Harty on... Hyypia, Hamilton and England cricket

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HAVING had the privilege of writing this column for more than a decade now, it’s very difficult when a particular issue comes along that I don’t sound like a cracked record.

So, for the last time ever, can I please state that, on his appointment as Brighton & Hove Albion manager, I was totally underwhelmed by the arrival of Sami Hyypia.

Things didn’t improve and, if I was a lesser man, I’d be kicking myself for not backing the Albion to get relegated this season, back in August at odds of 25-1 – after being told by someone, to, quote, put my house on it.

Things have gone from bad to worse, culminating in the fact that, in my opinion, there is no way back now.

The club have to put their hands up, admit their terrible mistake and sack Hyypia immediately, otherwise relegation is a nailed-on certainty.

Enough said, matter closed, let’s move on.

n While the BBC’s live sports output over the years has been eroded, the Sports Personality of the Year Awards is still a respected event in the sporting calendar.

This year’s winner, Lewis Hamilton, has clearly had a cracking season, culminating in recapturing the Formula 1 World Drivers Championship.

But I still think, almost like X Factor and Strictly Come Dancing, these phone polls appeal to a certain kind of person and can sometimes throw up a distorted result.

A case in point is two people who told me they voted for Hamilton, then added they hadn’t at the last general election. Talk about priorities!

I’ve never really brought in to the whole Formula 1 thing, but clearly appreciate a large number of people do.

However, I would have thought that Rory McIlroy’s back-to-back golf majors, coupled with being part of the Ryder Cup win, would have made him a far more worthy recipient.

But as Hughie Green famously used to say, “it’s your votes that count folks”,

n I can’t believe it’s 12 months since myself and Harty Junior watched England tamely surrender the Ashes at the WACA in Perth.

A year on and the nightmare appears to continue for England skipper Alastair Cook.

Having not scored a century in his last 59 innings for England and without a One Day Series win for the last five set of matches, he really seems up against it going into the upcoming 2015 Cricket World Cup.

While like every England cricket fan, I want our national team to be sucessful, there comes a time when the pressure is on that the powers-that-be need to step in and take action –just like Brighton & Hove Albion should have done by now – and Cook is a classic case.

He needs time off to recharge his batteries, away from the spotlight, which will only enhance England’s chances of regaining the Ashes next Summer.

Hopefully, someone at the ECB will see sense before another career is destroyed.