Chris Hughton Promises Courage In Newcastle Team Selections

Chris Hughton  has made it clear today that the team is a lot more important than any one individual player.

Chris Hughton – promises to select players on merit

And Chris says he will have no hesitation in dropping some of his top Newcastle players to make way for the club’s new boys.

With Sol Campbell, Cheick Tiote and Ben Arfa all fit and ready to make their debuts, there will be pressure on Chris to at least give these players run-outs very soon.

Hughton has some selection decisions to make before tomorrow’s game with Blackpool,  but we fully expect him to field the same team that did so well at Wolves to get the point in our last game – although it will be a star studded bench – that will reflect just how strong the Newcastle squad has become thus summer.

Chris is a quiet man and soft-spoken,  but you have to add courage to that list of attributes, because he’s shown before that he will drop any player if his form is not good enough, and of course last year, when he was caretaker manager, he dropped Michael Owen because of poor form in training.

Chris talked this morning:

“There is no real need to change the team at the moment. We are on the back of what I thought was a good result at Wolves which could have been even better,”  “But what we have is three new players who will come into the squad and of course, give me things to think about.”

“At the moment there are no special reasons to change the team but I would not be worried about dropping any of our established players just because they are big personalities.”  “The important thing is you get the right balance – you pick a team to win a football match.”

“More important than any of that is come the last game of the season, that we are still in the Premier League and that we have had a good enough season.”  “How good that season will be will be determined by a lot of things but staying in the Premier League is more important than any individuals.”

“When I was caretaker manager I left out Michael Owen so I think I have proved I am not afraid of leaving out big names.”  “You pick a team for any given game and leaving out players is something that comes with the territory.”

Chris is a courageous guy, and he has created a tremendous team spirit at Newcastle, where the team and the results are all important, and as long as players realize that,  there should be no problems.

He also seems to have a good way of handling his players and there were reports early last season during that rather rough pre-season, that Joey Barton had stormed away after not being selected for a game.

But Joey eventually apologized to Chris for that, and Chris apparently handled the confrontation with supreme calmness in front of his players, and indeed Joey seems to have become a good team player since then – and also seems to admire Chris greatly as his manager.

But every player worth his salt wants to play,  so there will be disappointments of course, but Chris has significant skill in using his  squad very effectively, as he showed us all last season.

The good thing is that the Newcastle squad now seems so much stronger than it did on July 1st.

Comments welcome.

13 comments so far

  • benscott123123

    Sep 10, 2010 at 10:47 AM

    Comment #1

    I’m looking for to seeing the new players in action this weekend – how good is Tiote? I’d never heard of him until we signed him

  • Toon Sweden77

    Sep 10, 2010 at 10:59 AM

    Comment #2

    I have no idea about Tiote, never heard of him aswell. But in Houghton we trust..

  • Edd Case

    Sep 10, 2010 at 11:04 AM

    Comment #3

    That to me sounds like neither Sol, Tiote or Hatem will start.

    Shame, I was really looking forward to seeing Hatem on from the start especially.

    Perhaps wise though, given that I suspect it would be Routledge that would loose nhis place to Hatem and that might not do Routledge mcu good.

    In CH we trust…

  • Edd Case

    Sep 10, 2010 at 11:05 AM

    Comment #4

    *mcu = much

  • dutchy

    Sep 10, 2010 at 11:07 AM

    Comment #5

    Tiote had a great season last year, he was a rock in the Twente midfield. He just sat back, won balls back and then played it simple. And i think he got a couple goals too..

  • madman67

    Sep 10, 2010 at 11:16 AM

    Comment #6

    am the same as benscott nd sweden, b4 we signed him id never heard of tiote, but in CH we trust, like the expression toon sweden 😉

    fully expect a win this sat, am a little suprised with ur expecting ben arfa to start ed. if it aint broke , dont fix it…lol perhaps ch himself isnt sure who he will drop for ben, nd so its up to the players this sat. have also been v impressed with routeledge, last season nd this 1.

    grt position for the club tho, having these selection problems is what a big club should have. an abundance of talent is a most welcome headache, if u no wat i mean 🙂

    2-0 toon, HWTL

  • toonster88

    Sep 10, 2010 at 11:22 AM

    Comment #7

    madman67 i agree wit u 100%.much better to see a confused manager havin to choose from many talents then one that doesnt have any.make a 1st team and a second one.the only diff between them would be carroll.
    hwtl (a thousand times)….

  • battythepratty

    Sep 10, 2010 at 11:25 AM

    Comment #8

    Dont think any will start myself,think he will ease them in in the 2nd half.

  • cupiddstunt

    Sep 10, 2010 at 11:48 AM

    Comment #9

    Ed you say”But Joey eventually apologized to Chris for that, and Chris apparently handled the confrontation with supreme calmness in front of his players”

    In reading that I would guess that Joey made that same appology in front of the players, if that is the case that say’s a lot about the new found maturity in Mr. Barton.

    For a senior player to be appologising infront of the squad and especially the younger players, only goes to reinforce the position of the manager so if all is as reported then well done Mr. Barton for being man enough to appologise in public and well done Mr. Houghton for dealing with it so well.

    I am feeling more positive about the start of this season than I have in along while. 🙂

  • ToonLegend

    Sep 10, 2010 at 11:59 AM

    Comment #10

    I think we’ll win tomorrow just got a feeling Marlon Harewoods gonna be really up for this game and have a point to prove.
    but were playing well and in good form i think 2 or 3 -1 HWTL

  • Visten

    Sep 10, 2010 at 12:01 PM

    Comment #11

    I think we will be 2 goals to the good come the 65 minute when Chris will unleash Hatem on their tiring defence, god help them.

  • cupiddstunt

    Sep 10, 2010 at 12:19 PM

    Comment #12

    On a different note lifted these stats from Yahoo sport and they make interesting reading,


    There have been 17 goals scored in Blackpool’s three away games in all competitions in 2010-11.

    Andy Carroll scored in both games against Blackpool last season in the Championship.

    The Magpies have hit the target with 65 per cent of their shots, the best rate in the Premier League.

    Newcastle have allowed their opponents just five shots on target against them, fewer than any other side in the top flight this season.

    Blackpool have allowed their opponents more shots on target against them than any other side (22).

    Newcastle have picked up 10 yellow cards so far this season, more than any other team.

    Andy Carroll has fired in nine shots on target this season, more than any other player.

    Ian Holloway’s side have been caught offside 13 times, more often than any other side.

    Newcastle have won only three of their last 23 games at Premier League level.

    Joey Barton and James Perch have both been booked in each of their three Premier League matches this season.

    So if all goes as is then Blackpool should not be so tight at the back as they are trying to go all out attack which should allow our attack to flourish a bit and with our current strike rate and % on target things bode well to have something on the score sheet.

    Also as we have the current meanest defence in the prem for shots on target that is also looking good.

    My smile is getting bigger by the minute I just hope it stays that way this weekend

  • liamdee100

    Sep 10, 2010 at 2:14 PM

    Comment #13

    edd case- if anyone was to be left out of the starting eleven it should be jonas he was poor against wolves and never got involved in the game, routhledge on the other hand ran the show in my opinion although i stull do not believe houghton will change the side.


You must log in to post a comment.