Ralph Hasenhüttl: 7 Things Every Southampton Fan Needs to Know About Their New Manager

Southampton have appointed Austrian coach Ralph Hasenhüttl on a two-and-a-half year contract to replace sacked former boss Mark Hughes.


Here's a look at seven things every Saints fan needs to know about their new manager...

7. He Has an Impressive Record

After a playing career that saw him win three Austrian Bundesliga titles and finished with a short spell in Bayern Munich's second team, Hasenhüttl took his first steps into coaching in 2007 with lower league German club SpVgg Unterhaching.


He spent three years with the Bavarian side, before later taking over at Aalen in 2011 and guiding the club into the second tier at the first time of asking. From there, the retired striker moved to Ingolstadt and guided the team from the bottom of the German second tier and into the Bundesliga in less than two years, before then keeping them in the top flight.


Hasenhüttl took over at newly promoted RB Leipzig in 2016 and immediately steered them to second place in the Bundesliga and Champions League qualification. He left by mutual consent in May 2018 after failing to see eye to eye with the club over his contract situation, although Leipzig made it clear that they had wanted him to stay when announcing the split.  

6. He Has Been Approached by Bayern Munich

Hasenhüttl's reputation was enough to warrant interest from Bayern Munich as recently as January of this year, prior the reigning Bundesliga champions appointing Niko Kovac.


He later admitted in May that he rejected the approach because he didn't feel ready.


"The fact is I spoke with no other club, except that I once had a loose contact with Bayern Munich. I said that I cannot imagine that I am a solution for Bayern, because I lack the international experience," the 51-year-old explained.  

5. He Is Well Known to the Saints

Southampton are believed to have first considered Hasenhüttl back in 2014 during his Ingolstadt days, even before he had led the club into the Bundesliga.


The Austrian was apparently featured on a long list of candidates to replace Mauricio Pochettino, with the job eventually going to Ronald Koeman instead.  

4. He Matches Southampton's Philosophy

Southampton are well known for the development of young players, from the Wallace brothers in the 1980s, to Matt Le Tissier, Theo Walcott, Gareth Bale, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Adam Lallana, and Luke Shaw, right through to latest talent Michael Obafemi.


Leipzig has been a similar hotbed of talent in recent seasons and Hasenhüttl oversaw the development of young players like Naby Keita, Timo Werner and Dayot Upamecano. 


Southampton have lost their way somewhat over the last couple of years, with Hasenhüttl seemingly the man to restore the club to the right path. It is therefore easy to see why the Saints hierarchy have favoured him over a metaphorical 'firefighter' like Sam Allardyce.  

3. He Has Been Likened to Klopp

Hasenhüttl studied his coaching badges alongside Jürgen Klopp and acknowledges that there are similarities between their preferred styles of play. It has even earned the Austrian the nickname, 'Klopp of the Alps'. 


"I think we appreciate a similar philosophy on football - we want to play a high tempo game, we want our guys to sprint around, press well and these are elements which make the game livelier and varied and get people excited," he told Bundesliga.com in May.


His similarity to Klopp even goes as far as running onto the pitch, something which got the Liverpool boss in trouble with the FA just a few days ago.


"I don't know, at times I run a bit too far onto the pitch. But that's only in exceptional circumstances, and Jürgen does it too when a goal is scored!" Hasenhüttl said.  

2. He Is Seen by Southampton as the Next Pochettino

Despite the strong comparisons to Klopp, a report from The Guardian has suggested that the decision makers at Southampton see the appointment of Hasenhüttl as having 'certain parallels' to when Mauricio Pochettino arrived on the south coast in January 2013.


Pochettino was similarly brand new to the Premier League and English football at that time, but his skill and ability as a coach and manager produced results that steered Southampton away from relegation danger and transformed them into a top half team.  

1. About His Name...

Yes, it does technically mean 'rabbit hutch', or 'rabbit cottage' in German – but it's not one of those like 'Baker' or 'Smith' where it's come from his distant ancestors homing heaps and heaps of rabbits. It is, as a former German editor of 90min told us on Tuesday, 'just random letters in a row'. 


Jurgen Klopp weighed in to similar effect this week too, as you can see here


Killjoys.