Ralph Hasenhüttl: the ‘Alpine Klopp’ who admits he is a little bit crazy

Southampton’s new manager has a history of success and a thirst exemplified by spying on two training camps on his bike

Ever since Ralph Hasenhüttl made his debut as a gangly teenage striker for his hometown club Grazer, he has forged a career out of being patient. The first Austrian to manage in the Premier League was signed by Austria Vienna in 1988 as a replacement for Toni Polster, who had been sold to Torino the previous season for £1.2m, and went on to win three successive titles and earn an international call-up.

But nagging injuries and the presence of poster boy and part-time pop star Polster meant that Hasenhüttl, despite scoring three goals in eight appearances for his country, missed out on selection for the 1990 World Cup and again in 1998, winding down his playing career in Germany, where he lived for two decades until his move to Southampton was confirmed on Wednesday.

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