Brighton 0 Millwall 1
To apply an old cliché: there was more happening off the pitch than on it. At the away end Millwall fans were ripping up seats and trying to attack a small group of Brighton fans in the next section. Hyppia was subject to abuse and, by the end, resounding cries to go. One fan was ejected for looking as if he might attack him. I think Hyppia will, should and must go but a side of me felt sort of sorry for this forelorn figure in the technical area hearing chants around the stadium for him to go. On the pitch the Seagulls were not chirping.
Hyppia ‘s greatest failing is that he has not built a team. Last season Lua Lua and Buckley were delivering chances to Ulloa. True, two of these three (Ulloa and Buckley) have gone. The replacments are so shot shy. Last night there was one long shot and a good chance for Solly March. That was the Albion’s sum total of chances. This was a game that we had to be win to get out of the bottom three and keep Millwall down there in the doo doo. It was the archetypal 6-pointer.
I was invited into the boardroom at the end which had the atmosphere of a wake. There were many Blooms there: Chairman Tony, his brother Darryl and Uncle Ray. They have done so much for Brighton as did Harry Bloom of the previous generation. Tony has an Australian wife and is off there for winter sun. Will his final decision afore he goes be to dismiss Hyppia? The inevitable question as in Arsenal, is who out there will do a better job? Alan Tanner knows David Daly who was on the Fulham selection committee and was impressed by the rigorous way they set about finding a replacement for Magath. I had a chat with Alan and he rightly said that panicky replacements can be a recipe for relegation. So we are in a quandary: Hyppia looks shot and although I can think of managers out of the game like Chris Hughton, Steve Clarke and Dave Jones who could come in, the chairman who would want to oversee the process will not be around.
It’s so sad after two play-offs and with our fine stadium back in Brighton, huge and loyal support, we should be in such a state.
Not only are Hughton, Clarke and Jones available, but so are Jol, Meulensteen and Magath, as Alan will likely have pointed out already.
Would a new manager have money to fortify the squad in January? Without reinforcements, the AmEx will be the nicest ground in League One next term.