Chris Hughton starts his third time as interim manager this Wednesday, with all the Newcastle players returning for pre-season training at the Benton training headquarters.
Chris Hughton – takes pre-season training on Wednesday
With Mike Ashley so far refusing to appoint Alan Shearer as the manager, for whatever reasons, Chris Hughton confirmed today to the Evening Chronicle he has indeed been appointed caretaker manager, with Colin Calderwood coming in as his assistant on a weekly contract.
Chris still has two years left on his contract, and we should just point out that it’s not Chris’s fault the club is in such a mess, but he gets the unenviable job (again) to try to put some order into the pre-season training. And of course this comes just days after fitness coaches Hulse and Elliott surprisingly resigned their coaching positions at the club.
Why Mike Ashley couldn’t have put Alan Shearer on a weekly contract four weeks ago we have no idea, but that would have ensured the club was in much better shape than it is right now. The club would have been better off, which is what it’s all about – isn’t it?
So Mike’s appointment of Colin on a week by week basis, rather undermines his reasons why he couldn’t appoint Alan, so there’s some other reason for him keeping Alan firmly on the sidelines over the last several weeks.
And Chris is saying all the right things, as the current uncertainty (which is hardly new to our players after last season) cannot be allowed to get in the way of the training that starts on Wednesday
Chris told the Evening Chronicle today:
“Everything will be done properly with the group of players that is there.” “Everything going on outside of that has to stay outside of it.”
“Whatever the situation will be, when it comes to the first day of pre-season training, the players will go through a good and correct programme for however long it is until someone takes over.”
“The most important thing is that the players get a pre-season under their belts.” “Everything has to be done properly by the staff and players.”
“Colin’s here in the short term until we know what’s going to happen.”
All of Newcastle’s internationals have been given an extra week off after being involved with their respective countries during the domestic summer break, and those players include Sebastien Bassong and Geremi (Cameroon), Jonas Gutierrez (Argentina), Damien Duff (Ireland) and Xisco (Spain U21), who will not be around until a week come Wednesday.
Newcastle are a little short of coaches with Hulse and Elliott having gone to Liverpool, but Richard Money, Paul Barron and Alan Thompson are available. Of course so is Alan Shearer, but it looks like he’s not wanted – at least not yet.
It’s also looking like any deal to buy Newcastle may go on for another couple of weeks, and that will not be good news to Newcastle fans, who wants the new owner and manager in as soon as possible.
Time is not our side, that’s for sure.