Southampton boss holds dressing room competition to form ‘new hierarchy’
THE DEPARTURES of influential figures this summer, including but not limited to vice-captain Oriol Romeu, have left a power vacuum in the Saints’ dressing room.
Ralph Hasenhuttl would rather you call it an opportunity.
The Saints will refrain from appointing a new second-in-command to the group’s ever-present leader, James Ward-Prowse, at this time.
The Austrian opens the floor to his young, hungry and ambitious group with the hope that a new hierarchy is forming, throwing the bait to the peloton.
Cooperation is at the heart of it all, but the strongest will come out with the greatest stock and in doing so will be elected leaders over their peers.
“Not now. I want us to give ourselves some time to get together and get together,” said Hasenhuttl, who was asked if a designated player would succeed Romeu as vice-captain.
“When you lose a lot of experience in the team, you can say there is a void, or you can say there are opportunities to get a new hierarchy,” he continued.
“We’re momentarily in the assault phase where everyone wants to put something in, and we’ll see after so long who’s swimming at the top, and then we’ll make that decision.”
Ward-Prowse, of course, remains a constant. Hasenhuttl said: “At the moment we only have Prowsey as captain and that’s fine with me.”
Shane Long, 35, and Nathan Redmond, 28, both left the team at the polar ends of the summer transfer window and have been credited by their teammates as significant influences on the team.
Scotland international Stuart Armstrong is easy to pin down, with four years at the club. But even his influence is, it’s fair to say, waning when it comes to action on the pitch.
The defense and the goalkeeper can line up with an average age of 22.4, and even younger with the return of Tino Livramento. Romeo Lavia is 18 and no one else in the squad – except Che Adams – has significant Premier League experience.
Kyle Walker-Peters recently revealed to the Daily Echo that he is aiming to be a future club captain and is likely to be leading the charge in this dressing room shake-up.
I saw another new side of Kyle Walker-Peters in conversation today.
Considering each answer, #SaintsFCThe star has revealed he wants to be a club captain.
⚪ Work to be vocal in games.
🔴 Speak at team meetings.
⚪ Inspired by Romeu/Bertrand/Redmond.
🔴 Fire idea Ugo Ehiogu.
— Alfie House (@AlfieHouseEcho) September 7, 2022
The former Tottenham Hotspur defender insisted he was becoming more opinionated, speaking out at team meetings and challenging staff when appropriate.
“It’s good yes, this should be a target for all players who at some point want to be a club captain,” Hasenhuttl said of the 25-year-old.
“But it’s clear that not everyone has everything to be a captain, but that’s good, yes. I like players who want to take responsibility and the best thing is to be a role model on the ground.
“It always helps maybe to have a chance once when Ward-Prowse isn’t.”
He continued: “I think it’s a normal way to progress when you start to think about the game a bit more, Kyle has a clear opinion and has the power to speak up and say when things don’t go the way he does. wants to.
“It’s good, having an opinion about football is never a bad thing. From that point of view, he’s a smart guy and he’s really interested in tactical things, changes, and he also has a clear view of his position.
A message from the editor
Thanks for reading this article – we appreciate your support in reading the Daily Echo.
Subscribing to the Echo means you have unlimited access to the latest Saints news, features and coverage – all with a lightweight advertising website.
You will also have full access to Saintsmoreyour new home for Southampton FC tactical analysis, features and more.
Don’t just take my word for it – subscribe today.
Follow the latest breaking news in the Southampton area by searching Southampton News – Breaking News and Incidents on Facebook
Follow the latest court and crime news on our dedicated group by searching Hampshire Court and Crime News on Facebook