Fixtures give Albion chance to make fast start

Sami Hyypia

Sami Hyypia

First published in Sport
Last updated
by , Chief sports reporter

Bruno wants Sami Hyypia's Albion to hit the ground running in the Championship.

And the shape of the fixture list has given the Seagulls, under their third manager in as many seasons, a chance of delivering Bruno's wish.

The experienced Spanish right-back, who has just signed a new one-year contract, said: "We know it will be a very tough league once again.

"Leicester had a strong start last season and went on to win the league, so that has to be our aim for pre-season, to get off to a good start."

Getting off to a flyer is not essential to succeed in one of the most competitive divisions, if not the most competitive, in world football, but it certainly helps.

Leicester had lost only once by October on their way to the title.

They had their first dip in form in late November and early December, including a defeat at the Amex, but the points they already had in the bag cushioned the setbacks.

Burnley, who finished runners-up, suffered their only defeat in their first 16 league games at the Amex at the end of August.

It was a similar story in 2012-13. Champions Cardiff won seven of their first ten matches. Runners-up Hull took 13 points from a possible 18.

There is always an exception to the rule. Reading came from nowhere in 2011-12 to end on top.

They hardly started like a house on fire, but then again no real damage was done by their beginning.

They were hard to beat, winning four, losing four and drawing six of their first 14 outings.

Reading's closest pursuers, Southampton, won six of their first seven games.

The underlying message is if you want to be genuine contenders for automatic promotion then it does not pay to be slow out of the blocks.

That was the case for Albion under Oscar Garcia last season, although that was hardly surprising.

Preparations had been disrupted and delayed by the saga of Gus Poyet's dismissal.

They lost their first three matches in all competitions, but looking back now at the way the season panned out, they made a reasonable fist of a tough opening.

Burnley, third-placed Derby County, play-off winners Queens Park Rangers and play-off near-misses Reading were among the first seven opponents.

Until the table develops it is difficult to know whether Hyypia faces a kind introduction to life in the Championship or a baptism of fire. On paper at least though it is the former.

Albion's first five games are Sheffield Wednesday at home, Birmingham away, Leeds away, Bolton at home, Charlton at home.

These teams finished 16th, 21st, 15th, 14th and 18th last season. They might all improve this time around, but Hyypia is sure to be hoping for a healthy haul of points by the end of October.

Other opponents in Albion's opening 14 fixtures include promoted Brentford and Rotherham and a home game against Blackpool, another of last season's strugglers.

Motivation for a flying start is heightened by the punishing schedule awaiting Albion in November and December.

Wigan, Blackburn, Fulham and Reading visit the Amex in this period, combined with testing trips to Bournemouth, Norwich, Derby, Wolves and Fulham.

After that little lot we should have a clearer idea of where Hyypia's Albion are heading.

Comments (14)

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1:45pm Thu 3 Jul 14

VegasSeagull says...

With new players needing to find their feet these early season fixtures are a bit of a blessing. By the time we get to the tougher matches we should be more than ready.
With new players needing to find their feet these early season fixtures are a bit of a blessing. By the time we get to the tougher matches we should be more than ready. VegasSeagull
  • Score: -11

2:05pm Thu 3 Jul 14

AlanDuffy says...

A couple of interesting points from that article.......firstl
y our pre-season last year was disrupted by the Poyet saga, well this year we at least have a new manager, but no assistant and short 5-6 players, so we need to start remedying that one. Secondly our form last season against so-called strugglers was poor and we performed well against the top sides, so a repeat of that form would see us struggling based on the opening fixtures. We still have a few weeks to sort it out, but I'm really hoping to see some movement in the very near future.
A couple of interesting points from that article.......firstl y our pre-season last year was disrupted by the Poyet saga, well this year we at least have a new manager, but no assistant and short 5-6 players, so we need to start remedying that one. Secondly our form last season against so-called strugglers was poor and we performed well against the top sides, so a repeat of that form would see us struggling based on the opening fixtures. We still have a few weeks to sort it out, but I'm really hoping to see some movement in the very near future. AlanDuffy
  • Score: 3

2:40pm Thu 3 Jul 14

Mayfield sweeper says...

