NEW SAINTS BOSS
SOUTHAMPTON have moved quickly to replace sacked Mark Hughes with Austrian Ralph Hasenhuttl close to being appointed new manager.
Sportsmail revealed on November 21 that Hughes was close to the axe and his exit was confirmed yesterday with the club telling the Welshman, who was wearing his training kit, at 8.30am. A move for 51-year-old former Red Bull Leipzig boss Hasenhuttl is at an
WHO IS RALPH HASENHUTTL?
AS a floppy-haired striker for Austria Vienna, he won several league titles in his homeland before becoming a Bundesliga journeyman. His coaching career took off when he led lowly VfR Aalen into the German second tier before moving to Ingolstadt and hauling them into the top flight. It was at RB Leipzig that Hasenhuttl made his name. Tasked with keeping the promoted side in the Bundesliga, he led them to second in his first season and secured Europa League football in his second.
WHY DIDN’T HE STAY AT LEIPZIG?
THE fans were still singing his name at the end of last season. But tactics, transfer policy and contract talks saw his relationship with sporting director Ralf Rangnick deteriorate.
WHAT KIND OF COACH IS HE?
HE has often been compared to Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, and earned the nickname ‘Klopp of the Alps’ at Ingolstadt. He wears his heart on his sleeve and his teams press energetically. He is less of a showman than Klopp — more reserved in press conferences and more of a disciplinarian on the training pitch.
HOW DO HIS TEAMS PLAY?
UNDERDOGS Ingolstadt scrapped and snarled their way to survival in their first year in the Bundesliga. Yet Hasenhuttl prefers attacking football and unleashed that at Leipzig. Built around Naby Keita in midfield, his Leipzig side surprised the Bundesliga with exhilarating football. Ferocious counter-pressing, excellent transitional play and the pace and finishing of Timo Werner made them a match for any team.
WILL HE HOLD HIS OWN IN THE PREMIER LEAGUE?
THE pace and openness of modern Premier League football should suit Hasenhuttl. His only problems at Leipzig came later in his tenure, when opposing teams set up defensively. If his team are underdogs and there is space to counter, he flourishes. Southampton fans can draw hope from Hasenhuttl’s record. At Aalen and Ingolstadt, the Austrian took over with the club in the relegation zone. At both clubs, it took him just 18 months to turn misery into magic.