Hughton Asked to Fix Newcastle Defense

Chris Hughton, Kevin’s new coach at Newcastle starts work today and he is being asked immediately to plug Newcastle’s defense.


Chris Hughton – new Newcastle coach

The defense is the biggest concern with the team, having already given up 52 goals so far this season, five more than all of last season, when our defense was also weak.

We suppose the defensive reinforcements we brought in during the summer have not got the job done.

The 49-year-old Londoner was sacked with Martin Jol at White Hart Lane in October after Newcastle beat Spurs 3-1 at St. James’ Park. But since new manager Ramos took over the London club have gone from strength to strength. They played an excellent game yesterday to beat a good Chelsea side 2-1 in the Carling Cup, after extra time. A feat (winning a trophy) Newcastle haven’t achieved since 1969.   🙁

Keegan told the Evening Chronicle today:

“Defensively, we need some work on shape and I think Steve and him will be a really good force together on the training pitch.”“That’s where we’ve got to work on things to get it right here.”

“He’s good with players and good around players. He’s got a good way with them. He’s an experienced player himself, so they know when he’s saying it, he’s been there and done it himself.”

Steve is our other coach, Steve Round, who is 37 and seems to be staying at Newcastle. Steve was at Middlesbrough and then England with Steve McClaren and is another well respected coach.

Hughton, as we mentioned earlier, played for Spurs for 13 years and had 297 appearances for the London club scoring 12 goals, before going on to lay for both West Ham and Brentford. He played for Ireland 53 times and joined the Tottenham coaching staff 10 years ago, so he is loaded with both playing and coaching experience.

It’s a tough but important task for Chris to start on, and we hope we’ll see the fruits of his efforts this coming Saturday against Blackburn Rovers. There again we’ve been trying to fix our defense for at least 10 years and haven’t been too successful, except under Bobby Robson.

Chris is highly thought of as a coach, and works very well with the players. From what we can tell he’s a very good addition to Kevin’s team. We’re glad he’s joined Newcastle United.

Comments very welcome.

87 comments so far

  • Rocky

    Feb 25, 2008 at 1:16 PM

    Comment #1

    I remember a certain Mark Lawrenson that was brought in by KK last time round, but to no great avail. Hopefully this appointment will be better.

  • lull

    Feb 25, 2008 at 1:18 PM

    Comment #2

    Our best line-ups for now

    Beye – Cacapa – Taylor – Enrique
    Duff – Emre – Faye – N’Zog
    Owen – Caroll

  • thelongshanks

    Feb 25, 2008 at 1:32 PM

    Comment #3

    I never heard chris hughton was joining us.Hes a top coach.When did this happen?

  • Dragoner

    Feb 25, 2008 at 1:32 PM

    Comment #4

    we should have got him AND martin jol, im SICK of this blind KK worship

  • Whumpie

    Feb 25, 2008 at 2:05 PM

    Comment #5

    I hope these coaches are allowed to work with the midfield too. On Saturday the ball arrived so fast in our goal area once posession was lost at the other end that they had no time to get positioned. I know Manure are good, but it was depressing how they didn’t even seem to notice that we had players in the central third of the pitch.

    Oh, for a Carrick…

  • Graham

    Feb 25, 2008 at 2:09 PM

    Comment #6

    Dragoner – like it or lump it we have KK so dry your eyes and start backing the team! If you have nothing constructive to say then dont say anything at all.

    From what I can gather Chris Hughton is a decent and respected coach. Good luck to him sorting out the defence – christ he’s gonna need it!

  • Spurs Fan

    Feb 25, 2008 at 2:13 PM

    Comment #7

    Sorry to be rude, but I can’t believe you have appointed Chris Hughton. Take it from me as a spurs fan, I like the guy for his commitment but I swear he must spend the 90 mins working on a sudoku puzzle. Our defence at spurs only now he has left looks solid, the many years Hughton was with us our defence was a shambles. You might as well look for his replacement now as this guy will drag you down.

  • Bill F

    Feb 25, 2008 at 2:14 PM

    Comment #8

    In a previous life Chris was asked to try and fix this little leak they found in the the ship he was on. I think it was called the Titanic or something like that.

  • Whumpie

    Feb 25, 2008 at 2:15 PM

    Comment #9

    Dragoner – you ask for the head of every bugger who comes through the door. KK took most of a season to halt the slide last time, and anyone who expects different with a set of fixtures like these has rose-tinted retinas.

