As everybody seemed to be reporting yesterday, former Newcastle manager Chris Hughton has been appointed the new manager at relegated Birmingham City.
Chris Hughton – with the Championship Trophy last summer
His brief is to win promotion back to the Premier League for the Midland’s club next season, which was his one and only brief at Newcastle, when he took over in the summer of 2009, following the club’s dire relegation to the Championship.
And on Sky Sports today, the Birmingham fans seemed to be happy enough with Hughton’s appointment, and they all said he will play a lot more attacking football than Alex McLeish ever did – but of course that’s not saying much.
We are big fans of Chris because he;s a good man, and will give everything he has to Birmingham – just like he gave everything to Newcastle while he was manager.
Chis was always the first one to arrive in the morning, and the last one to leave at night, at the Benton Training grounds while he was manager, and of course he’s an excellent coach and gets the very best out of his players, there’s just no doubt about that.
And another former Newcastle manager, Sam Allardyce, has said he doesn’t want to sound too arrogant, but with all his massive experience, he expects to get West Ham back to the Premier League at the first attempt next season.
And Sam also told Sky Sports he had given up the Premier League to take over the chance to manage West Ham, so he was taking a chance.
‘We just hope West Ham fans will now know just how great big Sam is – and if they don’t he seemed to be anxious to ensure the Hammers fans received an education about their new manager, on Sky Sports late this afternoon.
Sam was always his own biggest fan of course, but he’s a good personality too, and in truth he’s not a bad manager at all, and joking aside, we wish him all the best.
On the Birmingham web-site this is what The Blues said today about Chris:
Following productive talks with the former Newcastle United boss, acting chairman Peter Pannu felt that Hughton was the perfect candidate to take charge at St. Andrew’s and he is now looking forward to sharing the new man’s ambition. Pannu was particularly impressed by Hughton’s vision and footballing theories of garnering youth and playing attractive and effective football.
Hughton started his coaching career at Tottenham Hotspur where he served under a host of vastly-experienced managers before moving to Newcastle in February 2008 as part of Kevin Keegan’s staff.
Following a series of spells as caretaker manager at the north-east outfit, Hughton eventually took over the reins permanently in October 2009 having made the best start to a season in Newcastle’s history. Hughton successfully led the Magpies to promotion back to the Barclays Premier League at the first attempt before departing the club in December 2010.
London-born Hughton, who is held in high regard in the game for his tactical know-how and calm management style, spent the majority of his playing career at Spurs before spells at West Ham United and Brentford.
The former full-back also won over 50 caps for the Republic of Ireland, and went on to work as assistant manager for his national side under Brian Kerr between February 2003 to October 2005.
We wish Chris Hughton all the best in his new job, which is an excellent opportunity for Hughton, and wouldn’t it be something if Chris can guide Birmingham back to the Premier League at the first time of asking.
Those are successes that people in the game like Chris Hughton deserve – he’s the salt of the earth.
And to be fair to Sam, we’d like to see West Ham and Birmingham finish one and two next season, whatever the order, and both come straight back up.
That’s exactly what happened when relegated clubs Newcastle and West Brom finished first and second in the Championship a year ago, after being relegated together the previous season.