Southampton’s boss Ralph Hasenhuttl has called on his side to be ‘nastier’ against Arsenal when they rock up at the Emirates.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 02:  Ralph Hasenhuttl, Manager of Southampton acknowledges the fans after the Premier League match between Manchester City and Southampton FC at Etihad Stadium on November 02, 2019 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 02: Ralph Hasenhuttl, Manager of Southampton acknowledges the fans after the Premier League match between Manchester City and Southampton FC at Etihad Stadium on November 02, 2019 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)

Siting just above last place in the league, Hasenhuttl’s job is on the line like his counterpart on Saturday, however, it feels like the Saints would be more prepared to take action should he lose than the Arsenal board would if Emery does what Emery usually does.

As such, there’s a lot of pressure on Hasenhuttl and he needs his players to start performing.

That’s understandable.

But calling on them to be nasty?

“Scoring is not the biggest problem we have at the moment,” he said, knowing full well that is unlikely to change against Arsenal’s defence on Saturday. “We have scored in nearly every game and have always had chances to score twice or more.

“It’s more about what happens if we concede a goal and what we have to do to be more stable. We need to be a little bit nastier and more committed so the opponent can feel we are there, especially in away games.

“You must show you fight for everything and it’s OK when the opponent fears you, don’t be scared be brave. Against big opponents you have nothing to lose.

‘‘Be brave and believe in yourselves. This is what we will do.”

‘So the opponent can feel we are there,’ is just another way of saying ‘Get stuck in’ or any one of the other hundred Tony Pulis mantras we heard over the years before watching Arsenal have the crap kicked out of them.

Anyway, I can’t ever remember a time when a boss calling on his players to be ‘nastier’ or similar has ever resulted in a player having his leg snapped like a twig.

STOKE ON TRENT, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 27:  Ryan Shawcross of Stoke City is sent off by Referee Peter Walton for a challenge on Aaron Ramsey of Arsenal during the Barclays Premier League match between Stoke City and Arsenal at The Britannia Stadium on February 27, 2010 in Stoke on Trent, England.  (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
STOKE ON TRENT, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 27: Ryan Shawcross of Stoke City is sent off by Referee Peter Walton for a challenge on Aaron Ramsey of Arsenal during the Barclays Premier League match between Stoke City and Arsenal at The Britannia Stadium on February 27, 2010 in Stoke on Trent, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

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Writer. Feminist. Dreamer. Gooner. Owner of DailyCannon.com, writing about Arsenal since 2008. Sometimes found in the Guardian, Vice.com & elsewhere talking queer issues, politics & football. If in doubt, assume sarcasm.