Date: 20th December 2020 at 9:15am
Written by:

Former footballer and television pundit Dion Dublin has aired his belief that Southampton gaffer Ralph Hasenhuttl should be classed as an “elite manager”.

During the 2019/20 Premier League season, the Saints suffered a heavy defeat at the hands of Leicester City as the Foxes cruised to a 9-0 win (per BBC).

Over the remainder of the season, though, the Austrian manager turned the club’s fortunes around and following the Premier League’s restart in June, managed to avoid defeat in all but one league match (per Transfermarkt).

That form has carried over into this season, with the Saints in fine form. Prior to this weekend’s fixtures, a table on Final Score accounting for results since that 9-0 defeat showed that Southampton had accrued the joint-fifth-most points in the top flight but were sixth on goal difference.

During BBC Sport’s Final Score, Dublin lauded the work of Hasenhuttl and labelled him as an “elite manager”.

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How well do you remember the action from the opening weekend of the Premier League? - 1. Who scored the first goal of the season?

He said: “From that league [table] we’ve just seen since that 9-0, he has to be [an elite manager] because he’s sixth in the table.

“So yes, he is an elite manager right now in the Premier League on form.

“I understand that you have to win trophies and Champions Leagues and Premier Leagues to be an elite manager for the rest of your life – but right now, he has to be. He’s done a great job.”

TIF Thoughts on what Dion Dublin said about Ralph Hasenhuttl…

As can be seen in what the pundit had to say, he has been impressed with the job that the Austrian is doing at St. Mary’s Stadium and it has made him an “elite manager”.

Do you agree that Ralph Hasenhuttl is an 'elite manager'?

Yes, it is undeniable

Yes, it is undeniable

No, he isn't just yet

No, he isn't just yet

During Hasenhuttl’s first season with the Saints, he guided them to Premier League safety and 16th in the table before taking them to 11th during his first full campaign (per Transfermarkt).

This season, he has Southampton vying for a place in a European club competition next season near the top of the table (per BBC).

So, it is evident that the Austrian gaffer has the Saints on an upward trajectory and it is clear to see why Dublin has been impressed with his work.