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Hasenhüttl’s death-or-glory rejig revives Southampton’s menace

Ralph Hasenhüttl celebrates Southampton’s Boxing Day win at Chelsea with Ryan Bertrand.

“The team starts believing: ‘OK, this is often the way it can go, it works,’ and it did work,” Hasenhüttl says. “But within the end, it had been not always that aggressive and, if it doesn’t work, you sit very deep and you’re passive. That’s not really the way i would like to play or the players want to play – sometimes with less possession. That’s the rationale why we wanted to vary it.”

In other words, Hasenhüttl felt he wasn’t being faithful himself. there’s still an understatement , though, in it taking the 9-0 to jolt him back to 4-2-2-2, the system with which he enjoyed such success at RB Leipzig. Or that his team were ready to close so soon after such a devastation.

The left-back Ryan Bertrand says: “It’s strange to mention but our pressing really clicked after the 9-0 – beginning at Arsenal. the town games straight after were almost not getting done nine, 10 or 11. Would that click have come without such a terrible result?

“The change of system enables us to possess clearer principles in our pressing and positional play. While you’ve got no consistency in your team selection or back four or team shape or what you’re getting to do once you play out through the thirds or how you’re getting to press, the talent within the team doesn’t begin .” agen maxbet

Hasenhüttl says in simple terms the 4-2-2-2 gave “one player more ahead to offer earlier pressure” in comparison with three centre halves. It gets a team above the pitch with reference to their starting positions. But Hasenhüttl brought the detail when he talked about “filters” or layers to the press, which start with filter one up front within the shape of Shane Long and Danny Ings. Filter two is provided by the wide players, Nathan Redmond and normally Stuart Armstrong, with filter three being Pierre-Emile Højbjerg and ordinarily James Ward-Prowse.

“In this technique , if we are well organised in behind, we’ve more filters until the ball involves our back four,” Hasenhüttl says. “Even the large teams have more problems to create up against us if we roll in the hay perfect. Also, if you’re employed for an extended time during a shape, you recognize every weakness, especially against the ball. you’ve got experience of what are the areas you’ve got to guard .”

It is impossible to flee the sensation that after the nine-goal thrashing, Hasenhüttl decided that if he was to travel down at Southampton, he would a minimum of do so playing his way. it had been a death-or-glory move but now his team look more flexible within the final third, more dangerous on the ball. The change to the collective mindset has been radical.