AlanDuffy wrote:
A couple of interesting points from that article.......firstl

y our pre-season last year was disrupted by the Poyet saga, well this year we at least have a new manager, but no assistant and short 5-6 players, so we need to start remedying that one. Secondly our form last season against so-called strugglers was poor and we performed well against the top sides, so a repeat of that form would see us struggling based on the opening fixtures. We still have a few weeks to sort it out, but I'm really hoping to see some movement in the very near future.
Well this year we've had the replacing Oscar saga, the Sammy Lee saga, the Ulloa saga, the hardly any players signed saga and the no new kit saga. In fact we might as well join saga. If that lot isn't a disruption to pre season then I don't know what is.
[quote][p][bold]AlanDuffy[/bold] wrote: A couple of interesting points from that article.......firstl y our pre-season last year was disrupted by the Poyet saga, well this year we at least have a new manager, but no assistant and short 5-6 players, so we need to start remedying that one. Secondly our form last season against so-called strugglers was poor and we performed well against the top sides, so a repeat of that form would see us struggling based on the opening fixtures. We still have a few weeks to sort it out, but I'm really hoping to see some movement in the very near future.[/p][/quote]Well this year we've had the replacing Oscar saga, the Sammy Lee saga, the Ulloa saga, the hardly any players signed saga and the no new kit saga. In fact we might as well join saga. If that lot isn't a disruption to pre season then I don't know what is. Mayfield sweeper
  • Score: -9

2:52pm Thu 3 Jul 14

VegasSeagull says...

Mayfield sweeper wrote:
AlanDuffy wrote:
A couple of interesting points from that article.......firstl


y our pre-season last year was disrupted by the Poyet saga, well this year we at least have a new manager, but no assistant and short 5-6 players, so we need to start remedying that one. Secondly our form last season against so-called strugglers was poor and we performed well against the top sides, so a repeat of that form would see us struggling based on the opening fixtures. We still have a few weeks to sort it out, but I'm really hoping to see some movement in the very near future.
Well this year we've had the replacing Oscar saga, the Sammy Lee saga, the Ulloa saga, the hardly any players signed saga and the no new kit saga. In fact we might as well join saga. If that lot isn't a disruption to pre season then I don't know what is.
pure BS
[quote][p][bold]Mayfield sweeper[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]AlanDuffy[/bold] wrote: A couple of interesting points from that article.......firstl y our pre-season last year was disrupted by the Poyet saga, well this year we at least have a new manager, but no assistant and short 5-6 players, so we need to start remedying that one. Secondly our form last season against so-called strugglers was poor and we performed well against the top sides, so a repeat of that form would see us struggling based on the opening fixtures. We still have a few weeks to sort it out, but I'm really hoping to see some movement in the very near future.[/p][/quote]Well this year we've had the replacing Oscar saga, the Sammy Lee saga, the Ulloa saga, the hardly any players signed saga and the no new kit saga. In fact we might as well join saga. If that lot isn't a disruption to pre season then I don't know what is.[/p][/quote]pure BS VegasSeagull
  • Score: 6

3:17pm Thu 3 Jul 14

Singing Seagull, Indonesia says...

Mayfield sweeper wrote:
AlanDuffy wrote:
A couple of interesting points from that article.......firstl


y our pre-season last year was disrupted by the Poyet saga, well this year we at least have a new manager, but no assistant and short 5-6 players, so we need to start remedying that one. Secondly our form last season against so-called strugglers was poor and we performed well against the top sides, so a repeat of that form would see us struggling based on the opening fixtures. We still have a few weeks to sort it out, but I'm really hoping to see some movement in the very near future.
Well this year we've had the replacing Oscar saga, the Sammy Lee saga, the Ulloa saga, the hardly any players signed saga and the no new kit saga. In fact we might as well join saga. If that lot isn't a disruption to pre season then I don't know what is.
Saga : definition = any very long story with dramatic events in parts.

Replacing Oscar : done, before the players reported back. SH in control. The board said they would take their time to get the right man.

Sammy Lee : over and done in two days. Not a saga at all. Will not hold back the club in any way shape or form. SH in no hurry to find alternative number two as he has NJ whose praise you were singing two days ago.

Ulloa : well none of us actually knows, do we?! No doubt the players will know as they will have spoken to him in pre-season training. If he's going then most likely we are looking for a replacement before sanctioning his exit. If not, no drama.

