Hughton And Calderwood Having Success At Birmingham

Its seems that Chris Hughton and Colin Calderwood are having some success at Birmingham.

Hughton and Calderwood – while at Newcastle

Chris had to wait about seven months after he was surprisingly sacked at Newcastle fourteen months ago,  before being appointed manager of Birmingham City.

That was after the Midlands club had been relegated under previous manager Alex McLeish, who surpisingly was appointed manager of Aston Villa last summer.

Why and how he got that job we have no idea,  but there’s nothing like failing in one job, and then getting a top job at a top club, and it was especially strange with it was Aston Villa – Birmingham’s bitter rivals.

Alex will be bringing his Aston Villa side to Newcastle on Sunday afternoon, and a win could see Newcastle keep their 5th place in the Premier League.

When Chris Hughton was appointed  at  Birmingham on June 21st last year,  he tried to get Colin Calderwood as his Assistant Manager, but Colin was still manager at Hibs and couldn’t take the position.

But when the former Newcastle Assistant Manager was fired by the Edinburgh club in early November, it was only a few weeks later that Chris had him team up with him at Birmingham, on November 24th.

Not only do the two work so well together, but they are also close frends.

They demonstrated how well they operate together when they took a down-and-out Newcastle side in July of 2009 following relegation, and had the Magpies promoted a short ten month later with a massive 102 points, 30 wins and only four defeats.

But it didn’t help Chris Hughton that Birmingham sold a lot of their good players in the summer, and those that didn’t go, like Liam Riadgewell for example, were sold last month.

Liam joined close neighbors West Bromwich Albion, and he had even interested Newcastle last August, on  the last  day of the summer transfer window.

So it’s hard to think Chris, who’s one of the real gentlemen in football,  could have them challenging at the top of the Championship, but that’s exactly where Birmingham are now.

They have jumped to 4th place, after winning five of their last six league games and hammering Leeds United 4-1 at Elland Road in their last game.

Birmingham have 46 points from their 27 games,  and a goal difference of 19 which is second only to Southampton in second place, and they are only 5 points short of an automatic promotion place.

That goal difference has been increased dramatically over the last six games with three wins of three goals and a 6-0 hammering of Milwall away from home.

In fact in the last six league games that goal difference has increased by +16, and that could be an extra point in a close promotion race.

Of course Chris and Colin will know quite a buit about the teams in the Championship after having such a good season there a couple of years ago with Newcastle, and could they get a second team promoted to the Premier League in a short two years?

We wouldn’t put it past them, and we’ll be watching that table, but it must be good for Birmingham fans to see their side come back to life,  after being relegated and losing a lot of their best players.

Here’s hoping that Chris and Colin can do it again and bring Birmingham City  to St. James Park next season – that would be terrific.

And Newcastle will get a chance to thank Chris (and Colin) for the great job he did on Tyneside, because with him going so suddenly we never really got that chance.

Comments welcome.

18 comments so far

  • Dannyo

    Feb 3, 2012 at 12:41 PM

    Comment #1

    Birmingham has lost 14 players since relegation, 14!!! Hughtons work is nothing short of amazing.
    U have to respect that, it’s a brillian achievement for them.

  • ilovetoon8788

    Feb 3, 2012 at 12:43 PM

    Comment #2

    Amazing work from Hughton.


    Feb 3, 2012 at 12:46 PM

    Comment #3

    Great man and one we should not forget also he has been brilliant for Birmingham considering the number of games they have played. Thanx Ed for putting this article up

  • Wor Shearer

    Feb 3, 2012 at 12:59 PM

    Comment #4

    Great managerial pair Hughton and Caldy!

    Most Prem teams would be lucky to have them.

  • AussieToon

    Feb 3, 2012 at 1:00 PM

    Comment #5

    A great man, and wow, what an effort. Huge respect.

  • jayphoto

    Feb 3, 2012 at 1:04 PM

    Comment #6

    hoots wasn’t given enough credit for getting us up last time around, people saying that our team should have walked the league anyway! Well birmingham is a very difficult job, hopefully he gets more praise this time around, he deserves it!

