Brighton and Hove Albion boss Sami Hyypia has the stature for success, according to an old fans’ favourite Jimmy Case.
The legendary hard man also played for Liverpool before managing Brighton – and in Jimmy’s case he spent two playing spells at the Goldstone in the top flight and in the basement league.
Both players were European champions with Liverpool, with Case now a commentator for BBC Radio Merseyside.
The 60-year-old recently told Seagull, the Albion’s match-day programme: “I’ve met Sami a few times at Anfield and he has an aura about him.
“When you look at the size of him, he is an imposing figure who instantly commands respect and I think that is an essential quality for any manager to have.”
The 40-year-old Finn is 6ft 4in.
Case said: “Then you look at his track record for Liverpool where he’s won nearly everything and when he talks the Brighton players will listen.
“Although he played alongside Jamie Carragher, he wasn’t a silent voice either.
“He was there, organising, getting his message across and was very commanding.
“If they’d had a Sami Hyypia in the team last season, I’m sure Liverpool would have won the league.
“I think he would have also learnt a great deal from his time managing in Germany, in terms of decision-making and the day-to-day requirements of being a manager.
“I think it’s a great appointment.”
Case’s autobiography – Hard Case – is due to be published next month was the club’s special guest when Albion played a pre-season friendly against Southampton, another of his former clubs.
He said: “I keep an eye out for both Brighton and Southampton’s results. Although I live on the south coast, I work for BBC Radio Merseyside at weekends so I don’t get to either club in the flesh.
“I’m delighted how things have progressed for Brighton though, with the new stadium.
“The fans deserve this because they stood by the club through all the troubles.
“They went through hell to get to this point and they deserve every success in the world because without them I dread to think what might have happened to the club.”
Case is featured in both the Southampton and Charlton Athletic issues of Seagull, available from the club shop at the Amex and online.