said I have no issues with someone wanting him to go, but its the vitriol aimed at him and a desire to see him go that sees some making ludicrous claims such as "worst manager" we have ever had, which on the face of it just isn't true.

In the main the same people who are making these claims and worse on social media have spent the best part of the last 3 years slagging of former owner Gao Jisheng for not putting any money into the club, they blamed all our failures on a lack of investment from the China man on all our woes, which of course were merely being a mid table club.

With Gao gone the focus is turned on Ralph by those people and what has he done wrong ? failed to take us forward despite no investment, is the simple fact of the matter.

Now there has been money put in they expect instant change & success, the change has come, new coaching staff and 10 new signings in the transfer window, that in itself has created problems in bedding in players into the squad, but overall after the win at Bournemouth the season is again a solid if unspectacular start.

But the vitriolic abuse still continues, as I say i have no problem with opinions all I have the problem with is the abusiveness of them.

So what has Ralph done wrong that makes some froth at the mouth so much ?

In simple terms the worst thing he has done is take us to 4 mid table positions without getting involved in a relegation battle, taken us to an FA Cup semi final and even topping the League for the first time since 1988, all with little investment to buy players.

Now that is something we should be applauding him for, we could easily have now been sat in the Championship given the fact that a year ago Gao and the club were being slagged off for spening far less in the transfer window than they took in.

The claim was, there was not only no investment from Gao, but there was no full reinvestment of transfer monies received, a difficult situation, but in that period Ralph took us to 11th place and two 15th.

Now in the current Premier league our place in the pecking order in terms of resources is somewhere between 12th & 16th, I agree Ralph hasn't overperformed, but he hasn't underperformed either he has taken us to exactly where we should be.

Perhaps it is time for change, but I do think it is a good sign that Sport Republic seem to have acknowledged the job he has done in difficult circumstances and now given him the chance to show now the purse strings are loosened that he is given time to show he is the man take us forward.

They showed him the respect he deserved for his last 4 years, sadly some cannot find it in themselves to do even that and this is the crux of the matter, whatever your thoughts on the man, he has held the line in difficult circumstances, we could easily have been relegated in the past three years given our financial circumstances, but we weren't and even if he did leave today, the club is in a far better position than it was when he took over in December 2018.

So by all means want Ralph Hasenhuttl sacked, that is your right to have that opinion, but at least express those opinions based on fact & not fiction, if you want people to respect your own opinions then you have to show respect.

We do not want this situation becoming toxic, do we want a club that can hold it's own in the Premier League ? I would say we all want that, but there is little margin for error, those three points gained at Bournemouth could be vital come the final table, we got them and we move forward, we have enough challenges as a football club, as do over half of the Premier league, we don't need to create more ourselves.

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stmichael added 09:50 - Oct 21
Disgusted to hear the chants at AFCB.
Cringe worthy small time support.

Ali_Diarea added 10:20 - Oct 21
Everyone is entitled to express their opinion but keep it to social media. If you are going to the game you should always support the team until the final whistle…especially when we are winning!

Save the criticism for after the final whistle but don’t undermine the players’ fragile confidence during a game! Makes no sense!

It was apparent the players were desperate to win against Bournemouth and were playing with fear, supporters can really help by getting behind the team.

SusanBellew added 10:39 - Oct 21
I agree 100% with this article. Well said!

highfield49 added 10:39 - Oct 21
Cringe worthy indeed Nick, when the team is winning and building some confidence the last thing they need to hear is lack of support. I'd add the cowardly abuse of Kat to the list as well, based upon her physical appearance rather than her supposed inability to sell the club to a preferred type of investor.
I don't think Ralph is going to be the long term future at SFC because I suspect that any improvement in form could be followed by another points drought. We've all witnessed the see saw results for too long but that in my view is no reason to heckle the guy, especially when we're winning.
Whether by luck or work on the training ground Perraud crossed the ball without hesitation for Adams to find space and beat the Bournemouth keeper for the winning goal. I wonder how many additional goals we might have scored with Adams given genuine opportunities to score instead of half chances or worse. Whether that is credit to Ralph, the coaches, or Perraud's vision I don't know but it was a breath of fresh air after so many poor deliveries into the box all season.
As you have said Nick there are some supporters who are unable to do anything but abuse players, coaches or club owners. Only they can explain why they feel the need to go to matches with the intention of heckling their chosen target whether we're winning or struggling. I have my own doubts about the qualities of some players and don't see Ralph as irreplaceable, but that's for discussion with mates over a pint not to vent my spleen during a match.

SaintPaulVW added 10:47 - Oct 21
Agree. It's just daft and self defeating.

Looked like a right bunch of berks when the tactical change worked.

The only 'advantage' that it might have is it might unite the players and manager against us. Yes that seems really sensible.

Ifonly added 10:54 - Oct 21
I think Ralph should go (if the club can persuade the right man to give up a good job and join us). But at the same time I desperately hope that RH proves me wrong and I will be very happy if he does so.

