'He has a lot of qualities' – Hasenhuttl wary of Aubameyang threat
Posted On March 22, 2019
With a fine record against the Saints’ manager, the Premier League’s joint-top scorer will be watched closely when the Gunners travel to St Mary’s
Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl has identified Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as Arsenal’s main threat ahead of their Premier League clash on Sunday.
The Gabon international is the joint-top scorer in the English top flight with 10 goals in his 16 appearances – level with Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah.
Aubameyang had a habit of scoring against sides managed by Hasenhuttl while at Borussia Dortmund; netting six times in the Bundesliga against the likes of FC Ingosladt and RB Leipzig.
And the new Saints boss says cutting off the supply line to the 29-year-old will be key to claiming his first win since arriving at St Mary’s.
“He has a lot of qualities and therefore we have to work as a team,” Hasenhuttl said of the Arsenal forward
“It will depend how much pressure [we put] on guys that want to pass to him.
“Maybe don’t give too much time to these guys to put the perfect pass then it’s easier to defend his qualities – his speed, his heading in the box.
“That is our goal to defend him and the rest of the team.
“But he doesn’t need a lot of chances to score, as everyone knows.”
Hasenhuttl lost his first official game in charge of Southampton – a 1-0 loss to Cardiff City – but despite not having won since September 1 they will climb out of the bottom three if they end Arsenal’s 22-game unbeaten run.
The Austrian is well-known for being a meticulous operator with an attention to detail.
That reputation has continued in England, with the coach having held lengthy meetings with each of the first team squad in an effort to gain an insight into the individual personalities on the south coast.
He explained: “By the end of next week I [will have] spoken with every guy eye-to-eye.
“I wanted to know everything about him, about his history, what he’s thinking.
“The discussion I had with all the players was very interesting for me. You feel exactly how this guy works, what he’s thinking about, what his problems are.
“In this short time, it’s very necessary to know every player and I think it was a good investment from our side and I think they appreciated that.
“In the future, if there are some questions I want them to come to me.
“If they have good arguments that we should do something different, they can come to me and tell me.
“If I have a better one, we do what I want. If they have a very good one we can discuss that.”