Brighton takes a risk again by betting on the youngest coach in the history of the Premier

Brighton always have a plan B, C… and D. Tony Bloom, professional poker player and owner of the club since 2009, and Paul Barber, CEO since 2012, designed a work plan that has led the ‘seagulls’ in a decade of being bankrupt and in League One (Third) to qualify for Europe and settle in the ‘top10’ of the Premier League.

“It all starts in our academy, having the best possible facilities. And then being smart in the market. We are not a club with unlimited funds. We look for young footballers that we can develop here or on loan. In addition, we look at ‘smaller’ markets in which we can get better quality-price. We must have good knowledge and know who we would move quickly to if we lose someone. We are not a prison. We’ve been like this for years. “You have to be smarter than other teams,” Barber noted..

In this way they turned stars into Caicedo, Cucurella, White, Mac Allister, Bissouma, Robert Sánchez, Trossard, Burn… before transferring them for mountains of millions. And start again. A ‘modus operandi’ a lo ‘Moneyball’, with the enormous database of Bloom’s StarLizard company as support, which is also repeated in his bench, in which all his coaches are cut from the same cloth. Graham Potter was recruited in 2019 from Swansea and led Brighton to finish ninth in 2021-22. “My teams are tactically flexible, offensive and based on possession football,” said the Englishman.

In September He was ‘sold’ to Chelsea for 20 million euros! and his replacement, Roberto De Zerbi, continued with the same script. “His teams play exciting, brave football and I am confident that his style and tactical approach will suit Brighton brilliantly,” Bloom said. No sooner said than done. The Italian improved Potter by taking the Seagulls to sixth place and the Europa League in 2023. However, after a more irregular course (they finished eleventh) De Zerbi announced his departure…the Brighton machinery is activated again.

We have a plan and now we must execute it. We don’t wait for a coach to leave before we start working. Part of the process is to always make sure who will be the next coach

Paul Barber, CEO del Brighton

“We have a plan and now we have to execute it. We don’t wait for a coach to leave before we start working. Part of the process is always making sure who the next coach will be,” Barber noted. And the chosen one is Fabian Hürzeler. The 31-year-old American nationalized German coach, a former midfielder for the Bayern, Hoffenheim and 1860 Munich youth teams who did not advance beyond the youth ranks of fussball, has done magic at St Pauli. In December 2022 he took the interim reins of the Hamburg club at the age of 29! After the departure of Timo Schultz and last season, his first complete one as coach, he managed to get the team promoted to the Bundesliga 13 years later.

How does Hürzeler play?

Beyond his success, his ‘new Nagelsmann’ way of seeing football matches perfectly with Brighton. “You not only have to be successful, but also play a good style of football. Deep in my heart and DNA I want to have the ball and dominate the game, but I learned that you need to find a good balance between stability when working with the ball and without it. You cannot always have possession. Long deliveries and strategic plays are also important,” said Hürzeler, greatly influenced by his time in the Bayern academy.

Deep in my heart and DNA I want to have the ball and dominate the game, but I learned that you need to find a good balance

Fabian Hürzeler, coach of St Pauli

When he signs for Brighton, the German will become, at 31, the youngest permanent coach in the history of the Premier League. surpassing Chris Coleman, who took the reins of Fulham with 32 in 2003. Ryan Mason (29 years with Tottenham in 2021) and Attilio Lombardo (32 with Crystal Palace in 1998) were ‘interims’. Hürzeler want to make history in another risky bet from Brighton.

“My authority is friendly. I try to be very open with the players. I want to lead and be authentic in my relationships. I look for a balance“Hürzeler pointed out. His images, beer and sparkler in hand at the celebration of St Pauli’s promotion, in which he fused with his fans as just another ‘footballer’, show that he is a different coach. His youth is contagious. In the Falmer Stadium, without going any further, will have players under its command who are ‘older’ than it, such as Dunk (32 years old), Gross (32), Milner (38)… The ‘seagulls’, like Bloom at poker’, return to throw another all in. And they almost always have cards…


Davide Piano

An experienced journalist with an insatiable curiosity for global affairs on newshubpro

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