Ralph Hasenhuttl is a name unknown to many within English football but his moniker as the ‘Alpine Jurgen Klopp’ offers Southampton fans a flavour of what they can expect from their new manager.
The Saints needed to return to their identity as a forward-thinking, high-energy side and the Austrian can be the man to drive that change forward if he takes on the approach of the Liverpool manager.
It will obviously take time for Hasenhuttl to get his message across – that was the case for Klopp when he arrived at Anfield midway through the 2015/16 season and he had better quality players at his disposal than Southampton do now.
So how can a manager inspire change while his methods are still taking shape? Klopp did it at Liverpool – and Unai Emery is doing something similar at Arsenal right now – through sheer force of personality.
By restoring the fight to Southampton, while insisting his players focus on the key components of his approach, Hasenhuttl can bring about instant improvement in the short-term, which will lead to a longer-term change.
Southampton have largely drifted ever since Claude Puel left the club – and even the Frenchman did not have the personality needed to bring about long term change at St Mary’s.
Hasenhuttl can be that man, and taking note of Klopp’s early months at Anfield would be a good place to start.