  • Wor Shearer

    Feb 3, 2012 at 1:04 PM

    Comment #7


    You can’t seriously want full game reviews…they’d go on for weeks each time mate!

    Decisions should be made in-game and it should be final. I can’t stand all the after game BS about charges and appeals and committees!

  • Rowan Milsted

    Feb 3, 2012 at 1:05 PM

    Comment #8

    I’ll always follow Hughton and wish him the best, what he did for us was amazing. I was shocked and outraged when we sacked him, not just because of the job he’d done but also because of the nature in which he was fired. That man brought stability and solidity when we needed it most and we owe much of our present success to the job Hughton and Calderwood did when we were at our lowest ebb in recent times. I should also add that MA did a great deed at that time too, by not selling too many of our best players and keeping a Premiership standard team alive in the Championship, thereby helping us get instant promotion.

    It looks like, as with many of MA’s controversial decisions, he may have got it right, though we’ll never know just how much of a difference Pardew has made and where we’d be now if we’d kept Hughton. But it’s obvious from how Birmingham are doing that he’s a very good, understated manager. Unlike us, Birmingham sold almost all their best players and were unable to afford the wage bills after going down, and the club suffered massively. Their fans have endured worse times than we did and I really thought they’d struggle this season. I’m so happy for Hughton that they’re doing so well and I wish them all the best. Saints, West Ham and Brum to go up? You never know…

  • mindshaft

    Feb 3, 2012 at 1:08 PM

    Comment #9

    Yup fair play to CH, has proved all those people wrong who were saying he didn’t do much at toon and that the players union of Barton, Nolan and co effectively ran the club

    Wish him well

  • veto

    Feb 3, 2012 at 1:16 PM

    Comment #10

    proud of chris , he will always get a fantastic welcome from geordies .

  • Spotlight Kid

    Feb 3, 2012 at 1:24 PM

    Comment #11

    Ed, you really have some nerve putting this article in given how instrumental your pro-Ashley, pro-sensationalist headline, revenue hungry blog was in hounding Hughton out. Your constant nigglings of his inexperience etc, even after he had single handedly saved the club from dropping into ignonomy as the hapless Ashley put his head in the sand and vanished after relegation were miserable – as I said several times.

    Chris was treat real shabby, no doubt by fickle owner, fickle fans and fickle blogs alike after his miraculous Pied Piper act. Hughton’s football style was tidy and effective – and at times expansive and exciting, but still capable of grinding out results. He should have backed to the hilt, he wasn’t even allowed an assistant to take the weight off.

    He remains the best man NUFC had in the job since Sir Bobby, and will be seen as one of the finest British managers of his generation, and I sincerely hope the Blues do his talking loud and clear on the pitch when they next visit the aptly named Sports Direct Arena.

    Thankfully, Birmingham fans (and blogs) immediately recognized the real deal when they saw it, and embaced Hughton’s style of play and his subsequent achievements in Europe and the league, especially after losing 20 players over the Summer.

    Meanwhile Toon fans & blogs are still pondering on Stork vs Butter – alas – and will be doing so for decades to come. Truth is the Toon fans didn’t deserve such a brilliant manager – and once the current Pardew bubble bursts will be back to the boo-hiss manager-go-round again (remember Roeder qualified for Europe as well…).

    And yes after over 40 years man and boy supporting NUFC I am now much happier following Birmingham City instead.


  • Rowan Milsted

    Feb 3, 2012 at 1:45 PM

    Comment #12

    Spotlight kid

    Wow. Some strong words there. I know where you’re coming from in that Hughton’s treatment was shabby, but I think you go way too far and that some of things you say make no sense.

    ‘Ed, you really have some nerve putting this article in given how instrumental your pro-Ashley, pro-sensationalist headline, revenue hungry blog was in hounding Hughton out’.

    This blog will never be instrumental in changing anything at NUFC – it’s a blog. And Ed put many headlines up at the time; one if fact had a tinge of dismay at the prospect of losing Hughton, which I commented on in some length. Ed has a duty to reflect all sides of an argument, eg pointing out what Hughton did well and also what he might lack. Also, Ed is just another fan with an opinion, same as us. you may not agree with him but he has the right to have the ‘nerve’ to do it.

