Mark Hughes’s reign of mediocrity is over and Southampton have turned to Ralph Hasenhuttl to take them in a brave new direction that might actually involve winning some matches.
As soon as the rumour mill began to link the Saints with Hasenhuttl it was every fan’s duty to pretend they knew who he was and had been following his career for years when in fact they weren’t able to put his name into Google without copying and pasting it.
So, to save Southampton fans hours of research, we’ve assembled the key facts you need to know about the new man in charge at St Mary’s.
He’s not Mark Hughes
Most importantly, there is clear and irrefutable evidence that Ralph Hasenhuttl is a completely different man to Mark Hughes.
While there were reports that Hughes, in a rudimentary disguise, did attempt to interview for the role of successor to Mark Hughes, the board saw through the ploy and Marco Usio didn’t even make their shortlist.
Therefore, Hasenhuttl will already have one major plus point in the eyes of the fans, not only is he not Mark Hughes, he’s also not Tony Pulis or David Moyes.
The ‘Alpine Jurgen Klopp’
Hasenhuttl is frequently referred to as ‘the Alpine Jurgen Klopp’, not least by Hasenhuttl himself who appears at functions that Klopp doesn’t want to appear at, much like a shopping centre Santa Claus.
The similarities are striking. Both men are 51 years old and while Klopp is 6 ft 4, Hasenhuttl is 6 ft 3, so they are more or less the same man.
Like Klopp, Hasenhuttl is known for his sense of humour and even if he does take the Saints down to the Championship the solid gold material he’ll have for his Edinburgh Festival show will make it all worth it.
A born winner
Hasenhuttl may look like the maths teacher you didn’t want to get on the wrong side of but towards the end of the GCSE year started to tell increasingly bawdy anecdotes about his younger self, but he brings a mean track record with him.
In his career to date, Hasenhuttl has managed an impressive win percentage of 42.34, which is marginally worse than Maurizio Sarri’s total of 44%.
By that unquestionable logic, Southampton should at least be looking for Champions League qualification if not a title push.
What’s in a name?
Hasenhuttl’s career has been dogged by accusations that he is harbouring an umlaut, but he openly declared its presence when applying for the Southampton job.
The umlaut, which is lurking towards the end of Hasenhuttl’s name, will make its presence felt when Jonathan Pearce is commentating and should prevent supporters creating any kind of chant that rhymes.
In fact, fans should enrol for a basic German course before even attempting to say the gaffer’s name.
Those who already have some German proficiency may point out that Hasenhuttl’s name means ‘rabbit hutch’ in German, Hasenhuttl will be at pains to point out it actually means ‘hare hutch’, which isn’t a silly name at all.
Sleepless in Southampton
In his last role at the helm of RB Leipzig, sponsors Red Bull provided Hasenhuttl will enough of the energy drink to ensure he literally never slept.
By the end of his reign, Hasenhuttl was clearly hallucinating and attempted to eat the referee during his final game in charge believing him to be a Snickers.
When leaving, Hasenhuttl walked out with as many cans as he could carry, so we can expect to see him continue his insomniac ways twitching and muttering to nobody in particular that he can’t feel his teeth any more.