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Withdean's Greatest XI Vote - Manager

With the end in sight for Brighton and Hove Albion's time at Withdean Stadium, we've decided to put together a poll for the Greatest XI to pull on the stripes during our 12 year stay - with the final vote being for the manager

Managers can make or break a football team. Have a good one and an average set of players can be turned into a competent unit. Have a bad one and you will always be up against it.

Despite the ramshackle surroundings of Withdean, we have been able to attract some very good managers down the years. Four have lead the side to promotion, three to league titles and another one to the top of the league before departing.

There have, of course, also been some duds along the way - but now is your chance to vote for who you think has been the best Albion manager of the Withdean era

Please remember this a vote for the who you thought to be the BEST Albion manager - not your favourite!

Micky Adams Version One 1999-2001, P125, W57, D34, L34 (46% win record)
Micky Adams arrived in April 1999 and that summer he totally rebuilt the squad for it's return to Brighton with his first full season in charge in 1999-2000 leading to a respectable mid table finish. The following year started poorly despite the addition of the likes of Bobby Zamora, Nathan Jones, Richard Carpenter and Lee Steele, and a 2-0 home reverse to Kidderminster Harriers saw the fans calling for his head. That was the catalyst for a fine run of form that saw the Albion eventually clinch the Division Three title at the end of the 2000-01, and he left the club in October 2001 top of Division Two to become assistant manager at Premier League Leicester City.
Peter Taylor 2001-2002, P38, W21, D11, L6 (55% win record)
A year after managing England and giving David Beckham the armband, Peter Taylor found himself taking over at Withdean. With Micky Adams having left the side flying high at the top Division Two, all the former Leicester boss had to do was continue their good form - and he did it superbly. With a couple of additions to the playing squad, the Albion ended up securing their second Championship in a row as they saw off the challenges of Reading, Brentford and Stoke City to win the league in comfortable fashion. Believing that his budget for the following season would not be sufficient to keep the Albion in Division One, Taylor resigned on a high.
Martin Hinshelwood 2002, P14, W2, D1, L11 (14% win record)
Rumour has it Martin Hinshelwood should never have become Brighton's third Withdean manager. Cameron's world cup boss Winfried Schäfer had agreed to take the job before having a last minute change of heart, and with the press conference already arranged, rather than call it off Dick Knight gave the job to Martin Hinshelwood. Despite an encouraging four points from his first two games, the Seagulls then went on a ten game losing run in the league that eventually lead to Hinshelwood's removal as manager into a position of Director of Football. He also had two caretaker spells in charge, winning two and drawing one of those three games.
Steve Coppell 2002-2003, P49, W18, D14, L17 (37% win record)
Twelve points adrift of safety and having lost ten games in a row, Crystal Palace legend Steve Coppell arrived at Withdean and instantly extended that run to twelve, including a 5-0 defeat at the hands of the Albion's arch rivals. What followed was remarkable as the Albion clawed their way back into the relegation battle, with only a Stoke City victory on the final day of the season confirming their demotion back to Division Two. Highlights included victories against promotion chasing Reading and a 4-1 thrashing of Wolves. Coppell then guided the Seagulls to top spot in Division Two, six points clear of the chasing pack before departing for Reading in October 2003.
Mark McGhee 2003-2006, P139, W40, D38, L61 (29% win record)
Mark McGhee arrived after a disastrous caretaker spell from Bob Booker that had seen the Albion fall from six points clear at the top to fighting it out for a play-off place. His side eventually secured fourth spot and gave the fans one of their best days out of the Withdean era when winning the play-off final to secure promotion into the Championship. McGhee performed miracles the next season in keeping the club up despite having to sell the likes of Darren Currie and Danny Cullip. With no reinforcements coming and a bizarre period whereby he fell out with half the squad, it was no surprise to see the Albion relegated in 2005-06 and McGhee relieved of his duties in September.
Dean Wilkins 2006-2008, P102, W39, D24, L39 (38% win record)
After great success as youth team manager with his side reaching the quarter finals of the FA Youth Cup, Wilkins was promoted to first team coach and then manager in September 2006. A tough 2006-07 season saw the Albion in the bottom half of the table  with the threat of relegation lingering at one point. A far better first full season in charge saw a number of his youth products flourish coupled with inspired signings such as Nicky Forster as the Seagulls finished one place outside the play-offs. Despite the success, Wilkins was replaced by Micky Adams and turned down the clubs rather insulting offer of becoming the new managers assistant.
Micky Adams Version Two 2008-2009, P41, W10, D16, L15 (24% win record)
Such was the difference between Adams first and second spells in charge, we've felt the need to include him twice. Put simply, round two was a disaster. Poor signings such as Colin Hawkins, Jason Jarrett and Chris Birchall were mixed in with abysmal performances such as the 1-0 defeat to a Walsall side who played for an hour with nine men, and not forgetting classic interviews such as "the players just need a hug" and "no offence to Hereford, but it was The Leeds United we were playing". It came as no surprise to anybody to see Adams relieved of his duties with the Albion staring League Two in the face.
Russell Slade 2009, P31, W9, D7, L15 (29% win record)
Where would the Albion be without Russell Slade right now? Not having just won League One, and probably not with Gus Poyet either. When Slade took over, the situation was desperate, and by the time they had lost 2-0 at MK Dons they were 8 points adrift with just 7 games left to play. Somehow though, Slade lead them to victory five times after that, drawing one to complete a remarkable escape from the drop with a last day win over Stockport County. With the Seagulls struggling the next season though, he was dismissed in October but left Gus Poyet with signings such as Elliott Bennett, Andrew Crofts and Gary Dicker.
Gus Poyet 2009-, P84, W46, D21, L19 (55% win record)
Poyet was handed his first job as a manager by Tony Bloom and has more than repaid the faith shown by the Albion chairman. After a difficult start, he made his mark on the team during the January transfer window and throughout the second half of the season Brighton pulled away from the drop zone to finish comfortably in mid table. Given a decent transfer war chest in the summer, he improved the squad further and the Seagulls have romped to the league title with four games to spare making Poyet one of the hottest managerial properties outside the top flight as he prepares to lead the Albion into The Amex and the Championship.

 

The poll closes at 3.30pm on Tuesday 3rd May 2011. Let us know who you are voting for and why

 

 

 


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