Southampton’s decline in the past two seasons has been peculiar and incredibly frustrating for the supporters, but with Ralph Hasenhuttl at the helm there is reason to suggest times of change are looming on the horizon.
Mark Hughes was never the right man for Southampton to appoint. The Welshman’s career is full of examples in which his team has crumbled following a bad run of results, with defensive frailties glaringly exposed.
Last season Southampton left it late to make the managerial change they were crying out for, and the fact they have appointed Hasenhuttl before the new year suggests the club’s hierarchy have learnt from their past mistakes.
The former RB Leipzig manager got off to a poor start away at Cardiff, but his reaction to that particular result proves he has the right mentality to turn things around.
Indeed, according to The Guardian journalist Gregg Bakowski, Hasenhuttl has put his Southampton players through their paces on the training ground this week.
‘He cancelled his squad’s day off on Monday to begin an intensive six-day training regime before his first home game against Arsenal.’
Now, that might seem excessive before playing a side of Arsenal’s obvious quality but, regardless of the result on Sunday, his relentless training methods will eventually help him to successfully implement his high-press philosophy.
The Saints have been devoid of a recognisable identity since Mauricio Pellegrino took charge of the club, but Hasenhuttl will change that in tandem with an improvement in results.
Southampton players will need to boost their fitness levels to embrace the new manager’s philosophy and subsequently beat the drop once again, and the fact the Austrian has set the tone for his regime with a 7-day working week, training and matchday included, proves that the club are well placed to steer clear of the bottom-three.
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