    No manager on the planet could have got results against Manure and Arse with the problems KK inherited, yet we all act shocked. When you have a scared, confidence-battered, bought-to-do-long-ball, all-grunt-no-flair squad and you play against teams like them, you are going to lose. I don’t like it, but I don’t shout for heads to roll when it happens.

    Yes, it’s rubbish at the moment. But all those comments about “it’ll take time” are actually true. 10 years of mismanagement really does take years to put right.

    Let’s just learn to deal with this season being a right-off, get behind the team and hope that we can show enough promise once the non-impossible fixtures start that some good players will come here in the summer.

  • Paul P

    Feb 25, 2008 at 2:16 PM

    Comment #10

    everyone. keegan can not do anything with this squad. alex ferguson, wenger, benitez, capello could not fo anything with the shower of s***e at our club, so i think its about time you got of keegans back dont you think. they are not his players, allardyce bought a mid table squad and that is what we have got, in the summer, when he has brought his own players in, got his methods accross, so am saying 20 games into the season, then you can judge him. I honestly believe we will not be in the bottom half of the table next season struggling for a win. The summer will tell us what season we are going to have before a ball is kicked due to the quality of player coming in. and he must realise now what we need.

  • Black Caesar

    Feb 25, 2008 at 2:42 PM

    Comment #11

    Well maybe if Keegan had not been running a circus for the last 3 years and if he had also spent the last few years watching some football, he would have known which players to buy to strengthen us this last January!!!

  • Paul R

    Feb 25, 2008 at 2:48 PM

    Comment #12

    black ceaser kindly shut the hell up !! he did try and buy players u muppit they just didnt want to come !! woodagte hmmmm

  • derek mooney

    Feb 25, 2008 at 2:49 PM

    Comment #13

    black caesar – keegan joined NUFC with TWO weeks left of the transfer window. Even a manager with the biggest set of contacts book in the world would have struggled to approach a club, speak to an agent if given permission by the club, then tied down the unbelievable contract demands made by the agents of nearly all players worth their salt. have a heart man and praise keegan for not going for what standard is usually available in the january sales – dross.

  • catchy

    Feb 25, 2008 at 2:53 PM

    Comment #14

    one thing came out of the game….. milner played half decent and when carrol came on at least he tried… maybe with zog in a more advanced roll , we will be a better team..

    Harper /given
    Beye – Cacapa – Taylor – Enrique
    milner – Emre – Faye – N’Zog
    Owen – Caroll

  • Paul P

    Feb 25, 2008 at 2:54 PM

    Comment #15

    team for saturday


    beye, faye, edgar, tozer

    milner, emre, geremi, nzogbia

    viduka, owen

    subs, martins, carroll, duff, forster, kadar

  • phoonCK

    Feb 25, 2008 at 3:03 PM

    Comment #16

    I like King Kev, and i believe the Mike MortGan combination will work out. But i would like to know, from anyone of them or even the staffs, to come out and let us know just what is going on behind the ‘Enrique’ no-show saga.

    On, which is up-to-date and accurate, does not have Enrique on the injury-list. So just what is wrong with Enrique, our only natural left-back and who is of potential. I’d really like to know. Poor training performance? Poor attitude? Out-of-favour or not match fit?

    Keeping the Faith
    Howay the Lads

  • Black Caesar

    Feb 25, 2008 at 3:04 PM

    Comment #17

    And I bet Woodgate looked at Keegan and thought …..hmmmm this has failure written all over it!

    If you are a good enough manager you should be able to work with the tools you have, and the tools we have do not deserve the results we have seen so far.

  • Jon

    Feb 25, 2008 at 3:09 PM

    Comment #18

    Let’s face it. Taylor isn’t good for Newcastle.

  • GP

    Feb 25, 2008 at 3:18 PM

    Comment #19

    Whumpie, Sir Bobby did just fine. It’s more like 4 years of mismanagement, although that’s an understatement. If you’re on about Fat Fred though, then I agree.

  • Gordon

    Feb 25, 2008 at 3:30 PM

    Comment #20

    “before going on to lay for both West Ham and Brentford”

    I don’t want to know about his sexual history!! 😉

  • Cyprus Mag

    Feb 25, 2008 at 3:31 PM

    Comment #21

    GP you beat me to it, Whumpie if you think Sir Bobby’s contribution was mismanagement you live in a different world to the rest of us. How I long for such times to return.

