Ralph Hassenhuttl’s worst defeats as Southampton manager

November 7, 2022


Sacking season is in full swing in the Premier League, and the scythe has just claimed its latest victim: Southampton’s Ralph Hassenhuttl.

The Austrian had been in charge at St. Mary’s since 2018 when he replaced Mark Hughes, making one of the Premier League’s longest-serving managers until he received his marching orders following a heavy defeat against Newcastle.

Hassenhuttl’s time on the South Coast will be remembered for its topsy-turvy nature. At times, the Saints looked immense, even topping the league table at one point early in the 2020-21 campaign.

At their worst, however, Hassenhuttl’s Southampton side was a porous, shapeless mess, conceding goals for fun and looking like considerably less than the sum of their parts.

Let’s take a look at some of the worst defeats Southampton suffered under Ralph Hassenhuttl.

Years from now, scholars of our beautiful game will point to this game as a definitive meeting of the two greatest tactical minds of their era. The cold, hard pragmatism of Sean Dyche’s Burnley, versus the gung-ho pressing machine of Hassenhuttl’s Southampton. What could go wrong?

Anyone who experienced Burnley’s tripe-based football substitute for five years straight will understand just what it means to lose 3-0 to them. Make no bones about it – this was a humiliating result for Hassenhuttl. But the worst was yet to come…

Wilfred Ndidi

Maybe this should have been a warning sign for Southampton’s owners / Naomi Baker/GettyImages

You knew we were going to mention it, so we might as well get it out of the way.

To be fair to Ralph, very few managers survive losing 9-0 – just ask Scott Parker. Despite suffering abject humiliation at St. Mary’s, it would be over three years before Hassenhuttl finally got the sack. In many ways, that’s a testament to how well he did for large periods of his time at the club.

As long as Ralph and his boys didn’t suffer any more 9-0 defeats, everything would work out fine… right?

FBL-ENG-PR-MAN UTD-SOUTHAMPTON

Oh, Ralph. One time was bad enough / LAURENCE GRIFFITHS/GettyImages

Oh. Oh.

Getting slapped 9-0 is one thing. Getting slapped 9-0 at home is another thing. But getting slapped 9-0 at home in consecutive seasons?

Hindsight’s a wonderful thing, but you have to wonder how Hassenhuttl survived this one.

Okay, so this wasn’t one of the more embarrassing results of Hassenhuttl’s reign – but it’s what it represented that makes it so devastating.

A win over Leicester City at Wembley would have sent Southampton to the FA Cup final. Had they gone on to win a trophy, who knows what might have been? One thing’s for sure: we’d be assessing Hassenhuttl’s time at the club in a very different way.

Unfortunately, the Saints failed to register a shot on target and lost to a second-half goal by Kelechi Iheanacho. Oh well.

Mason Mount

Mason Mount got on the scoresheet in this drubbing / Visionhaus/GettyImages

Top of every manager’s to-do list is always the same thing: make your home ground a fortress.

Ralph evidently missed the memo on this one, managing to ship six goals against a famously goal-shy Chelsea side during the back end of Thomas Tuchel’s time at the club.

When Timo Werner scores a brace against you, you know you’ve got real problems.