This article forms part of our Total Duds feature series, which is where Football Transfer Tavern takes a look at how a player or manager has fared since being signed or let go, using statistical figures and statements from pundits to prove how bad a deal the club got.
Sami Hyypia enjoyed a stellar playing career, winning six major trophies (including the Champions League) in a decade at Liverpool and being capped 105 times for Finland. However, his return to English football as a manager at Brighton was nowhere near as glorious for the 46-year-old.
The Seagulls were not far off reaching the Premier League under his predecessors Oscar Garcia and Gustavo Poyet, both of whom guided the club to the Championship play-offs. When the Spaniard resigned in summer 2014, the Amex Stadium hierarchy turned to Hyypia, who had recently left Bundesliga outfit Bayer Leverkusen.
Upon his appointment, the Finnish native raved about the facilities at Brighton, but only results would determine how he would be judged by the Sussex faithful and he got off to a decent start, winning four of his first six matches in charge, including a 2-0 victory away to Leeds (as per TransferMarkt).
However, despite a decent run to the fourth round of the League Cup, where they were beaten by eventual finalists Tottenham, the Seagulls’ league form deteriorated under Hyypia. After winning two of his first four Championship matches, he then went 11 games without a victory in the division until a home win over Wigan in November 2014. It would not prove to be a turning point as Brighton then went another six matches without winning. [via TransferMarkt]
Successive defeats to Fulham, Derby and Millwall in the run-up to Christmas effectively sealed his fate and, following a 1-1 draw at newly-promoted Wolves in December 2014, he offered his resignation with the Seagulls in the relegation zone. During the defeat at home to Millwall, a section of the Amex support displayed a banner calling for his sacking.
Was Sami Hyypia the worst manager in Brighton's recent history?
Hyypia at least avoided the ignominy of the sack by deciding to walk away himself, but a record of six wins from just 26 games in charge (and only three wins from 22 league matches) sums up how disappointing his managerial tenure in Sussex proved to be.
Brighton play host to Liverpool next Wednesday, with the two sets of supporters likely to have rather polarised verdicts on Hyypia’s time with their respective clubs.
Brighton fans, were you initially excited by Hyypia’s appointment? How much of a letdown was his time in charge? Comment below with your views!
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