Just How Good Is Newcastle Manager Chris Hughton?


It’s probably fair to say that the performance of manager Chris Hughton as the Newcastle manager over the last 14 months, has surprised a number of Newcastle fans – a lot.

Chris Hughton – just how good is the Newcastle manager?

Chris didn’t fair too well in our relegation season when he took over first team duties from the departing Kevin Keegan, and then from Joe Kinnear, after Joe suffered his heart problems a a year last February.

So when Mike Ashley appointed Chris just before training started for the Championship season,  a few days before before July 1st last year,  Newcastle fans were underwhelmed – and that’s being kind.

The Newcastle club was in the worst state they had been in for many many seasons, and in the English second division too.

But Chris had a magnificent first season in charge of the team,  and yes, that was great, but we also knew it wouldn’t be so easy back with the big boys – like Chelsea for example.

Newcastle have made a fine start to the season,  and are even getting some good press for some of their results – most notably the 6-0 home win against the impressive Aston Villa, and last night’s rather amazing 4-3 win at PL Champions Chelsea, in the Carling Cup.

The Newcastle team seem to be able to carve out chances, almost at will, and the first goal last night had Newcastle passing the ball around about 20 times before 19 year-old  Shane Ferguson put over the cross that Nile Ranger scored from to level the scores at 1-1.

So the football is not too bad – not too bad at all, and we wonder – just how good can Chris Hughton become as manager of Newcastle United?

Of course his contract runs out next summer, but more results like last night, which has to be one of Newcastle’s  best results for many seasons, and Mike Ashley should have no trouble in keeping both Chris and Colin Calderwood at the club for a few more years.

Chris hardly fits the profile of the usual Newcastle manager, since he’s not outspoken, his personality is one of withdrawal and deflecting any praise to his players – so Newcastle fans are not used to people like Chris.  But people like Chris are really the salt of the earth – we know that too – somehow intuitively – that he’s a good man.

To his credit, Hughton has created a fabulous team spirit on Tyneside, as was witnessed again last night in full measure, when Newcastle overcame a number of adversities to finally get the job done – and at Stamford Bridge too.

We don’t really know how good this Newcastle squad can become.

But what we do know is they are becoming more and more professional as a team under Chris Hughton’s guidance, and we could even be the surprise team in the Premier League this season.

But some of Chris’ down to earth thinking is also rubbing off on us, and we are not going to get carried away one little bit with the success of the last couple of games, and the next job for the side is to get all 3 points on Sunday afternoon – it’s just that simple.

No doubt Chris will be pummeling that into the players, over the next couple of days, that  a win on Sunday afternoon is vital for at least two good reasons – and maybe even three.

One is that last time out against Blackpool the 2-0 defeat was embarrassing, and the Newcastle fans deserve a much better performance on Sunday afternoon.

The second reason is that Stoke City in the corresponding fixture two years ago, came back from 2-0 down at half time, to snatch a 2-2 draw in the second minute of injury time, through former player Abdoulaye Faye, and those two points lost at the death, could have saved Newcastle from relegation.

And if the players need a third reason – it’s that the more points we can pick up before the end of the year, the better chance we will have of not even being involved in a relegation struggle this season, and that would be a tremendous success for Newcastle United this first season back with the big boys.

I’ve always been proud of Newcastle United – but never quite as much as I was last night,  because the lads were simply magnificent – in every sense of the word – and they were a credit to our famous club.  And it certainly seems that Chris has some of the characteristics of the great managers.

One example last night was when Shola Ameobi had just scored what looked like the winning goal in the 90th minute, and the referee announced, rather amazingly, there would be 6 minutes of added time.

The TV cameras showed Chris, and he was standing on the touchline, seemingly as cool as a cucumber, in what was close to being one of Newcastle’s greatest results for years, and certainly his best result yet as the Newcastle manager.

That coolness and professionalism he shows all the time, has simply transformed the Newcastle squad, and they now seem to know how to get wins out of  the most difficult of circumstances.

To say that is a compliment indeed for this current Newcastle squad, and again we wonder just how strong is it?

But we’ll echo what Chris will be saying very shortly – we need a win on Sunday afternoon and that’s the only things that matters right now.

