Chris Hughton Is Exactly What Newcastle Needed This Season

Chris Hughton, with the help of his assistant Colin Calderwood has guided Newcastle to top of the Championship with just 8 games to play and they have a 10 point lead on 3rd placed Nottingham Forest with a game in hand.

Chris Hughton – guided Newcastle to top of the league

So the chances of Newcastle getting promotion are good, and will be even better of Newcastle can beat Forest on Monday night at St. James’ Park.

The Newcastle club seemed to be in a state of almost panic after being relegated last May.

Alan Shearer had put plans in place shortly after relegation detailing which players could be sold, and targets for the summer transfer market, but those recommendations were ignored by owner Mike Ashley, who had put the club up for sale for a second time.

And indeed those players who were sold seemed to go with no aforethought – and it seemed that any player was fair game for a transfer if the price was met.

Come July 1st when players returned for pre-season training, somebody needed to pick up the pieces to prepare Newcastle for their first season in the English second division for 16 years.

And the man who got the job at the last minute was Chris Hughton and that was the 3rd time Chris had been asked to be caretaker manager of the club in 10 months.

Chris had taken over after Kevin Keegan was sacked a year last September, and then in the following February when Joe Kinnear took sick with his heart problems.

But Newcastle fans were less than overwhelmed with the temporary  Hughton appointment, since the only win Chris had as caretaker manager was the 3-2 win at WBA, and that was when Joe had taken ill that morning, so many fans thought that win didn’t count since  Joe had prepared the team.

The popular notion in the press was that Newcastle could be relegated from the Champoionship, but Chris went about his job in his usual low key and unassuming way.

But then we had the disastrous 6-1 defeat at Leyton Orient in pre-season, and if that wasn’t a sign that Newcastle would be relegated what was – or so the “football experts” were telling us.

Then the games started in the league in early August and Newcastle were 1-0 down at WBA in their first game, but surprisingly came back in the second half to draw the game 1-1 with a more than decent second half come-back.

And that was the only game Newcastle didn’t win in August, and the side has gone from strength to strength since then, with only a few hiccups, which happens to all teams during a season.

With 23 wins and 80 points from their 38 league games so far Newcastle are on track to equal or better the 96 points Kevin Keegan’s side got. when they promoted as Champions back in 1993.

Newcastle have already beaten the clean sheet total of that side, when they had their 19th clean sheet at Doncaster Rovers on Tuesday night.

But the personalities of the two managers could hardly be more different, with Chris  Hughton shunning the limelight and asking the Newcastle faithful to applaud and thank the players, and not him.

But if this had been Alan Shearer in charge of the side, many in England would be shouting about a new top England manager in the making.

But maybe the low key, common sense decency of Chris Hughton is exactly what the club has needed and the news about Newcastle is made on the field of play these days.

And even when isn’t, like the confrontation last weekend beween StevenTaylor and Andy Carroll, Hughton gets his players to circle the wagons and the drama dies down quickly.

The bad news about the confrontation broke the last Tuesday morning, but Newcastle still won a tough game at Doncaster that night, and Andy Carroll scored a great winner.

You cannot make this stuff up.

But if Newcastle do indeed get promoted, many Newcastle fans are now willing to trust Chris as manager next season in the Premier League.

And indeed in our poll,  71 % of readers want him to remain as manager at Newcastle United next season if we do get promoted – that poll is still open on our home page, if you haven’t yet voted.

It seems to us that Chris Hughton is just the manager Newcastle needed this season, and he’s done one terrific job for the Newcastle United club under some very tough circumstances.

Comments welcome.

6 comments so far

  • magpie6699

    Mar 28, 2010 at 9:54 AM

    Comment #1

    My admiration for Hughton has increased as the season has worn on – I was one of many who would have far rather had someone else – Shearer or even someone like Alan Curbishley. I always considered him a man of calm integrity and a good influence – but whatever complaints there have been about his style of management or his tactics you cannot argue with the results so far.
    I’m not taking promotion for granted at all – I will be on edge and on valium until we are mathematically sure! – but if you had told me at the start of the season that we would have 80 points at this stage, be certain to be in the play-offs, and have a 10 points / game in hand / better GD cushion I would have thought you were a total nutter!

  • ginkoh

    Mar 28, 2010 at 10:10 AM

    Comment #2

    Even if CH is not good enough manager for PRM competition, he deserved to get chance to be our manager for next season at least.

    What he’s done for us this season is just fantastic !

  • Charlietoon

    Mar 28, 2010 at 10:36 AM

    Comment #3

    Lousie Taylor can suck em

  • The Entertainers

    Mar 28, 2010 at 10:37 AM

    Comment #4

    If you want to gag on your corn flakes this morning then, for no other reason than a few giggles (certainly not for decent journalisim) read todays article by our dear friend Louise Taylor in the The Observer / Guardian.

    The tone of the article is one of favour towards her name sake Steven over Andy ‘One Punch’ Carroll……..Now my problem is not one with her picking sides over these two clowns, who seem as bad as each other, but she then goes on to condem the gaffer and his handling of the incident (For me hes handled it better than any other manager has handled the never ending incident list in our history).
    She then suggest its time for Chris to move on and offers the names of Hughes and McClaren to replace him…………!!!

    Louise please have a word with your self, you take the prize for the worst bit of journalisim this year… far!

  • jtoon

    Mar 28, 2010 at 11:18 AM

    Comment #5

    unbelievable, i actually cant believe she gets away with it, she actually calls hughton ‘weak’ for allowing Carrol to play and not take taylors side. gotta say it takes a strong man to put aside personal differences and play the strongest team possible when needed, and trying to discredit hughton for the job hes done unifying a team that had no morale to put us in the position were in now is shameful, basically she can do one

  • Sav

    Mar 28, 2010 at 2:07 PM

    Comment #6

    If Taylor’s only got 14 months to run, then the contract negotiations over summer are inevitable. All he needs to say is ‘I wanna go’ and he’ll be sold. Nobody needs this aggravation and finger-pointing except perhaps, the Guardian, the Mail and the Sunday Sun who have had precious little bile to spread over the last 8 months.
    Chris Hughton’s calm and quiet demeanor and policy of giving nothing away is good for the club and bad for the gossips. Is this why the guy is being slandered? This story will only grow legs if we lend credence to it.

    For the record, here’s my position –
    Steve Taylor is to be lauded for not pressing charges and keeping quiet and I HOPE HE STAYS.
    Andy Carroll is too important to the club and has come on in leaps and bounds (literally) and I hope he calms down and I HOPE HE STAYS.
    The changing room at NUFC have maintained solidity, unity and dignified silence throughout this difficult season and over this incident in particular and I APPLAUD THEM FOR IT.
    Chris Hughton has done remarkably well in difficult circumstances treading between the fans’ dislike of his bosses and picking up a fragmented and demoralised squad in his own quiet way. His silence has paid dividends in the transfer market and I’m glad to do without the soundbites in favour of results. I HOPE HE STAYS.
    If any of them want to go, they want to go, but how about a survey to see just who believes this crap and who wants Carroll, Taylor and Hughton to stay at the club.
    C’mon, Ed!


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