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Ralph Hasenhuttl message rings loud and clear for Steve Bruce after schooling him

2 weeks ago
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Ralph Hasenhuttl is doing an impressive job at Southampton.

Arriving in December 2018, the Saints were heading down after one win in their opening 14 matches. In the end they comfortably stayed up.

Last (2019/20) season his management style began to be more imposed and the results continued to go in the right direction, an eleventh place finish and 52 points (to put in context, NUFC are now in the 14th Mike Ashley season and have only once managed 50 points in the Premier League under him).

Friday night saw Steve Bruce completely schooled by Ralph Hasenhuttl, Southampton hammering Newcastle United and better in every respect. The Saints boss happy with every aspect of the performance apart from pointing out that his players should have scored more goals.

As usual Steve Bruce’s management style was all out defence, hope against hope the opposition don’t take any of their countless chances, then pray that at some time Newcastle will somehow create a chance and take it.

The score was only kept down to two last night due to wasteful finishing, the woodwork, Karl Darlow, plus a clear penalty somehow not given as Lascelles took out Walcott.

After going top of the Premier League, Ralph Hasenhuttl was keeping his feet on the ground, but was also happy to share the not so secret, secret, of their improvement…

“We developed not with a lot of invested money but with a lot of invested work…We made so many big steps forward. We are now a strong side. That is not a coincidence.”

The improvement is obviously down to one key thing, Ralph Hasenhuttl.

A progressive manager who has got the players some excellent football and scoring goals, getting results, even when their key goalscorer and best player isn’t available, it made no difference.

I hope this Ralph Hasenhuttl message rings loud and clear for Steve Bruce after such an easy and comprehensive victory for the Saints.

In his four transfer windows at Southampton, Ralph Hasenhuttl has a net spend of only £29m, in contrast, Steve Bruce has a net spend of over £100m in his three transfer windows at Newcastle.

As the Saints boss says, it is invested intelligent work on the training ground with basically the same players he inherited, in the main, it isn’t down to simply buying better expensive players.

Ralph Hasenhuttl has improved players as individuals and improved them as a team.

When you then look at Newcastle United…can you name any player that Steve Bruce has improved?

Certainly no rational person could claim he has improved the team and certainly not the playing style.

Steve Bruce is churning out the same low level negative football that he has done throughout his career, as we keep being reminded, over two decades of experience in management.

What his mates in the media and elsewhere fail to address, is exactly what he has learnt in these 20+ years of club management? Not a lot from where I’m looking.

Ralph Hasenhuttl :

“It was a very good performance again, we showed that we are one step further in our development now.

“Our fans will love it and they will make a picture of the table.

For us it’s nice but it shouldn’t kill the hunger for more.

“We should stay hungry and we should feel anything is possible with this team.

“I must be very proud.

“We developed not with a lot of invested money but with a lot of invested work.

“We had some good results in the past two or three months and it was important everyone can see the philosophy we are following can be successful.

“It’s amazing what my team does in the moment. Congratulations to everybody around the pitch and the team. Amazing.

“We could maybe have scored more but the rest was perfect.

“Everybody was on the highest level. It is a little scary what we are doing at the moment to be honest but not surprising when I see what we are working on.

“Earlier, we could have closed the game, earlier. That was definitely possible.

“The way we played through lines was fantastic to watch.

“We can then make the last pass and final decision even better but this is criticism on a high level. We know it’s not so easy to create a lot of chances against these teams.

“Theo [Walcott] gives us the runs and Che [Adams] is brilliant in the box. It was important to show that also without Danny [Ings] we have the quality to score.

“There were a few critical situations I think. I have not seen it yet [Walcott penalty not given] but in the end it was not deciding the game. We try to win it without needing a penalty or something like that.

“I just told the guys in the dressing room that we invested so much in this time together. We made so many big steps forward. We are now a strong side. That is not a coincidence. It helped us that we had situations where there were no crowds as we developed our game without as much stress. It was the complete game I think.”

Stats from BBC Sport:

Southampton 2 Newcastle 0 – Friday 6 November 8pm

Goals:

Newcastle:

Southampton:

Adams 7, Armstrong 82

(Half-time stats in brackets)

Possession was Southampton 61% (64%) Newcastle 39% (36%)

Total shots were Southampton 15 (8) Newcastle 4 (2)

Shots on target were Southampton 8 (3) Newcastle 2 (1)

Corners were Southampton 8 (1) Newcastle 3 (2)

Referee: Peter Bankes

Newcastle United:

Darlow, Schar, Lascelles, Fernandez, Lewis, Hendrick (Matty Longstaff 61), Sean Longstaff, Murphy(Joelinton 79), Saint-Maximin, Wilson (Carroll 78), Almiron

Unused Subs:

Gillespie, Manquillo, Clark, Hayden

Crowd: 00,000

(Southampton 2 Newcastle 0 – Match ratings and comments on all the NUFC players – Read HERE)

(Southampton 2 Newcastle 0 – Watch the key moments in the official match highlights HERE)

(Steve Bruce totally deluded claiming Southampton 2 Newcastle 0 was just inconsistency – Read HERE)

(Southampton 2 Newcastle 0 – Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to Friday’s defeat – Read HERE)

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