    ‘Truth is the Toon fans didn’t deserve such a brilliant manager…’.

    I think you’ll find that Toon fans, who support the team through thick and thin, through relegation and possible European qualification, through stadium name changes and horrible banana-coloured away kits, are amongst the very best fans in the world and deserve every bit of success the club can muster. It wasn’t fans who sold the stadium naming rights or sacked Hughton. We just support the team. Finally:

    ‘And yes after over 40 years man and boy supporting NUFC I am now much happier following Birmingham City instead’.

    Well then good luck to you. But if you’ve switched your support to Birmingham for the sake of a manager then you’re clearly more ‘fickle’ than the rest of us.

    Why so much hatred when Ed puts a nice article up that draws decent, respectful comments from out fans?

  • Lynxie

    Feb 3, 2012 at 1:55 PM

    Comment #13

    Spotlight kid:

    I concur with Rowan, Ed has always tried to be unbiased and well balanced with his articles, apart from his love and swooning over Andy Carroll, and the mystery of the missing £35 million……
    So please wind your neck in about the revenue hungry nonsense, that is plain offensive to the bloke who places this blog.

  • Jonny

    Feb 3, 2012 at 1:55 PM

    Comment #14

    “Hughton’s football style was tidy and effective”

    I’m sure i and many others would beg to differ with this statement.

  • Lynxie

    Feb 3, 2012 at 1:59 PM

    Comment #15

    Spotlight kid:

    Your new Birmingham city strip will look good next to your 1970’s Liverpool, 1990’s Leeds utd, 2000 Man utd, and 2003 Chelsea ones. Your comments take glory hunting to a new dimension. Are you alsonow a Crawley town fan then you wazzuck?
    A supporter (a real one) does not bend with the wind you self righteous winker. Misprint.

  • KeeprightCroydOn

    Feb 3, 2012 at 3:41 PM

    Comment #16

    Hi Ed
    As a Birmingham fan, I really enjoyed reading your post – would have even if I were a neutral. Best to not get embroiled in what followed a post from an ex-Newcastle – now Birmingham fat – What’s that about?
    I can tell you that the mood among Birmingham fans has never been so good – that in spite of being relagated, losing all out best players and facing the threat of administration. Why? All because of CH. He’s on a rolling one year contract and if they tie him down long term, it’ll be the best signing they ever make.
    Thanks again Ed, and good luck with your match tomorrow against our old enemy!

  • BluenoseSid

    Feb 3, 2012 at 5:14 PM

    Comment #17

    We Blues fans aren’t surprised that Chris Hughton is held in such high regard by Toon fans. He has only been with us a short time, but has already earned a place in our hearts – both for the job he is doing and the way that he is doing it.
    Some contributors have recognised the utter mess BCFC were in after relegation. To be honest, the mess is getting deeper and the smell from the Boardroom is getting more pungent as every week goes by. But through it all, Hughton and the team are performing something close to a miracle. Not only did we enjoy a magnificent Europa League campaign without it affecting our League form, we have climbed into the higher reaches of the Chumpionship and threatening to look like real promotion contenders. And we are doing this not with the kind of dull, drab and unimaginative game plans that Steve Bruce and Alex McLeish found so irrestible, but with style, flair and panache.
    I am pleased that Pardew is doing a good job for you, but even more pleased that we have you “cast-off” ex-Manager, who is already approaching “legend” status at St Andrews.

  • swoopingmagpie

    Feb 3, 2012 at 7:31 PM

    Comment #18

    I can’t speak highly enough of Chris for the work he put in at the Toon and if I was given a choice between Pardew and Chris, I would choose Chris every time. One of the reason’s for making such a choice is integrity and sincerity – that is an essential ingredient in building a great team; he will inspire loyalty in his players and build a lasting ethos of commitment in a team Pardew on the other hand is a YES man who is willing to work within the constraints of an owner who can be wilful and dishonest in his dealings with people. When all in said and done when we come to the end of our life what are the things we want our families to remember about us; that we made a million, or that we were honourable men; in this respect Chris Huyton wins the contest hands down. I shall always carry good thoughts with me about that man when I think of football and the Toon.


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