Inside Sami Hyypia’s sorry spell as Brighton manager – The Athletic

Before Brighton’s defeat on Saturday in Steven Gerrard’s first game in charge of Aston Villa, Graham Potter reflected on his rival’s work at previous club Rangers.

The Brighton head coach said: “I think he’s done really, really well, it’s not easy when you are a top player, like Steven was, to take a step into management. We have to understand that just because you used to be a top player doesn’t mean that automatically you will be a top manager.”

That last remark applies to Sami Hyypia, another Liverpool legend and a predecessor of Potter at Brighton.

Owner-chairman Tony Bloom has appointed five men to lead his team. Four of them have worked. One did not — Hyypia.

Gus Poyet guided Brighton to the League One title in 2010-11 and into the Championship play-offs two seasons later. They reached those play-offs again the following season under Oscar Garcia.

Hyypia lasted only six months as Garcia’s successor, resigning in December 2014 with Brighton in the second tier’s relegation zone, before Chris Hughton rescued them, delivered automatic promotion to the Premier League in 2016-17 and then kept them in the top flight for two seasons.

Potter is building on that solid foundation, developing a more progressive style of play over the past two and a half seasons with a younger, more mobile squad.

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