There was the first report for a while yesterday, that the Newcastle manager Chris Hughton, was in danger of losing his job.
Chris Hughton – still has to prove himself in Premier League
But that’s what we all heard yesterday in the Daily Mail, that if Newcastle had been beaten by Wigan on Saturday, Chris would have been fired.
But the club has denied that yesterday, and we think that’s true, although we also believe that Chris still has to prove he is worth a long-term contract on Tyneside.
Since Mike Ashley took over the club we have had Sam Allardyce, Kevin Keegan, Joe Kinnear, Alan Shearer and Chris Hughton as managers at the club, with Chris filling in as caretaker manager between Keegan and Kinnear, and then again between Kinnear and Shearer.
Chris had about 10 games in charge as caretaker manager in our relegation season, and won only one game at WBA, and we think that’s firmly in Mike Ashley’s mind, and he still wants Chris to convince him he can manage successfully in the Premier League.
That’s one reason that Ashley has not extended Chris’ contract beyond next summer, when his current one runs out. Chris is probably one of the lowest paid managers in the PL this season with a reported salary of around £250K/year.
But 8 points from 8 games so far in the season is not too bad at all, and we’d be really worried if we had 2 or 3 points at this stage. If we were trying to get into Europe this season it would be disappointing, but we’re not – we are simply trying to survive.
The PL clubs are all grouped together at the start of the season, and there are only 6 points between last placed West Ham United and 6th placed WBA – so 15 clubs are within 6 points of each other right now.
One thing that we hope will become a big positive, is that the Mail story tells the players that Chris Hughton’s job at Newcastle may not be as secure as they thought, and that they will now sort themselves out a bit in training this week, dig in with that fantastic team spirit they have, and get a win for Chris at West Ham on Saturday afternoon.
That’s what we’d love to see, and have the lads show us they are good enough to stay in the Premier League this season, because that’s still a big doubt, given some of their performances at home this season.
We were not big fans of Chris when he was appointed 15 months ago, but we are now, and we like lots of things about this man, who seems so straight.
Chris Hughton is an honest gentleman first of all, and he has engendered the best team spirit we’ve seen at the club for many a year, and he knows what coaching is all about, and some of the performances of the side this season seem to suggest that Chris is by no means out of his depth in the Premier League.
We not only hope the rumor is completely false, but we hope this will spur on our players.
It’s hard to spur on Chris Hughton, because the man already works around the clock for the Newcastle cause – we know that.