RB LEIPZIG AND THE MAN BEHIND THE MAGIC

It is no longer  news that RB Leipzig  sit comfortably  in second position  on the  German Bundesliga table  with  36 points  from 16 games and 3 points  behind league leaders, Bayern Munich. This  newly promoted club  with  relatively unknown  players  such as Tino Werner (their top scorer with 9 goals), Baby Keita, Emil  Forsberg, just  to mention a few, have  blown  us away  with  their  superlative performances but very  little is known  among  football  fans  about the man behind  the  orchestra, Ralph Hasenhuttl.

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Ralph Hasenhuttl began  his managerial  career  at SpVgg Unterhaching,where  he started out as a youth  coach, before  becoming  an assistant manager and  manager in which  he finished  with Unterhaching in sixth and fourth place respectively in Liga 3. In 2011,Hasenhuttl moved to third division side,VFR Aalen;saving  them from  relegation  and earning them promotion  to the Bundesliga 2 via a second  place finish the  following season.

From  there, he moved  to FC Ingolstadt 04 where  he took  them from the  bottom  of Bundesliga 2 to  a tenth place finish.The next  season, he led Ingolstadt to  the  Bundesliga via winning the  Bundesliga 2. In  his first  season in the Bundesliga, he led Ingolstadt  to an eleventh place finish before choosing not  to extend his  contract. Now at Leipzig, Hasenhuttl has become  an amazing  magician putting together a wonderful  team.

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Hasenhuttl has taken  the Bundesliga  by the storm through  his style  of play which  involves a lot of high pressing, intensity and patience in attack  and  defense. For example, Leipzig go into every game with one notion, “make  life miserable for the  opponents”. This they do by pressing the  opposing  center backs with their forward players,who have  no other choice than to turn the ball over to their full backs;the suffocation shifts to  their positions with Leipzig’s full backs eliminating the opposition forwards from  receiving the ball.Therefore, the opposition defense line have no option  than to put the  ball into  row Z; hence, Hasenhuttl uses the  magic rectangle (4-2-2-2 formation) to devastating effect.

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Hasenhuttl shares a lot of similarities  with  Jurgen Klopp not only in football  philosophy  but in persona as well; his ability to motivate  players is visible  from the touch line. One of the  greatest  attributes of Hasenhuttl is his ambition; as proven  by his managerial track record  and it is no  surprise that there  are strong reports(which he  confirmed )linking  him to Arsenal. He always dreams of bigger things as evidenced in his  public declaration of wanting to  play in the  UEFA  Champions  League  and his dream will be  fulfilled  at the end of the season either by Leipzig or Arsenal (should  Wenger  refuse to renew his contract ).
In conclusion, only  the future will determine if we have  seen the  rise of the god among  managers, a man of men (in terms of managers) or  just  a decent manager.

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