“A really, really positive move” – Collymore lauds Brighton for their new appointment

Posted by

Although it’s yet to be officially announced, Brighton and Hove Albion’s appointment of 31-year-old Fabian Hurzeler as their new first-team manager appears to be garnering the plaudits.

Currently still the manager of German outfit, St. Pauli, whom he led to promotion to the Bundesliga, the American would be seven years younger than the Seagulls experienced midfielder, James Milner, if his appointment is rubber stamped.

Given Brighton’s record in attracting left-field names into the dugout – Graham Potter and Roberto De Zerbi being the two most recent – it can’t be said that they won’t have done their homework.

Hurzeler might not be a household name outside of Germany as yet, but the same low key approach worked with both Potter and De Zerbi.

Brighton’s appointment of Hurzeler gets the thumbs up from Collymore

The club’s recruitment both on and off the pitch has been shown to be spot on, so one can assume that as and when Hurzeler is unveiled, he will hit the ground running in the Premier League.

Former English top-flight marksman, Stan Collymore, certainly believes it’s a good decision by the South Coast outfit.

“Graham Potter effectively took a Swedish club into European competition, whilst Roberto De Zerbi was in charge at Sassuolo and Shakhtar Donetsk before heading to Brighton,” he said to CaughtOffside for his exclusive column.

“I think what Brighton have is quite an incredible ecosystem whereby the structure is very good, their recruitment is very good and their style of play is nailed on. You know that Brighton are going to get the ball down and they’re going to be productive.

“Both of those seemingly left-field appointments worked, but the hire of Fabian Hurzeler, however, is a gamble.

“Mitoma was a gamble at £2m, but you’d be looking at £50m-£60m to sign him this summer, injuries notwithstanding. That was risky, but we accept gambles and risks are part of the game where players are concerned, and weirdly not with managers.

“A lot will be made that he’s seven or eight years younger than James Milner, but players know who the manager is. Players know who the head coach is and with that kind of youth and enthusiasm comes a lot of training ground minutes, and a relaxing experience in the structure around him.

“I think it’s a really, really positive move. A massive appointment but for me it’s only the same risk and gamble as any player if it doesn’t work.

“If it does work, it will break the mould for clubs hanging on to 50 to 70 year olds like Roy Hodgson. Clubs will say why do we need that experience when we’ve got a 31 year old here whose still got 20 to 30 years left in management.

“He could break two glass ceilings in that there will be less reverse ageism in football in terms of management, and he can dictate that if you are American, you’re no longer seen as a Ted Lasso type who can’t be successful in English football. Good luck to him.”

Though age should be no barrier to success, it will be very interesting indeed to see how the more experienced members of the squad react to having someone so young on the bench, even when taking into account his relative success of the past couple of seasons.

If he’s able to get results from the get go and through the strength of his personality let everyone know who’s boss, it’ll be clear from the off that Hurzeler isn’t a man to be messed with, and Brighton might well have struck gold again.

More Stories Fabian Hürzeler Stan Collymore Tony Bloom