  • Paul P

    Feb 25, 2008 at 3:33 PM

    Comment #22

    Taylor was at fault for both ronaldo’s goals. for the 1st, why did he do a 360 degree turn instead of running with ronaldo, he may have been able to get a tackle in or force him wide or something. his second, well was just a comedy of errors before he went clean thru. its just basic errors which are costing us games and points. dont no what has happend to him, he has had a mare this season like. they all have.,

  • ToonUSA

    Feb 25, 2008 at 3:37 PM

    Comment #23

    So we get a guy that was coaching one of the worst defences in the leauge so much so that they see success upon his departure. Sorry for not being so enthusiastic about this appointment.


    Feb 25, 2008 at 3:41 PM

    Comment #24

    there is a big hole in the defence, its because the midfielders! nicky butt and joey barton arnt in the right positions ever!

    given doesnt command his area either, and is a drunk

  • Whumpie

    Feb 25, 2008 at 3:46 PM

    Comment #25

    GP and Cyprus Mag – Oops!! Yes, I was referring to Fat Fred – never Sir Bobby, who I respect more than anyone on the planet. Sorry for not making that clear.

    Not that FF was all bad or that it was all his fault – just a big, cumulative effect leading up to today’s mire. Even KK caused some of it by canning the academy. Some of the kids we would have brought through back then would be mid-twenties and in their prime by now…

  • Steeley

    Feb 25, 2008 at 3:46 PM

    Comment #26

    Glad to see no-one is opting for Barton in their teams/squads for the next match – you have to admit that despite the calamaties coming from our defence in the Man Utd game, Barton was BY FAR AND AWAY the single worst player on the pitch all game! His passing was atrocious and I reckon my little sister could aim a pass better than him.
    Even if the little scrote doesnt end up in the clink we need shot of him…and quick!!
    Such a shame that Zog isnt playing in AM (with Enrique at LB) as I think he really is the driving force we need. All I see every game is the ball go into CM and then passed either 5ft to the other CM, or back to the defence. Then when they do decide to pass the ball forward it’s either passed wrong (Barton!) or passed with such slow pace that the opposition indercepts!
    Does anyone know what has happened to Enrique?? Is he still alive??

  • Nick Dryden

    Feb 25, 2008 at 3:47 PM

    Comment #27

    I think we’ve missed a trick with Zola.
    We need someone who is technically gifted to work with these players, not FA clones like Round.
    As for Taylor, if he wasn’t a Geordie, he would get as much stick as Bramble. His decision making is atrocious. Would love to see Edgar get a run. He is class.

  • valle

    Feb 25, 2008 at 3:56 PM

    Comment #28

    Whumpie… I agree with supporting your team and your manager, but thats not fair to Dragonar, he was actually one of the guys who supported Sam till the very end.

  • Mr T

    Feb 25, 2008 at 3:59 PM

    Comment #29

    Sack Keegan, bring in Jol.

    I’m sorry, Keegans done no good at all, I didn’t think he would either in fairness, though I was nearly swayed when his presence alone helped us beat Stoke (or so it appeared).

    He’s got a hard job sorting out our defense. Not that I’d even call it one after Saturday.

    He’s got a hard job sorting out our shambles.

  • nufctj

    Feb 25, 2008 at 4:00 PM

    Comment #30

    I see a lot of different ideas about alternative players/formations, etc. What strikes me is no matter how you arrange things, we have many weak spots. Our central midfield options are woeful, and I believe that is where our defensive problems begin. We can’t hold on to the ball, and we can’t slow down the other team, not to mention the fact we can’t create anything for our forwards. All of our chances come from the wings, where Milner and Duff are working hard, but not cutting it most of the time. No back line would do well with our midfield, and we have an unsettled and inexperienced back line. I don’t know what the thinking was in putting Zog at LB in such a crucial match against such daunting opposition, but KK knows things I don’t so he must have had his reasons. We can argue all day long about whether Smith and Butt should be out there, but who will we replace them with?Emre is inconsistent and often injured, Viduka is exactly the same. I am sure both of them will get a shot in the remaining games, but I don’t think they will make that much of a difference. We just have to take all points from the remaining games against teams that are below us, and hopefully get some surprise results against some other teams. I think we can get a point against Blackburn, and I also believe Liverpool can be beaten if we put together two halves like we played in the first against Villa.