The chants at Bournemouth (which I wasn't part of) are unfortunate but that's football. That's what happens when frustration builds up over a long period of time. Those of us with a few years on the clock have heard them before and we'll hear them again. RH and the players have to be big enough to live with them because s*** happens. It's the same at every club - Leicester and Villa being the latest examples.

A1079 added 11:02 - Oct 21
Agree 100% with you Nick.

collo60 added 11:15 - Oct 21
The article was well written and I share its sentiments. I thought the chant was small minded and somewhat typical of the support we provide at times.

I would say I groaned at Ralph’s substitutions but he did the business. I also groaned at how the players and manager celebrated the victory. For goodness sake we played Bournemouth not City or Liverpool. You’d have thought we had won the cup!

As to Ralph I like him as a person. I like the way he handles himself in front of the media. I believe at times he is too emotional and sometimes I believe he hasn’t a clue what to do to win games.
I’m not sure if I want Ralph to stay or go but if he does go I will always remember him as a person whom I respect.

felly1 added 11:50 - Oct 21
Really hate any abuse aimed at our own manager or players. Whether it's at the stadium or online.
It's so counter productive and makes the abusers look like silly and childlike.
Nothing wrong as you say with not rating the manager or
certain players and airing your views.
I like that and it's enjoyable to debate with people with different views respectfully.

Newdawn2014 added 11:53 - Oct 21
I never went but I do hear the chants etc , which seems to have no limit to the vitriol .
And for those of you that have not see Katharina lately and just for the record she looks stunning , not that its relevant because I`m sure the chanters are all beautiful specimens too! not a beer belly or gap tooth grin between them.

Kenm added 11:55 - Oct 21
Ralph has done very little to get the fans on his side !, the Bournemouth match may have been a win but a lucky one, the team was poor ?, Arsenal ! next we will slip back down the table, we need someone to get Saints back on a level playing field, which Ralph hasn't a clue how or what to about it, we need NEW ideas ?, last season Saints had a run of 12 games undefeated, but Ralph didn't like the formation so he BROKE IT, WHY

onetowatch added 12:33 - Oct 21
Nick, I think most sound minded fans will completely agree with your rightful dislike of anything other than support from fans during a game.
However, you do use this point and article to expand it to further support of RH. You even mention yet another, strong starting point. You mention good argument or reason should be made by those who feel we have to move on from RH, but, nowhere in your article do you explain or justify just 16 points in the PL from the last 57 available....|

kingolaf added 13:47 - Oct 21
We’ll never agree on whether Ralph should be in charge Nick. But it’s 100% agree that he deserves respect. Couldn’t understand the singing on Wednesday when we were leading.
Make your feelings clear by all means. But the time for that isn’t when we’re winning.

DellBoyWally added 14:20 - Oct 21
Ralph came into the club, a Premier League team barely worth that description. In successive years he kept us up with no investment and no improvement in a mediocre team.
Now we have had investment. The defence has been improved BUT the midfield? We moved on a number of midfielders, some with skill and experience. We brought in several players of unknown skill and no experience! Improvement? Maybe in time.
Ralph was apparently demanding, "vigourously insisting" we get a proven PL striker. As we all know, that didn't happen.
But look at many of our scores - lost by the odd goal despite creating chances.
With a proven striker we could, and should, have scored more. For just half a dozen goals we could and should have earned at least 9 points, possibly 12. The 9 points would have put us in 5 at worst!!!
The team IS better. But if the right players aren't brought in, in our case a stiker, you don't get the points.
So that's not Ralph's fault. That's the board/owners for not doing their job.
Ralph doesn't complain about not getting what he wants; he manages with what he has and takes the flack for the teams failings.
I'm glad Ralph has been here; he has succeeded where many, I'm sure, would have failed - i.e. we got relegated.
Now the team is improving - and hopefully come January it improves more with a striker - Ralph should be the manager, be given the opportunity to show that not only can he keep a sub-standard team in the World's hardest league but can improve the team's standing in that league

ItchenNorth added 14:38 - Oct 21
It smacks of a lack of intelligence and maturity. Just like singing 'how shit must you be, we're winning at home/away'. Yes very funny. That must really inspire our players.
Leave it until after the game. Tell them you're not happy at the final whistle. But for goodness sake; just support the team/manager during games.

Block8 added 16:25 - Oct 21
Not the biggest ralph fan but don't support the vitriol as it is as you rightly say self defeating.
The same goes for the booing when someone we don't like comes on, poor Redmond got shedloads of this. Must be a great confidence boost!!
Generally we have a great set of fans on away days but are rather quiet at home. It maybe the way our support is split at the North End of the ground but is true none the less!
Get the noise levels up and be positive on Sunday!

IanRC added 17:13 - Oct 21
Just hope we can hang onto Lavia, and now Bazanu apparently, given the interest from that American team. Then we will have the chance to see how RH can do with a settled team.

YosemiteSaint added 06:52 - Oct 22
I'm not going to say that Ralph doesn't deserve respect. But more often than not the "you don't know what you're doing" crowd has been right. Perhaps they were just following the usual script, and must have been confused that it turned out differently for once.

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