Never mind the policeman – even Brighton managers look younger these days

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Ian Hart on the latest youthful twist in Brighton’s search for a new manager

October 2009, was another of my personal watershed moments in my Albion journey, with the appointment of Gus Poyet as Brighton boss.

For the first time ever in my lifetime I was now older than the Seagulls manager – ‘worse’ was to follow the next May when David Cameron got the keys to 10 Downing Street after the General Election.

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You really are getting old when both the Brighton manager AND the Prime Minister are younger than you!

Fabian Hurzeler,  Manager of of FC St. Pauli looks set to move to Brighton and Hove AlbionFabian Hurzeler,  Manager of of FC St. Pauli looks set to move to Brighton and Hove Albion
Fabian Hurzeler, Manager of of FC St. Pauli looks set to move to Brighton and Hove Albion

In the resulting 14 years, there has been brief respite in the form of Chris Hughton, Teresa May and Boris Johnson, and it looks like Sir Keir Starmer will also follow suit, but on the Albion manager front, we appear to be on the cusp of another ‘landmark’.

Barring the biggest u-turn since Episode seven of Starsky and Hutch, the Albion seem set to appoint newly promoted Bundesliga side St Pauli’s coach Fabian Hurzeler. At 31 he’s even younger than my daughter, let alone me!

Both inside and outside the football club it’s probably viewed as a huge gamble, but gambling has what has made our owner, Tony Bloom, a billionaire.

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Brighton’s EPL journey has on occasions been ‘unorthodox’ but that doesn’t mean it can’t work. Granted Fabian (what a classy name as well), comes to the greatest league on the planet, raw and perceived to be inexperienced... but doesn’t that add to the excitement and anticipation of it all?

He effectively rips up the traditional ‘playbook’ and has the opportunity to run with his own ideas. It’s a no brainer that he will need support in the transfer market this summer, but then again Bloom will have known this from the first time they identified Hurzeler as the preferred candidate.

It also puts an end to an almost distasteful period at the club in the last month. Outside the boardroom, none of us will ever get to the bottom of RDZ’s hasty exit, and why should we?

What followed – as alluded to in last week’s column – was a ludicrous situation of the potential return of one of the most unpopular managers in the club’s recent history.

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It pitted fans against each other, in, at times, toxic spats played out over social media. Then to put the tin hat on it, and almost highlighting the arrogance of the man, he went to the media and ruled himself out!

This is, has always been and will always be an opinion column. It’s a privilege I’ve enjoyed for over 25 years. So I can now legitimately say, a large majority of fans NEVER wanted Graham Potter back, it would have been a disaster from ‘match day one’ and I’m of the firm belief the Albion would have been pitted into a relegation battle from the get-go.

Potter would have eventually been sacked, and I’m not sure if the ‘new man’ whoever he was would have had sufficient time to save us from the drop.

Even the mere talk of a return was a mistake, but we all make them, it’s time to move on. Embrace Fabian and his footballing edict, and look forward to a potentially exciting new chapter in our collective Albion journey.

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