Ever since RB Leipzig started to rise through the ranks in Germany, gaining promotion to the Bundesliga seemed inevitable. And now that they have ultimately been promoted, the club looks to go beyond just being a Bundesliga club. The man that they’ve trusted to lead the club into its promising future is Ingolstadt’s Ralph Hasenhüttl. And while some think that FCI’s success was the story of the Bundesliga season, the manager behind the great season they had has left for greener pastures in Leipzig. But even though he did a phenomenal job this season, is Hasenhüttl the right man to lead RB forward? The answer is yes because of his impressive record, experience and his ability to get results without money.
Track Record And Experience
One of the main reasons why this is a good hire for RB is simple — the Austrian has gotten the job done in recent years for FCI. A native of Graz, Hasenhüttl was a center forward who played for Austria Wien, for 1.FC Köln, SpVgg Greuther Fürth and the Bayern reserves in Germany and for two Belgian clubs, amassing over 100 goals playing first-squad football between 1988 and 2004 while earning eight caps for Austria.
Hasenhüttl began his coaching career in 2007 at SpVgg Unterhaching, and also coached VfR Aalen before he took over at FC Ingolstadt back in October of 2013, when they were at the bottom of the 2. Bundesliga. But they ended up not only staying in the second tier, rose to finish 10th in Germany’s second division that season. It’s very tough to take a team that is last and rally them together to not only stay up, but have a decent season as well. And the success that he had continued, as FCI earned promotion in his second season with the club, gaining their first taste of first-division football. Hasenhüttl guided Die Schanzer to an 11th place finish in their maiden first-division voyage. FCI beat the lesser teams in the league in 2015/2016, while also taking four of six points against both Borussia Mönchengladbach and FC Schalke.
For a manager to take a side from the second tier and easily finish 11th in the Bundesliga the next season shows that he has the ability to change his tactics and instill a belief in his team. With the difference in mentality that comes with moving up the divisions, what he was able to do is remarkable, and not very common. And because the Austrian was able to do what he’s done for FCI in the last 3 years, he has proven that he can manage in the top flight and figure out where his team need to improve.
RB Leipzig are a club that plans on staying up and becoming a big club, and with the way that Hasenhüttl has constantly improved his side during his tenure, RB will be able to get better and better. With Hasenhüttl’s record of 84 wins, 60 draws and 55 losses in 199 league matches in Germany, and his ability to keep improving his side, RB clearly made a good choice who can help them reach the lofty goals they have.
But besides having an impressive Bundesliga track record, he also has been able to do what he’s done without a lot of money. FCI have one of the smallest stadiums in the Bundesliga, and without ever having played in the top flight the money available to Hasenhüttl was much less than a typical Bundesliga manager. But at RB, he will not only have more money than he did at Ingolstadt, but he’l also have former coach Ralf Rangnick, who guided Hoffenheim up the ladder to the Bundesliga, in the front office to help with the transfers. After doing what he’s done with a limited amount of talent and funds at Ingolstadt, the Austrian should certainly be able to make an impact for a young, talented and pretty rich Leipzig side.
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It’s important that RB have a manager who is experienced and knows how to deal with all that goes on in a season, and Hasenhüttl fills those requirements. Being a newly promoted club, things won’t be easy in the top-division despite the financial resources available to Leipzig. Someone who can right the ship is crucial. In addition to proving his skill with the job he did at Ingolstadt in the 2.Bundesliga and in the Bundesliga, Hasenhüttl avoided relegation from the 3. Liga with VFR Aalen back in 2011, and helped them gain promotion to the second tier. The Austrian has had tremendous success with FCI and Aalen during the last 5 seasons. RB have a manager who has coached in every situation and has tremendous experience in the German game.
Making Moves Without Money
As mentioned earlier, the Austrian manager has been able to do wonders for Ingolstadt and Aalen without a whole lot of money. Being a manager in the second tier and 3. Liga isn’t easy because most of the clubs don’t have a lot of money for the managers to work with. But Hasenhüttl has made transfers at both of his clubs that have worked out despite small amounts of money. At FCI, he made shrewd buys in acquiring players such as Mathew Leckie and Benjamin Hübner over the last few seasons. Both helped Ingolstadt get promoted and stay up this season. And neither players cost more than 600 thousand euros, which shows that Hasenhuttl has an eye for talent.
While RB will certainly spend more than 600k on new players, being able to find the right players will be key for RB moving forward. With Rangnick’s help, they will try to find players like Hübner that Hasenhüttl got the best out of. After finding three players who were able to contribute this season, expect Hasenhüttl to make more shrewd moves on the transfer market. If he can replicate his success with FCI when he bought player, he should be able to get some valuable players for modest fees at Leipzig. Considering all of the young talent already at Leipzig, and their willingness and ability to spend, Hasenhüttl is a good manager to have. He will get the best out of them, and his ability to adapt tactically will help the players as well.
With the Hasenhüttl’s experience, track record and his ability to identify talented players and sell them on joining his club, RB appear to have made a very wise choice with their coaching appointment. Hasenhüttl will help the club next season stay up and further their ambitions, which might not please most traditional fans. But the city of Leipzig has been waiting a long time for a club like this, and now that they are in the top flight, the dream of becoming a big club is another step closer to becoming reality.