Ralph Hasenhuttl

Ralph Hasenhuttl
Image from: freelargeimages.com

Ralph Hasenhuttl

Current Club/Country: Southampton.

Previous Clubs/Countries: RB Leipzig, FC Ingolstadt, VfR Aalen, Unterhaching.

Honours: Bundesliga 2 Champion 2014/15.

He has been described as the Austrian Klopp, due to his style of play being a similar high press system to the one Klopp usually favours, but there is more to him than just being a copycat. Yes he favours his team pressing high to try to win the ball as far up the pitch as possible, but he plays the tactic in a slightly different way. Both managers have adapted to suit the players at their disposal, which is why their results have improved.

Not just tactical changes, he has also coached changes into the players, improvements to make them more suited to the tactics. That to me is his biggest strength, the way he brings players on and improves them, makes them better. Players like Redmond were going nowhere before he arrived, backwards even, now they are looking better and becoming a genuine threat to the opposition.

What impresses me the most about Hasenhuttl is that, unlike some other managers, he does not neglect to try and organise the defensive side of things, as well as work on attacking. There is a plan for when the high press does not work and the team have to drop off into defensive areas and defend deep.

Unfortunately I have not seen enough of his team to judge his ability to make changes with substitutions, so far he does not seem to make a huge difference with them but that could be down to the quality of his bench. Does he have the players to change a game waiting to come on? Not very often, so it is impossible to judge him on that particular skill.

It will be interesting to see how he conducts himself with recruitment this summer, as he has publicly pledged to work as much as possible with the youth players in the squad. That could be a real problem of balance, recruiting players while still allowing the academy products to blossom.

Requested by Longthing76