Brighton are now hunting for a new manager after sacking Chris Houghton this morning, following a run of three wins in their last 23 Premier League games.
After four and a half successful seasons under Houghton in which they secured promotion to the top flight then two successive survivals, Club Chairman – Tony Bloom described this decision as “one of the most difficult decisions that I have had to make…”
Bloom therefore has ideally two months to find a suitable replacement so which managers could find themselves in the frame for the job?
If Brighton want a manager who will come in and make necessary changes to improve the squad then Mark Hughes surely has to be a target.
With a solid squad already in place, Hughes would be an ideal fit because he has history in building on current squads by adding new signings to bolster struggling areas as seen during his tenure at Blackburn and Stoke.
Add in the fact that he has a solid mid-table record with several of his previous clubs, so if the club can match his ambition and keep evolving every season rather than stand still like Stoke did towards end of his tenure then these two might be a good match.
Manager potential: 4/5
With his contract at Middlesbrough up this summer, Tony Pulis is bound to be on the radar of many clubs so why not Brighton?
Whilst Pulis plays an unattractive brand of football, he knows how to work within budgets regardless of whether fans like his signings or not, which is a good thing because he will get the basic tasks like securing survival done even if the fans have to endure ugly football at times.
I however can’t see him fitting in with Brighton’s philosophy of attacking football so he is probably an unlikely bet unless Bloom wants an experienced British manager with aim of building a long-term project.
Manager potential: 3/5
Although Brighton have rarely appointed international managers, could they look to Claudio Ranieri given his Premier League experience?
Some might however question his ability after failing to make much impact at Fulham this season, but they netted slightly more goals under him than under Slavisa Jokanovic or Scott Parker so there’s one positive in the Italian’s favour.
Throw in the fact that he arrived mid-season and only had the January window to try and develop the squad, so it would be unfair to judge him on his time at Craven Cottage whereas he would have the summer to improve the Seagulls and bring in necessary changes.
I therefore can see him turning them into a solid mid-table team if he was to take charge because the squad is already in place to be developed, especially defensively as we must remember that Brighton aren’t a big budget club unlike many of his previous clubs.
Ultimately Brighton seem to like their UK born managers like Hughes and Pulis so Ranieri is probably a wildcard.
Manager potential: 2/5