Arsenal legend Tony Adams has admitted that he was contacted by Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl over a potential coaching role on the South Coast.
The 54-year-old has had limited success in coaching roles since his retirement from playing back in 2002 and spent no more than a year in charge at Wycombe Wanderers, Portsmouth, Gabala (Azerbaijan) and Spanish side Granada. However, was seemingly lined up as a possible addition to Hasenhuttl’s backroom team in 2019.
Speaking during Sky Sports’ coverage of Saints’ loss to Wolves on Sunday (via Evening Standard), Adams said:
"“Ralph called me a couple of years ago… I’d just had a knee operation. His assistant had just left and he called me and asked me to give him a hand at Southampton.”"
Would appointing Tony Adams have been worthwhile for Southampton?
Saints were left with a void to fill when Ralph Hasenhuttl’s former assistant Danny Rohl left to take up a role with Bayern Munich and he has since moved to the German national team setup with manager Hansi Flick.
It is unclear why Hasenhuttl felt the need to reach out to Tony Adams but he would certainly have been a different character to have around the club.
Rohl was credited with providing much of the tactical nous behind Saints’ early success after he joined and Adams would seemingly be more of a motivational speaker with vast experience. Given the technical setup that Saints play with, it may not have been the right fit.
Ralph Hasenhuttl eventually went with Richard Kitzbichler, who joined as First Team Assistant Coach and opposition analyst (via southamptonfc.com) after spells in China with Beijing Sinobo Guoan and Red Bull Salzburg, and he has remained in his role ever since.
Saints do also have a good level of experience in their coaching setup. Club legend Kelvin Davis is a First Team Assistant Coach having been at St Mary’s for over 15 years, whilst former goalkeeping coach Dave Watson has now moved into a tactical role and is credited as the brains behind many of Saints’ set-piece routines.