When we look at how Newcastle have delayed offering Hughton a new contract, and have today jumped in and sacked him now – before he can make amends against Liverpool on Saturday – we have to think the club has already lined up a replacement.
Martin O’Neill – is this the new Newcastle manager?
And when you look at the managers out of work right now, two immediately come to mind in Martin O’Neill and Alan Curbishley, and since both were out of work in August, it figures that’s one big reason Mike Ashley delayed offering Chris a new contract for so long.
We have to think that Martin O’Neill could become a big favorite to join the club, and we expect an announcement of Newcastle’s new manager within 24 hours at most.
As Newcastle fans will remember we tried to get Martin to join the club in February of 2006, when Glenn Roeder was caretaker manager, but Martin refused to come to Tyneside.
Mike Ashley surely wouldn’t have sacked Chris Hughton and Paul Barron without having somebody lined up to replace them almost immediately – and it now makes sense why no Assistant manager was signed once Colin Calderwood left the club 7 weeks ago today.
We said this morning there would be no Assistant manager signed until Chris Hughton’s position on Tyneside was clarified, and at least we got that one right.
And when we reported that William Hill had closed all betting on Hughton being sacked, they must have known what was happening indie the club – somehow.
We suspect Mike wanted to appoint a good proven and experienced manager who happened to be available early in the season, and probably had itchy feet as Chris started so well this season, until 5 games ago.
Freddy Shepherd may have left Newcastle, but that hasn’t stopped Mike Ashley getting rid of his 5th manager on Tyneside – Sam Allardyce, Kevin Keegan, Joe Kinnear, Alan Shearer and Chris Hughton have all been full time managers of Newcastle since Ashley bought the club in the summer of 2007.
And this will be a total and complete shock to the Newcastle players, and we have no idea what will now happen to team spirit at the club, which of course was pathetic in our relegation season.
But one cause of the dismissal has to be that they just didn’t turn up for the game yesterday and were completely hopeless – they let their manager down badly, and he has paid for that with his job today.
There’s something wrong with that somehow.