Oh yes, and the Chelsea win is gone – it’s over – it’s now history.

But great history for Newcastle fans.

Comments welcome.



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22 comments so far

  • toonster88

    Sep 23, 2010 at 6:42 PM

    Comment #1

    i must be honest,i did crticse him alot,i still do,but maybe its because im tryin to keep him in the same rank as bobby robson or kevin keegan…(he could be one day who knows).maybe its the pain of being in the championship that still lingers.but then when everyone abandoned us it was CH who ‘lifted’ us.so for all my previous critism..im sorry…last nite proved CH is THE MAN

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  • chrisf30

    Sep 23, 2010 at 6:47 PM

    Comment #2

    harper out 3 months.

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  • toonarmy1986

    Sep 23, 2010 at 7:00 PM

    Comment #3

    he has done a great job and is slowly making people eat humble pie. The one I like more than anything he gives the media nothing to go on what so ever which means we aren’t making headlines for the wrong reasons any more. Credit where credit is due for Hughton and perhaps Ashley deserves some as well because he has saved this club more than we probably realise and has backed Hughton in the last two transfer windows.

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  • davis_toons

    Sep 23, 2010 at 7:08 PM

    Comment #4

    Still recalling from the season when Chris Hughton took charge of some games as an assistance, whenever he tried to sub in Shola i know we are going to lose the match.

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  • moonraker

    Sep 23, 2010 at 7:14 PM

    Comment #5

    I have recently criticised CH, particularly on team selection and substitutions, but he gets all the credit for revitalising Newcastle United when we were seemingly doomed.

    It’s fantastic and the signings brought in have made everyone sit up and take notice.

    What is also amazing is how many people are saying again that NUFC is “their favourite club” like they used to when KK was here.

    I aint been this optimistic and excited about our prospects for years.

    If we keep our feet on the ground we could win silverware this season or in the very near future!

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  • nicolnj

    Sep 23, 2010 at 7:18 PM

    Comment #6

    silverware? we already won the league last season! =)

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  • rwpoynter

    Sep 23, 2010 at 7:24 PM

    Comment #7

    CH is doing a great job, the real problem is that other clubs are going to come fishing for him. This we do not need ,so Mike Ashley and you are doing allright yourself, give him a good deal soon. As for CH, the one player who seems to get more flak than anyone on this blog is Shola, but everytime CH plays him he seems to come up trumps. He does appear to be appallingly pedestrian at times, but the guy delivers the goods with amazing frequency. Even if he is not first choice, we must keep him.

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  • toonster88

    Sep 23, 2010 at 7:25 PM

    Comment #8

    on another note…liverfool manager hodgson..does anyone also think he looks like ‘fowler’ from the movie chicken run

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  • GeordieGerman

    Sep 23, 2010 at 7:40 PM

    Comment #9

    Could imagine with players with big egos like Owen, Given, Butt ect. CH as caretaker wouldn’t have much to say.

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  • JP...from The Rock

    Sep 23, 2010 at 7:41 PM

    Comment #10

    Chris Hughton is a huge admirer of Sir Bobby and I am a huge admirer of Chris Hughton and Sir Bobby (RIP). He is clearly moulding the team to an exciting potent force to be reckoned with. Not many teams will be coming to St James thinking it will be a dodgy defense and an easy 3 points, not any more they won’t. Many teams will find it a daunting trip up north and will be thinking it’s 3 points less against us. They will be fearing our determined group of lads that wear their hearts on their sleeves every match. They will also fear a certain play-maker and ‘wizard’ that goes by the name of Ben Arfa. All that is down to one man and one man only. CH is not only a good and calm coach that is always professional, he has a great eye for a bargain and possesses all the qualities to become our best manager and a legend for our great club. CH is also an expert in lifting spirits and preparing the troops minds for the battles that lie ahead. To me CH is the complete package, whether Fat Mike knew all this when he appointed him is up to debate. But if I see Fat Mike one day I will shake his fat hand and buy the bugger a pint ‘cuz it could be that he has found the diamond in the dirt in CH that will take us back to the glory days. Silverware could be ours in not too many years from now.

    In my eyes Chris Hughton has brought The Entertainers back to town. A mention goes out to Colin Calderwood for his help too of course.