  • mark

    Feb 25, 2008 at 4:03 PM

    Comment #31

    Taylor is thick, ive always said it, ive followed up since he was 16, and he is an idiot, he is dozy, and wreckless.

    Barton – was excited when we signed him, let him off regarding the drunken mix ups, but he is nothing like the player I thought we had.

    Newcastle United – Going down.

  • nufctj

    Feb 25, 2008 at 4:04 PM

    Comment #32

    Anyone who comes on this blog saying we should sack KK, should be banned from this blog. IMHO, there are some people who come on here that must have a large amount of difficulty chewing gum and walking at the same time. Ya, I’m talking to you Mr T. Your knuckles must get awfully scraped up after dragging along on the ground all day.

  • mark

    Feb 25, 2008 at 4:05 PM

    Comment #33

    Oh and, btw, We have had 4 heavy defeats under Keegan in 6 games!!!

    3-0 Arsenal x 2

    5-1 Man Utd

    4-1 Villa

    the other two were home draws against Drab.

    Under Allardyce, I remember 3-0 Liverpool and 4-1 Pompey.

    No point sacking keegan, but the fat bstard billionaire should grow some arms for them deep pockets, the tight cvnt.

  • scott 9

    Feb 25, 2008 at 4:05 PM

    Comment #34

    i think we might win on saturday but only if we play a team something likje this considering givens injured a
    beye faye edgar enrique
    milner geremi emre zog
    viduka owen
    i would give taylor a rest as he didnt play well on saturday and his confidence will be low.
    i put geremi in there cause he played well at acn so he should have confidence he also has a point to prove to kk and i think he is a good player we just havent seen him at his best yet and he can pass a ball at least.

  • scott 9

    Feb 25, 2008 at 4:06 PM

    Comment #35

    unlike some of our midfiled players

  • nufctj

    Feb 25, 2008 at 4:09 PM

    Comment #36

    Black Ceaser, my old foe, we meet again!

    Question for you ‘ol chap, if we’d have hired Jose F’in Moronyo, which games would have been different? and to add to that whom would we have signed in the January transfer window?

  • Bosck

    Feb 25, 2008 at 4:15 PM

    Comment #37

    spurs fan the simple reason you’re defense is so good now is that you have woodgate playing there alongside king, not dawson and kaboul.

    nothing to do with the coaching, just a far superior quality of player!!

  • Ian

    Feb 25, 2008 at 4:20 PM

    Comment #38

    They can train the defence all they like, even the best defence in the World cannot take constant onslaughts, we need Martins back as our main striker, I am not bothered who is alongside him as long as it works, once they feel threatened by us then the pressure will reduce on our defence, the last few games they have felt so unthreatened by us that they have literally surrounded our goal in a half circle and had all but their goalie over the half way line, if that isnt an insult to the strikers and attacking midfielders then nothing is.
    Owen and Carroll wont work, it needs to be Martins and another, hopefully it will work with Owen. If Owen and Martins works, the defence will already be split as they will have to mark two players properly, while the recent games I have watched they have tried to mark Owen with three defenders, if they do that with Martins on the pitch it would be one against one.
    Rooney never got any service when he struck the ball in the left hand corner of our net, Ronaldo didnt have good service when he ran past three of our players twice, all of the top goalscorers in the premiership and create goals from very little, good service is a bonus.
    We need to find the best two midfielders and stick with them, and get Edgar or Enrique at left back, that is what they are in the team for, use Nzogbia where he is best.
    I am convinced two games with Martins on the pitch and we will be a different side, the difference between us winning at the start of the season and since then losing is mainly Martins not being on the pitch.

  • A geordiedoonsooth

    Feb 25, 2008 at 4:30 PM

    Comment #39

    Black Ceaser must be a mackem in disguise he hasn’t a clue. We can judge KK this time next year. When he came in the 1st time we were in deeper trouble than this & he just escaped relegation on the last day & looked wht happened the next season. KEEP THE FAITH he’ll get it right

  • Whumpie

    Feb 25, 2008 at 4:49 PM

    Comment #40

    Well said, geordiedoonsooth. A bit of pragmatism is needed. Just survive, then build. Until then, we have an important role as the 12th man – probably the single biggest factor in restoring the team’s shattered confidence.

    How different the world will look if we get 3 points against Blackburn…


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