Everything you NEED to Know About Brighton’s Potential New Manager

Everything you NEED to Know About Brighton’s Potential New Manager

10/06/24 12:59

According to Florian Plettenberg, a tier one rated reliable journalist, Brighton have reached a full agreement with Fabian Hurzeler to become their new manager.

After obtaining a work permit for the German, the deal now simply hinges on agreeing fair compensation with his current club St. Pauli.

Brighton Chairman, Tony Bloom, is known for taking risks with appointments and signings - and they just seem to keep paying off. Given the glowing recommendations that Hurzeler has received from those in the know, it appears this one will pay off too.

The aforementioned Florian Plettenberg, reporting for Sky Germany, had this to say about Hurzeler:

“I would say he’s one of the hottest coaches in German football.

“St. Pauli played sensational football. Hurzeler is a good character and a good guy.”

You might not know a lot about Hurzeler, so I’m here to fully inform you on what he can bring to the table in the Premier League.

Who is he?

Hurzeler was born in Houston, Texas, to German descent. He and his family moved to Germany when he was just two years old. He spent time as a footballer in the lower leagues of German football, enjoying his best years at non-league FC Pipinsried.

While at Pipinsried, Hurzeler took on a player/manager role after being tipped by former Bayern Munich II teammate, Emre Can, to do big things as a coach. At 29, he officially took over St. Pauli in the Bundesliga 2, becoming the youngest ever coach in the league and completed his UEFA Pro Licence.

His Time at St. Pauli

During Hurzeler’s time at St. Pauli, he took a club threatened with relegation from Germany’s second division and turned their fortunes around. After a flurry of good form across his first six months, St. Pauli finished fifth to everyone’s surprise.

In his second season, St. Pauli enjoyed a wonderful season, winning the Bundesliga 2 title on the final day of the season. Hurzeler’s impact had secured top flight football for St. Pauli for the first time in 13 years.


Hurzeler had brought a level of performance that many wouldn’t have thought possible from the squad at his disposal. Marcel Hartel, primarily a central midfielder, had his best ever return in professional football - scoring 17 goals and providing 13 assists for teammates.

Oladapo Afolayan, who had been plying his trade for Bolton Wanderers in League One and Two of English football, became a key player for the Hamburg based side. Afolayan scored nine goals and provided three assists in the campaign, but had an array of standout performances.

Management Style

In line with Brighton’s club vision, Fabian Hurzeler is of course an attack focused manager.

It’s hard to nail down his tactics to just one formation, it’s so fluid in transitions. It can switch from a 5-4-1 when pressing to a 5-2-3 out of possession in a matter of seconds. Hurzeler’s focus is on building play from the back, his defenders are confident in possessions and not afraid to take on a man to progress. Coming back to key man Hartel, who is ironically about to leave St. Pauli on a free transfer, a midfielder bagging 30 goal contributions is an impressive feat. It demonstrates how progressive Hurzeler’s system is, and how fluidly it turns defence to attack.

Where he differs from Roberto De Zerbi, in terms of tactical philosophy, is his ability to accept that momentum will not always be on his team's side. Instead of an all-out-attack approach, Hurzeler is not afraid to sit back and pick out opportunities when they present themselves. I think this style will suit Brighton, given they don’t have the strongest squad in the Premier League, they’ll be better off sitting back in certain games - perhaps to the style of Wolves a few years ago where they would often take points off top teams by sitting back and taking their opportunities while they come.

One role which may end up being key for Brighton under Hurzeler is his half-back, Libero style central defender. One of his back line sits ahead of the other central defenders and slots into midfield in order to progress play and offer a line-breaking option in transitional play from defence to attack.

I think this is a role that Jan Paul van Hecke could thrive in. He’s started to play a greater role over the past 12 months for Brighton, and I think Huzeler’s system could bring the best out of the Dutchman. His ball playing ability and confidence could make all the difference in this role, and I don’t think there is a better profile in the Seagull’s squad to play this vital role in their new head coaches system.

Benji Kosartiyer
Joe Southan

Football Writer


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