Southampton FC – The Hassenhuttl Effect

Southampton Football Club ended their 2018/19 Premier League campaign in 16th position, retaining their status amongst England’s elite for the seventh consecutive season, despite amassing a mere nine points going into the Christmas period. But with safety in the bag, was this season a success? 

“Mr Southampton” Ted Bates

Ralph Hassenhutl was brought into the club to achieve the same as his predecessor Mark Hughes, remain in England’s top division. pushed the Saints over the safety line by injecting the “gegenpress” style of football into his sides DNA, a system already deployed in the Premier League by Jurgen Klopp with Liverpool. This unique style of play equates perfectly into its English translation, leading a “counter press” in high areas of the pitch, invoking high risk yet high reward.

The Austrian’s system proved beneficial as fans saw new life breathed into their team, accumulating 30 points in the second half of the season and consequently edged survival in their favour.

The Saints in action against Huddersfield in the final game of the 2018/19 campaign

The flurry of youngsters on show during his tenure was also promising, especially at a club renowned worldwide for their first-class youth development. This included Young Player of the Season Yann Valery and a rejuvenation in form for Nathan Redmond assertively showed how much room there is for progression.

Hassenhuttl will require huge backing on and off the pitch as this summer proves Southampton’s biggest in years, as the former RB Leipzig man is on course to lead his south coast side on the road to recovery after their drastic fall from grace.

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