Whilst the English bookies were still pushing Quique Sanchez Flores as favourite for the Southampton job, a role he strangely plays repeatedly when Premier League jobs are available, the German media revealed Ralph Hasenhüttl was on the verge of being appointed.
They led with contract length, and that the signing was imminent, and, now it’s all been confirmed ,they’re looking at the situation and passing opinion.
Hasenhüttl had been linked with several jobs in the Bundesliga recently, including even potentially taking over at Bayern Munich, that’s how high his stock is in Germany.
SportBild explains it wasn’t just Bayern who could have been a possibility, but he’d also be under consideration at clubs like Bayer Leverkusen, Borussia Dortmund, Schalke and Borussia Monchengladbach should they need a manager.
Therefore, some in the country feel the Austrian taking on a ‘relegation candidate’ is a step down which could lead to career damage.
SportBild’s Dietmar Gessner disagrees, and says: ‘No question: Superficially, going to Southampton is not a good choice. Nevertheless I say: Congratulations, Mr. Hasenhüttl! That’s just the right job at the right time, in the right place.’
Southampton are described as the ‘perfect springboard’, with a ‘clear philosophy’ and a ‘calm environment’, along with ‘one of the best youth academies in England’.
The current squad is labelled ‘way too strong’ to be relegated.
Hasenhüttl’s ‘offensive football and aggressive pressing’ is said to fit perfectly with Southampton’s DNA, and he’ll be able to develop players and the style. From there, he can seek recognition in the Premier League and become an ‘international level coach’ who is considered for the big jobs outside of Germany.
For Gessner… ‘That’s why he is definitely in better hands with an English relegation candidate than with a supposed big German club.’