Chris Hughton is nobody’s fool and when he decided to allow a player committee to be formed in the summer, some thought that was a sign of weakness.
Chris Hughton – Colin Calderwood has his back to the camera
But it has turned out to be a success with the player committee of Kevin Nolan, Alan Smith, Steve Harper and Geremi taking some of the responsibilities off the new manager.
They decide who will be interviewed by the press, and the four of them are experienced and reasonable guys – and have all done well this season.
Well, that’s apart from Geremi, who hasn’t played too well and cannot get a starting place – but surely the Cameroon International’s vast experience wll come through for the side this season?
We just have to hope so – for the team’s sake.
Chris Hughton talked about setting up things in the summer, when you have to remember everything was complete chaos at the Tyneside club:
“We set about building and rebuilding relationships and got tight and close,”
“Certainly the senior players are very much to the fore. We’ve got a few leaders.”
Chris’ reported meager wages of £5K/week – around £260K/year are dwarfed by the players’ wages in his committee, who are all on close to £3M a year.
But such is the character of Chris that that will hardly upset him at all.
Newcastle fans are still trying to gauge what to make of Chris – and many think he will turn out like Glenn Roeder.
Glenn was brilliant at the end of the 2005-2006 season, after he took over form the hapless Graeme Souness, winning 6 of the last 7 games to get Newcastle into 7th place and Europe.
With that record there wasn’t much then Chairman Freddy Shepherd could do but to appoint him full time, and the players loved him too.
It’s very much the same with Chris now, but many doubt he can be successful at Newcastle long term.
The way we like to look at it is that Chris has a job to do and it’s short term – in fact it’s this season. If he can get Newcastle promoted he’s done the job, and he will long be remembered for it.
But in the summer if we are a Premier League side we cannot see us attracting too many good players with Chris in charge – which is why we’d like to see Alan Shearer come in – but that means Ashley would have to go.
Hughton’s former Tottenham team-mate Peter Taylor, who was at Spurs from 1976-1980 with Chris, and who managed the England U21 side from 2004-2007, believes his friend has demonstrated considerable intelligence at Newcastle:
“Chrissy is cool, very calm and very honest. There are no unnecessary dramas with him, he’s not a ranter or a raver and that is what Newcastle needs,”
“Chrissy’s clearly given his senior men responsibility, got them fully onside and everyone is working together to get Newcastle promoted. It’s been a clever move. Chrissy’s very diplomatic.”
Hughton seems very diplomatic and some readers on this blog have labeled him as simply a “yes” man – perfect for Mike Ashley and Derek Llambias, but that’s being unfair to the man, who’s always been a top coach.
Charm is Hughton’s strong suit and Peter Taylor believes he has used it well to get the Newcastle job:
“Chrissy’s very charming,” “You shouldn’t underestimate the power of that charm.”
If Newcastle had been mid-table or worse right now, you wouldn’t have expected Chris to be appointed manager of the club, so we cannout under-estimate the job he has done so far – he’s done just great!.
We want Chris to continue doing very well this season, and as we’ve said before he’ll be a hero on Tyneside, if he can get the side promoted – and he knows it.
However then the hard part starts – and if Ashley sells the club in the summer (although that’s unlikely now), we’d like to see Alan Shearer brought back – and we’d like to see both Chris and Colin stay on at the club as coaches – at the wages they are on now – or given a raise.
They have both proved their loyalty when the chips were down in the summer – and we applaud them sincerely for that.
We’ve covered a lot of ground here – so let’s know your views on all of this – comments are very welcome.
Howay The Lads!!