• Could Albion fans be waving goodbye to Sami Hyypia this weekend?

    After a run of eleven league games without a win, Sami Hyypia tasted victory on Tuesday night as his team managed to hang onto a first-minute goal to defeat fellow strugglers Wigan Athletic at the Amex.

    Whilst the Wigan victory was most welcome, the manner of the performance did little to cheer Albion fans. Although Sami Hyypia changed his team's style of play with genuine width in midfield reducing the attacking onus on Iñigo Calderón and Joe Bennett in the full-back positions, his side struggled to retain possession allowing Wigan numerous attempts to attack. A less wasteful team would have punished the Albion, and Hyypia would still be looking for his first win since August.

    With others around them also notching wins, it was a vital result as it saved Albion from the confidence-sapping drop into the bottom three ahead of tomorrow's visit of Blackburn Rovers.

    Gary Bowyer's men arrive in good form. They are unbeaten in their last six league encounters - a run that sees them in 8th position and just one point outside the playoff spots. It's the sort of position that Albion fans would have been hoping to see the Albion in as the Championship table starts to really take shape.

    Another enforced international break follows Blackburn's visit to the Amex and if ever there was a time to consider a managerial change, this would be it. A clear two weeks between fixtures allows some breathing space to get a new man at the helm, although it is likely that Tony Bloom would already be quietly sounding out a replacement, if he is questioning Hyypia's ability to improve Albion's fortunes.

    A mid-November change would also allow time for a new manager to properly take stock before the January transfer window opens when key decisions need to be taken, both in terms of strengthening and also regarding those players who will be entering the last six months of their contracts. Do the Albion try to cash in, for example, on Craig Mackail-Smith before he becomes a free agent next Summer?

    Ahead of Saturday, Albion fans will be studying the fixtures of those around them. The only predictability of the Championship is its unpredictability, but with each of the teams that can leapfrog the Albion - Fulham, Birmingham and Bolton - facing home fixtures against lesser-placed opponents than Blackburn, anything other than a Seagulls win could see the Albion drop into the relegation zone.

    It will not just be the disappointing results that are playing on Tony Bloom's mind. Amex crowds have been dropping away markedly, and the modern football myth of the 'pretendance' was exposed by a Freedom of Information response from East Sussex County Council this week. Nearly 7,000 stay aways means a big fall in pie and pint sales and, more worryingly, will trigger alarm bells for season ticket renewals which happen long before the end of the current campaign.

    The Albion chairman has made no secret of his desire for the Albion to leave the Championship behind them but in an upwardly, not downwardly, direction. Should the Albion sit in the bottom three on Saturday evening, it would not surprise many if Tony Bloom makes the first managerial change entirely of his own choosing since the club entered the Amex era.

    It could be that even a win may not be enough to save Sami Hyypia, with some close to him indicating that he himself can see the end of his Albion tenure may be rapidly approaching.

    Comments 3 Comments
    1. S'hampton Seagull's Avatar
      S'hampton Seagull -
      Do you know something we don't? Surely not if we win.
    1. 8ace's Avatar
      8ace -
      Let's hope so.
    1. Don Quixote's Avatar
      Don Quixote -
      If we don't win I expect so.
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