    Chris Hughton YOU ARE THE MAN.

    Ps..this Newcastle team these days are really making me proud too, lets keep it going.

    HOWAY THE LADS!!

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  • yiannis-greece

    Sep 23, 2010 at 8:19 PM

    Comment #11

    CH is so good because he never buy players like OWEN MARTINS VIDUKA e.t.c

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  • BeeGuy

    Sep 23, 2010 at 8:55 PM

    Comment #12

    Ch has turned the corner on this manager bit, and seems fully reconciled to it. To me, he has prepared the team to its best (or developing) abilities, and has a game plan which the players understand and attempt to carry out. With those tasks accomplished, he can sit back and watch the play and tinker with his substitution decisions as conditions demand. No ranting & raving needed, as all roles and players are in place. It is here we go and let’s see how it turns out.
    CH remionds me in some respects to the great Pittsburgh Steeler coach, Chuck Noll. He was a great example of pride in preparation and poise under fire. Won him 4 Super Bowls as well.

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  • Bucks mag

    Sep 23, 2010 at 9:02 PM

    Comment #13

    Great article Ed.

    CH is the bee’s knees.

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  • atom

    Sep 23, 2010 at 9:34 PM

    Comment #14

    He is good enough to keep us fickle lot at bay at least another week.

    Just archive some of the posts from late last Summer after he was appointed- it was not pretty. Now compare that to now. That is how good Hoots is.

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  • G

    Sep 23, 2010 at 10:33 PM

    Comment #15

    I gotta put my hand up here and admit I was one of the biggest mouths about shouting off why I didn’t want CH as boss. I wanted the big name Italian / Spanish / German manager. I also didn’t want CC there because of the ‘players revolt’ during his time at Notts Forest. I have to now eat my double helping of humble pie with extra cream because regardless of how things go from this point, both CH and CC have more than surpassed my expectations. I agree that we should give him a few quid extra a week just to keep the vulture’s from circling when they need a new manager.

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  • baro

    Sep 24, 2010 at 12:38 AM

    Comment #16

    I have a lot of respect for the Gaffer Chris Hughton. He is such an good man. Trys to do the best out of the least. Really deserves a contract extension. The thing i love most about him is how he keeps the team spirit so high for us. Its what wins you matches.

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  • Brutooon

    Sep 24, 2010 at 2:22 AM

    Comment #17

    His signings so far was 10/10 (including the price we pay them)

    If he keep smith at the bench forever then i would love him

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  • darthkir

    Sep 24, 2010 at 2:25 AM

    Comment #18

    i like him when it comes to man management aspect, but his not a good tactician in my book…

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  • Thump

    Sep 24, 2010 at 5:22 AM

    Comment #19

    He isn’t a great tactician, but what manager is when they first step into the game? Let’s not forgot what Brian Clough said: “Players lose you games, not tactics. There’s so much crap talked about tactics by people who barely know how to win at dominoes.”

    I had feelings last season when results were going our way (and massively) that I had a good feeling about Hoots. I even said at one point that he could very well be England’s future manager or perhaps an even greater credit to him – the future Joe Harvey for us.

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  • stopper

    Sep 24, 2010 at 10:21 AM

    Comment #20

    For me the thing about CH is that he has tapped into our region and the football mind of the supporters of our club as did KK before him. CH understands us unlike the baffoons before him like Ruud Gullit, Graeme Souness, Sam Allerdice and not to mention JFK

    CC who is a southerner has taken our club to his heart and joins a long list of none geordies to had done so like Malcolm Macdonald, Bobby Moncur, Rob Lee, Les Ferdinand, Gary Speed and John Beresford to name but a few.

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  • xfer

    Sep 24, 2010 at 11:29 AM

    Comment #21

    Proud of him tbh. What a season this has been so far despite the setback we had against Blackpool.

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  • choppaah

    Sep 24, 2010 at 4:30 PM

    Comment #22

    I have been thinking for a while now about CH and the more i see of him the more i think he has what it take we all how he has shown his managerial pottential just hope he is give time. no reason why we couldnt push into europe in 2 or 3 seasons we have good young players coming through and with chris mastering the transfer markets no problem. i see some manager of the month awards coming super work CH, and must say well done to MA too

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