Hardly any players signed : again, we don't know what is going on behind the scenes (although some pretend that they do).

New kit : only seems to be a concern to you. You may recall that the club said it may not be released until after the World Cup. As it happens it is being released today. I doubt the players give a tinker's toss.

Patience my friend. You seem to always be wanting everything now. It takes time to do things properly and what this club has built in a relatively short time is nothing short of amazing. Will it be the end of the world if we have a "learning and building" year and finish mid table? I for one don't think so.

UTA!!
[quote][p][bold]Mayfield sweeper[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]AlanDuffy[/bold] wrote: A couple of interesting points from that article.......firstl y our pre-season last year was disrupted by the Poyet saga, well this year we at least have a new manager, but no assistant and short 5-6 players, so we need to start remedying that one. Secondly our form last season against so-called strugglers was poor and we performed well against the top sides, so a repeat of that form would see us struggling based on the opening fixtures. We still have a few weeks to sort it out, but I'm really hoping to see some movement in the very near future.[/p][/quote]Well this year we've had the replacing Oscar saga, the Sammy Lee saga, the Ulloa saga, the hardly any players signed saga and the no new kit saga. In fact we might as well join saga. If that lot isn't a disruption to pre season then I don't know what is.[/p][/quote]Saga : definition = any very long story with dramatic events in parts. Replacing Oscar : done, before the players reported back. SH in control. The board said they would take their time to get the right man. Sammy Lee : over and done in two days. Not a saga at all. Will not hold back the club in any way shape or form. SH in no hurry to find alternative number two as he has NJ whose praise you were singing two days ago. Ulloa : well none of us actually knows, do we?! No doubt the players will know as they will have spoken to him in pre-season training. If he's going then most likely we are looking for a replacement before sanctioning his exit. If not, no drama. Hardly any players signed : again, we don't know what is going on behind the scenes (although some pretend that they do). New kit : only seems to be a concern to you. You may recall that the club said it may not be released until after the World Cup. As it happens it is being released today. I doubt the players give a tinker's toss. Patience my friend. You seem to always be wanting everything now. It takes time to do things properly and what this club has built in a relatively short time is nothing short of amazing. Will it be the end of the world if we have a "learning and building" year and finish mid table? I for one don't think so. UTA!! Singing Seagull, Indonesia
  • Score: 9

3:42pm Thu 3 Jul 14

VegasSeagull says...

VegasSeagull wrote:
With new players needing to find their feet these early season fixtures are a bit of a blessing. By the time we get to the tougher matches we should be more than ready.
six thumbs down for being positive, trolls all arrived at the same time, or do we have 2 o3 three with multi personalities?
[quote][p][bold]VegasSeagull[/bold] wrote: With new players needing to find their feet these early season fixtures are a bit of a blessing. By the time we get to the tougher matches we should be more than ready.[/p][/quote]six thumbs down for being positive, trolls all arrived at the same time, or do we have 2 o3 three with multi personalities? VegasSeagull
  • Score: 1

3:51pm Thu 3 Jul 14

Ex-pat Arnie says...

VegasSeagull wrote:
VegasSeagull wrote:
With new players needing to find their feet these early season fixtures are a bit of a blessing. By the time we get to the tougher matches we should be more than ready.
six thumbs down for being positive, trolls all arrived at the same time, or do we have 2 o3 three with multi personalities?
I noticed this on my return the other day. There is either a proliferation of new WUMs or one/two with several accounts. My money is definitely on the latter. Positivity is a dirty word apparently...
[quote][p][bold]VegasSeagull[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]VegasSeagull[/bold] wrote: With new players needing to find their feet these early season fixtures are a bit of a blessing. By the time we get to the tougher matches we should be more than ready.[/p][/quote]six thumbs down for being positive, trolls all arrived at the same time, or do we have 2 o3 three with multi personalities?[/p][/quote]I noticed this on my return the other day. There is either a proliferation of new WUMs or one/two with several accounts. My money is definitely on the latter. Positivity is a dirty word apparently... Ex-pat Arnie
  • Score: -3

4:09pm Thu 3 Jul 14

VegasSeagull says...

