Ferguson and Kidd, Wenger and Rice, Clough and Taylor – many of English football’s most successful managers have been the frontman for what was, in actual fact, a double act.

While the examples mentioned are trophy and glory laden, there are plenty more operating just as well slightly under the spotlight.

Howe and Tindall are a perfect example from just down the road. Pochettino and Perez are thriving at Tottenham having honed their double act at St Mary’s. And, on the subject of Saints, who could forget Harry and Jim…ok, maybe that’s a bad example.

But wherever you look in football it seems the role of the assistant manager is important for success.

So it may seem a little strange that this is a position which, for the time being at least, Saints will do without.

The somewhat sudden departure of Ralph Hasenhuttl’s right hand man, Danny Rohl, has left a gap in the previously announced Saints coaching set-up for this season.

It’s one that Saints are not going to fill, under instruction it would appear from Hasenhuttl, but it does lead to the obvious question as to whether that is a wise decision or not?

Hasenhuttl has cut a more isolated figure without his former right-hand man.

At pre-season matches and on the touchline at Burnley he seemed alone with his thoughts. At the training ground and on a day-to-day basis is harder to assess.

The role of a modern assistant is to soak up a lot of the worries, concerns and problems that would otherwise add further to the stress and workload of the manager and also provide them a sounding board.

In any position of power, a leader normally needs somebody they can trust and confide in, somebody who they will listen to, whose opinion means something. They may not always choose to take that advice, and in some of the best working relationships things can still be fractious, but, ultimately, it works.

There is a fear that Hasenhuttl is maybe taking on too much at Saints.

He would probably laugh at the suggestion and comment that he’s fine and there is no need to worry about him. That’s his way. He’s a positive person, a doer, a go-getter.

But maybe that is part of the issue.

One of the most remarkable things about Hasenhuttl is his capacity for work.

Since he’s arrived at Saints the job has been all-encompassing. He lives and breathes it.

That drive and energy makes him relentless at what he does, no question, but in the past he has spoken about wanting to help reshape the club, from the first team all the way through to the academy.

He appoints and delegates, but still has more input than most Premier League managers.

Southampton’s greatest ever manager, Lawrie McMenemy, often speaks in his Daily Echo column about current day football leadership. He normally, and very deliberately, refers to Premier League bosses as coaches and not managers.

That’s because, unlike when McMenemy was leading Saints to the 1976 FA Cup or second place in the top division, managers of today are effectively coaches.

They don’t get involved in anything outside of the first team, they barely even have an input on transfers.

Hasenhuttl’s appetite for success and for work means he breaks that mould.

It is refreshing, but it also comes with risks.

Not only to the club of allowing one man, who could leave at any time, who could have to be sacked if things don’t go well, too much power.

But also to the man himself. A Premier League football season is long and arduous, and the pressure is constant and unforgiving.

Without a release, a sounding board, somebody in whom to confide and share the burden, it becomes even more intense. And that is without even taking into account the need for sage advice when it comes to making big decisions.

When asked about the impact of Rohl’s departure last week, Hasenhuttl was largely dismissive of the suggestion it could be a problem.

“We spilt the task from Danny to other persons in my staff,” said Hasenhuttl, who now has Craig Fleming, Kelvin Davis and Dave Watson as first team coaches with Andrew Sparkes looking after the goalkeepers.

“We have in Andrew a new goalkeeping coach who fits perfect and it’s the same as in players who sometimes are leaving and have a new challenge or new chance to take and then it never can be that a club struggles because one guy is leaving. It’s the same as a player.

“We find to split the tasks and I feel very comfortable.

“The good thing is it was from the beginning of the season clear we are without Danny and we found good automatism in the staff and that’s very important because when the season starts everything must be clear and the staff the same as the team. It’s ok.”

But as much as Hasenhuttl appears content and has delegated some of Rohl’s coaching duties to others, those above him must monitor whether a solo show at the top remains the right thing in the long run.

In Ralph everybody trusts, but the beauty of a good assistant is more than coaching and tactics. They can protect a manager from themselves.