• Hyypiä deserves more time - regardless of Rotherham result

    The grumblings have started already. Fans, understandably unhappy at the Albion’s less than rewarding start to the Championship campaign, have begun pointing fingers - and most of them in the direction of the manager.

    A run of just two wins from the opening 13 games is not good enough. Neither is sitting one place and one point above the division’s dreaded drop zone. Certainly not for a club and a support base recently more used to life at the top end of the second tier. Fans’ expectations have grown plump on successive top six finishes. The relatively goal-free diet of this season is proving hard to stomach.

    But, regardless of today’s result (well, unless Brighton lose 6-0 and the manager swaps David Stockdale for Gully) Sami Hyypiä surely deserves more time.

    Last season, the goals and all-round play of Leo Ulloa papered over some significant cracks. The Albion were not a team it was particularly fun watching. Since then they have lost, among others, player of the year Matthew Upson, chief goal threat and talisman Ulloa, inconsistent but enthralling winger Will Buckley and the usually-dependable Tomasz Kuszczak - not to mention Ashley Barnes and Liam Bridcutt last January.

    Those type of players take some replacing. And that takes time.

    Albion fans appear united in their acceptance of the Ulloa sale. The club would have been foolish to turn down an offer worth at least £8million for a player who made it clear he wanted a tilt at the top flight.

    But, that said, it isn’t hard to picture the Seagulls far higher in the table were the Argentinian still leading the line.

    It took Gus Poyet and the club a long time to replace Glenn Murray when he departed for Those Who Cannot Be Named. It stands to reason it might prove similarly problematic and time-consuming finding someone to fill Ulloa’s boots.

    Despite a summer of significant transfer dealings, fans would be hard-pressed to suggest this season’s squad isn’t at least a little lacking in quality compared to the those enjoyed by Oscar Garcia and Poyet.

    The Albion needed bodies and the recruitment team, led by head of football operations David Burke, added numbers of the Albion roster. True, none of the attacking talent have particularly set the Seagulls alight so far, but there also don’t look to be too many duds.

    Danny Holla, Joe Bennett, Joao Teixeira, Aaron Hughes, Stockdale, Gary Gardner and Paddy McCourt would be considered decent additions to most squads at Championship level.

    Adrian Colunga is more of an unknown quantity who perhaps needs more time to prove his worth, while Chris O’Grady came with a respectable scoring rate in the same division last season for a relative cut-price £500,000. Sam Baldock also has a respectable pedigree in recent campaigns. When assessed in isolation, none of the signings looks particularly questionable.
    Hyypiä then has a decent if not spectacular squad which he is still getting to know. There are also suggestions he may play a more active role in player recruitment moving forward.

    Just as the players need time to adapt to Hyypiä’s style, so to, presumably, do the transfer team. The recruitment has not been as bad as some fans suggest it just lacks the sort of centre forward which can bring the best out of the team’s new approach. True, the club had time and money to find one during the transfer window. But, as Albion learnt when replacing Murray, finding that special someone who a) you can afford and b) wants to come, isn’t as easy as it seems on Football Manager.

    One area where Hyypiä should accept criticism for, however, is his apparent tactical stubbornness. If the does not currently have the players able to execute his preferred game plan he needs to change to suit them. Play a formation for the players he has, rather than those he wishes he had.

    But it is early days. True, a quarter of the season has gone and the Albion find themselves at the wrong end of the table. But they HAVE been unlucky in certain games and have come up against inspired goalkeeping performances in others. Those excuses will not last much longer and neither should they.

    And despite the club’s play off places finish last season there were already signs that the Albion were suffering a post-Poyet hangover. Oscar was hired to build a side of a period of seasons. That didn’t happen. Hyypiä was no-doubt recruited on a similar suggestion.

    If Brighton are still struggling by the end of the year, Tony Bloom et al will have to look at things. This club simply cannot afford a relegation.

    But Hyypiä has only had 13 games at the helm. There was a time when Albion fans scoffed at rival clubs hiring and firing and a rate of knots.

    It would be lamentable if the Albion suddenly became one such club.

    Hyypiä can’t be given forever. But he should be given a few more games, regardless of this afternoon’s result.
    Comments 8 Comments
    1. GreersElbow's Avatar
      GreersElbow -
      He should be given more time?

      Why....the problems are evident. The tactics aren't working. The players don't need to adapt, unless of course Greer and Dunk all of a sudden have more pace than Ronaldo. We're getting caught out when our full backs are far forward.

      "If the does not currently have the players able to execute his preferred game plan he needs to change to suit them" Uh....so why isn't he?