Ex-pat Arnie wrote:
VegasSeagull wrote:
VegasSeagull wrote:
With new players needing to find their feet these early season fixtures are a bit of a blessing. By the time we get to the tougher matches we should be more than ready.
six thumbs down for being positive, trolls all arrived at the same time, or do we have 2 o3 three with multi personalities?
I noticed this on my return the other day. There is either a proliferation of new WUMs or one/two with several accounts. My money is definitely on the latter. Positivity is a dirty word apparently...
without doubt the latter, IMHO. If there were real worries, if it was truly obvious that the wheels were falling off, some of the genuine fans would be picking up on it. The negative comments from the trolls are all superficial, 'not enough money for transfers,' but they don't know the budget. 'We will finish mid table at best,' an opinion based on what? Crowd numbers will fall to 15,000 come mid-season, I huess that they have a crystal ball that can predict the results of up coming matches.
And to add to the trolls, we also have those that are probably fans, but they just have to comment with a, 'half empty glass approach.'
[quote][p][bold]Ex-pat Arnie[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]VegasSeagull[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]VegasSeagull[/bold] wrote: With new players needing to find their feet these early season fixtures are a bit of a blessing. By the time we get to the tougher matches we should be more than ready.[/p][/quote]six thumbs down for being positive, trolls all arrived at the same time, or do we have 2 o3 three with multi personalities?[/p][/quote]I noticed this on my return the other day. There is either a proliferation of new WUMs or one/two with several accounts. My money is definitely on the latter. Positivity is a dirty word apparently...[/p][/quote]without doubt the latter, IMHO. If there were real worries, if it was truly obvious that the wheels were falling off, some of the genuine fans would be picking up on it. The negative comments from the trolls are all superficial, 'not enough money for transfers,' but they don't know the budget. 'We will finish mid table at best,' an opinion based on what? Crowd numbers will fall to 15,000 come mid-season, I huess that they have a crystal ball that can predict the results of up coming matches. And to add to the trolls, we also have those that are probably fans, but they just have to comment with a, 'half empty glass approach.' VegasSeagull
  • Score: 1

4:10pm Thu 3 Jul 14

dazzler1983 says...

Its an old cliche but at the end of the day whichever teams are the most consistent over 46 games will be at the top and those that aren't won't be,its as simple as that!
Its an old cliche but at the end of the day whichever teams are the most consistent over 46 games will be at the top and those that aren't won't be,its as simple as that! dazzler1983
  • Score: 1

5:41pm Thu 3 Jul 14

Mayfield sweeper says...

VegasSeagull wrote:
Mayfield sweeper wrote:
AlanDuffy wrote:
A couple of interesting points from that article.......firstl



y our pre-season last year was disrupted by the Poyet saga, well this year we at least have a new manager, but no assistant and short 5-6 players, so we need to start remedying that one. Secondly our form last season against so-called strugglers was poor and we performed well against the top sides, so a repeat of that form would see us struggling based on the opening fixtures. We still have a few weeks to sort it out, but I'm really hoping to see some movement in the very near future.
Well this year we've had the replacing Oscar saga, the Sammy Lee saga, the Ulloa saga, the hardly any players signed saga and the no new kit saga. In fact we might as well join saga. If that lot isn't a disruption to pre season then I don't know what is.
pure BS
Well no, merely a statement of facts!
[quote][p][bold]VegasSeagull[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Mayfield sweeper[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]AlanDuffy[/bold] wrote: A couple of interesting points from that article.......firstl y our pre-season last year was disrupted by the Poyet saga, well this year we at least have a new manager, but no assistant and short 5-6 players, so we need to start remedying that one. Secondly our form last season against so-called strugglers was poor and we performed well against the top sides, so a repeat of that form would see us struggling based on the opening fixtures. We still have a few weeks to sort it out, but I'm really hoping to see some movement in the very near future.[/p][/quote]Well this year we've had the replacing Oscar saga, the Sammy Lee saga, the Ulloa saga, the hardly any players signed saga and the no new kit saga. In fact we might as well join saga. If that lot isn't a disruption to pre season then I don't know what is.[/p][/quote]pure BS[/p][/quote]Well no, merely a statement of facts! Mayfield sweeper
  • Score: -7

6:10pm Thu 3 Jul 14

Singing Seagull, Indonesia says...

