Newcastle United players have told the story of the Newcastle club’s terrific Championship-winning campaign of 2009-2010, which in our minds was still a miracle season – we still cannot quite believe what the lads achieved.
Chris Hughton – at the center of Newcastle’s terrific season
And in our book the key person that brought Newcastle back from the brink and back into the Premiership at the very first attempt, was the amazing and very understated Newcastle manager, Chris Hughton.
Chris was placed in temporary charge of the side just before pre-season training began, only because there was nobody else, once owner Mike Ashley has decided, although he never ever said it, that he didn’t want Alan Shearer as manager of the Tyneside club.
And it appears that the trip to Ireland became very important in the building up of the tremendous team spirit that was evident to all last season, as the lads battled it out in every single game.
Newcastle won an amazing 30 of their 46 total league games in the Championship and lost only four, and literally walked away with the Championship.
And the Newcastle players have looked back *** on those low times last summer when the club was up for sale and the gossip press was having a field day, making up bad news every day.
Kevin Nolan said:
“We all heard the rumours,” “There was a different one every day – there was another consortium taking us over.”
“And there was another manager coming in – it was just non-stop for the whole of pre- season.”
Kevin, along with other players like Alan Smith, Nicky Butt and Steve Harper were key in turning around a very bad situation last July, and by early September the lads had won 6 of their first 7 games, and literally didn’t look back.
Well in truth there was a wobbly time in October when we lost successive away games to Nottingham Forest and Scunthorpe United, but then Chris was appointed as the permanent manager and his side went on a 7 game winning streak to record the best start of any Newcastle United manager.
Goalkeeper Steve Harper talked about that dismal time last July:
“We went to Ireland and had a great week there.” “We were training three times a day.”
“Pre-season camps can be good when they’re done right – and this one was done well. “
“You’re together in a confined space, and a real bond was forged there.”
We cannot dwell much longer on last season of course (that’s a pity), because once the Premier League season gets going on August 14th, all attention will be on whether we can survive and maybe even do well next season.
We sure hope so.
*** Champions: Newcastle United Season Review 2009/10 is on sale now from club shops, and on general release from Monday.