SO FOR I, and thousands of other Albion fans, Christmas came a little bit early this year, with the resignation of Seagulls manager Sami Hyypia on Monday afternoon.
To reiterate, while it was what I wanted to happen, I take no pleasure at seeing anyone out of work at any time of year. But no one is bigger than the club itself and, under the hapless Finn, the Albion were in the throes of a car crash season.
A creditable point at Wolves on Saturday was tempered in the eyes of some by the appearance of a ‘Hyypia Out’ banner at Molineux, shown later on the BBC Football League Show.
What followed was the obligatory ‘tar and feathering’ on the internet, not for Hyypia, but the fans in question.
One of the allegations thrown at them was that they weren’t real fans. That’s a bit of a lame one, in my book, by the very fact they’ve travelled half way across the country the Saturday before Christmas to support a team in extremely poor form.
That shows not only loyalty but gives them every right to express an opinion, however controversial.
Hyypia’s exit, by whichever means, gives the Albion a real chance of getting out of relegation trouble, so let’s just hope with this opportunity they now do the right thing.
With all due respect to him, caretaker manager Nathan Jones, isn’t the long-term solution. Even if the Albion were to win on Boxing Day against Reading, the club must not fall into the trap of short-term hysteria, as it will only be followed by long-term misery.
Jones still possibly has a place on the club staff but only if he fits in to the new manager’s plans, who must be given a free rein.
It’s not rocket science, the Albion’s new boss has to have an extensive contacts book, a proven track record in the Championship and must be allowed to oversee all player recruitment in the upcoming transfer window.
Where that leaves current head of recruitment, David Burke, remains to be seen, but was it more than a simple oversight in the fact that he was the only person Hyypia didn’t thank on his exit?
Speculation is already rife, and don’t be too surprised if the club already had someone lined up, even before the Finn binned himself.
Personally, anyone of Tony Pulis, Tim Sherwood, Chris Hughton or Brian McDermott tick all the boxes and, with second chances being few and far between, let’s just hope the Albion don’t blow this one.
So, all it leaves me to do is wish each and every one of the readers a very merry Christmas and a happy new year.
Thanks for not only reading each week but, in many cases, your unwavering support in difficult times.