Mayfield sweeper wrote:
VegasSeagull wrote:
Mayfield sweeper wrote:
AlanDuffy wrote:
A couple of interesting points from that article.......firstl




y our pre-season last year was disrupted by the Poyet saga, well this year we at least have a new manager, but no assistant and short 5-6 players, so we need to start remedying that one. Secondly our form last season against so-called strugglers was poor and we performed well against the top sides, so a repeat of that form would see us struggling based on the opening fixtures. We still have a few weeks to sort it out, but I'm really hoping to see some movement in the very near future.
Well this year we've had the replacing Oscar saga, the Sammy Lee saga, the Ulloa saga, the hardly any players signed saga and the no new kit saga. In fact we might as well join saga. If that lot isn't a disruption to pre season then I don't know what is.
pure BS
Well no, merely a statement of facts!
Perhaps you might expand by responding to my reply to your original post.

Goodnight.
[quote][p][bold]Mayfield sweeper[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]VegasSeagull[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Mayfield sweeper[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]AlanDuffy[/bold] wrote: A couple of interesting points from that article.......firstl y our pre-season last year was disrupted by the Poyet saga, well this year we at least have a new manager, but no assistant and short 5-6 players, so we need to start remedying that one. Secondly our form last season against so-called strugglers was poor and we performed well against the top sides, so a repeat of that form would see us struggling based on the opening fixtures. We still have a few weeks to sort it out, but I'm really hoping to see some movement in the very near future.[/p][/quote]Well this year we've had the replacing Oscar saga, the Sammy Lee saga, the Ulloa saga, the hardly any players signed saga and the no new kit saga. In fact we might as well join saga. If that lot isn't a disruption to pre season then I don't know what is.[/p][/quote]pure BS[/p][/quote]Well no, merely a statement of facts![/p][/quote]Perhaps you might expand by responding to my reply to your original post. Goodnight. Singing Seagull, Indonesia
  • Score: 3

6:56pm Thu 3 Jul 14

gordongull says...

VegasSeagull wrote:
VegasSeagull wrote:
With new players needing to find their feet these early season fixtures are a bit of a blessing. By the time we get to the tougher matches we should be more than ready.
six thumbs down for being positive, trolls all arrived at the same time, or do we have 2 o3 three with multi personalities?
Maybe a lot of people don't think there are any easy games in this Division, Vegas.
[quote][p][bold]VegasSeagull[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]VegasSeagull[/bold] wrote: With new players needing to find their feet these early season fixtures are a bit of a blessing. By the time we get to the tougher matches we should be more than ready.[/p][/quote]six thumbs down for being positive, trolls all arrived at the same time, or do we have 2 o3 three with multi personalities?[/p][/quote]Maybe a lot of people don't think there are any easy games in this Division, Vegas. gordongull
  • Score: 1

7:01pm Thu 3 Jul 14

VegasSeagull says...

gordongull wrote:
VegasSeagull wrote:
VegasSeagull wrote:
With new players needing to find their feet these early season fixtures are a bit of a blessing. By the time we get to the tougher matches we should be more than ready.
six thumbs down for being positive, trolls all arrived at the same time, or do we have 2 o3 three with multi personalities?
Maybe a lot of people don't think there are any easy games in this Division, Vegas.
agreed, but some are harder than others
[quote][p][bold]gordongull[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]VegasSeagull[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]VegasSeagull[/bold] wrote: With new players needing to find their feet these early season fixtures are a bit of a blessing. By the time we get to the tougher matches we should be more than ready.[/p][/quote]six thumbs down for being positive, trolls all arrived at the same time, or do we have 2 o3 three with multi personalities?[/p][/quote]Maybe a lot of people don't think there are any easy games in this Division, Vegas.[/p][/quote]agreed, but some are harder than others VegasSeagull
  • Score: 0

7:07pm Thu 3 Jul 14

VegasSeagull says...

Not surprising that a troll submits a bunch of BS, and then looks for debate, does he think the non trolls are that blind to his game.
Not surprising that a troll submits a bunch of BS, and then looks for debate, does he think the non trolls are that blind to his game. VegasSeagull
  • Score: -1

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