      Truth is, it's his tactical stubbornness that's got us into this mess. He either adapts his tactics, or he goes. We cannot afford any more chances. I cannot see him changing his tactics.
    1. carteater's Avatar
      carteater -
      No he doesn't he's had enough time
    1. Cars's Avatar
      Cars -
      Give him more time and it might be to late. It seems almost impossible after the last 2 seasons we've had that we'd get relegated. But as they say, the table doesn't lie
    1. archman's Avatar
      archman -
      Quote Originally Posted by carteater View Post
      No he doesn't he's had enough time
      Its just time for the manager to go, we are heading out of the Championship this cannot be allowed to happen
    1. Wilko's Avatar
      Wilko -
      If he was up for trying a few formation changes or tactical adaptations then fine, but he will not change it and the team are getting worse game by game. Sorry, he has to go.
      Although I just about agree with Walt with giving a bit more time Im not sure I agree with his reasoning.

      Lets starts with the tactics. It seems that the tactics that Sami is sticking to is 4-1-2-3-1 (two amcs who then push wider) which becomes 4-1-2-1-3 when we attack. However, he is encouraging the wing backs to move upfield which then makes the tactic 2-1-4-1-3. This seems very flexible and can play both narrow and wide but relies on four things - 1) fast CBs 2) faster WBs who can get back fast 3) Strong DMC and MCs who can drop back fast and stop the counter-attack 4) Inside forwards who can play winger or AMC equally well.

      Now let's look at, on paper, what would have been the best squad for yesterday (not on form, on paper), not including those unavailable or injured... and the back ups that realistically could be used

      GK - Stockdale, Ankergren
      WR - Calderon, no one
      WL - Bennett, Chicksen
      DC - Greer, no one
      DC - Hughes, Dunk
      DMC - Holla, Ince
      MCR - JFC, Gardner, Agustien
      MCL - Crofts, Nzusi
      AMC - Teixera, Colunga (?)
      AMR - Baldock(?) no one
      AML - Lua Lua, McCourt
      SC - O' Grady

      There are a few unavailables of course - Stephens, March, Bruno, CMS but even with these the squad is thin on the ground

      Of course no player plays in just one position but players play best in their natural position and if we are buying them we should be buying them for their preferred position (because after all that's why we considered them good enough for this club). based on all this it seems...

      1) Not only are we short at CB but with the possible exception of Dunk our CBs are too slow to cover when the WBs are upfield.
      2) Without this speed at the back and considering the age of our two RWBs, we don't seem to have the back line to play the current preferred tactic.
      3) We seem to be fine in CMs..... in fact we may have too many compared with other areas which could have possibly done with the money being spent.
      4) We are woefully short on the wings especially RW. I think Sami knew that when he tried Bruno upfield at the beginning of the season. Its really unbelievable that we bought Baldock to play out of position there... or anyone else of that matter. Were we purely pinning our hopes on Solly?
      5) Which forward fits Sami's preferred style? Perhaps O'Grady if we had bought in RWs and LWs who can put in pinpoint crosses. CMS might make a fist of it but has been injured and seems to have slipped down the order once Baldock and Colunga arrived. Colunga doesn't seem to fit the bill ... somewhere between the SC role and the AMC role and Baldock has always played with another SC so am at a loss why we bought him if we are playing this tactic.

      All in all it seems that we don't have the players to play the tactics we are trying to play. Whose fault is it? Im not sure but I do feel that tactics have to fit the players so if this is what we've got shouldn't we be changing the tactics? What really worries me is how we played yesterday in the second half. We seem unable to deal with responding to leaked goals. Surely that is the role of the manager and the staff to instill in in the players belief and confidence not only at half time but also during the game.

      My suspicion is that our Board knew Sami was a gamble and wanted a strong AssMan in... either the guy Sami worked with at Leverkusen or some other similar (e.g. Sammy Lee). When the Leverkusen guy decided not to come I think it threw everything askew and they thought they'd solved it with Sammy only to be let down. By that stage they ran out of options and were stuck with Nathan.... nice guy that he is and good coach but not the perfect fit with a boss who perhaps needs more support than Nathan can give him.

      This is how it seems to me. I really hope Im wrong but Im beginning to lose hope with this set up. Im really fed up with the 'luck' excuse. You don't go this long without winning purely because of luck. Good teams make their own luck. Are we saying that this good team was unable to get any luck in the last eight games? Im pretty sure in the second half yesterday we were very lucky!

      Play-offs were never really very practical but top half was certainly expected. Can we do this with our set up? Right now, Im not convinced but I can continue to hope, at least for another three or four games and if nothing changes then I think a decision needs to be made.
    1. stevie17's Avatar
      stevie17 -
      hyypia can go if things dont improve by end of nov.we lack a cutting edge up front and only score max 1 goal per game.we should be aiming for top 6,wea re down in 21st place.action has to be taken if it dont improve.
    1. LamieRobertson's Avatar
      LamieRobertson -
      Quote Originally Posted by Walt Jabsco View Post
      I'd agree with that
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