I Owe Chris Hughton A Massive Debt – He’s A Top Bloke

Newcastle were after James Perch in January of 2010, when he was still at Nottingham Forest, but the versatile player was not available at that time, and we eventually brought him to Newcastle in the following summer, as we got back into the Premier League.

James Perch – transformed his Newcastle career

And of course James has a tough first season on Tyneside, and lost his first team starting place when Danny Simpson returned from his ankle injury in October of 2010,  and then James didn’t even make the American tour in July of last year.

But since then James has come on big time,  and he can play anywhere across the back four, and also in defensive midfield, and he’s put in some sterling performances for Newcastle this year.

James seems a big admirer of Chris Hughton, who returns to St. James” Park this afternoon with Norwich City, and this is what James had to say to the local press yesterday:

“He is a top bloke.” “You couldn’t meet a nicer fellow in football and I think that is why Newcastle did so well under him.”

“You get some managers who you cannot talk to, but I think if players came across Chris anywhere, they felt they could talk to him and approach him. He was just that kind of guy.”

“I do owe him a massive debt. If it wasn’t for him I wouldn’t have got my chance in the Premier League and I wouldn’t be here now.”

“I have to thank Chris and also Colin Calderwood for that. I can’t thank them enough for what they did for me. It was their input that changed my life.”

Indeed James has brought about a massive transformation in his career at Newcastle, and he’s now a top squad player at the club, and will probably play at right back this afternoon against Norwich City, in Danny Simpson’s continued absence through injury.

James has already played at center-back and in defensive midfield this season too, in his 6 appearances so far for Newcastle.

And by our reckoning this will be Perch’s 50th appearance for Newcastle, and we think he’s add a lot more appearances to that figure this season.

James has proved himself a top class professional at Newcastle, and he deserves enormous credit for the way he has turned things around for himself on Tyneside, after Chris Hughton brought him to the club.

Comments welcome.

13 comments so far

  • cyprus

    Sep 23, 2012 at 8:40 AM

    Comment #1

    On previous, Shola is a great supersub, 15-20 last minutes and he scares the opposition. In full games, he tends to disappear and, he is not a goalscorer, that’s a given. The Ba-Cisse partnership must come good, with both scoring and both being happy. There’s your challenge AP. Both should be willing (or forced) to play further back when needed, Rooney and RVP both do that. Of course, the problem starts with the midfield where we’ve lost every battle this year. They often drop way back to protect the defence, leaving a huge gap with the attackers… In short, tactically and in terms of sheer hard work, we are still lagging. Last year, statistically, we had the top two hardest working players in Guti and Yohan. Is that te case this year. In the middle, opponents always have acres of space to manoeuvre, whereas we’ve had opponents snipping at our heels the minute we get the ball.

  • cyprus

    Sep 23, 2012 at 8:44 AM

    Comment #2

    On Perch, he is not a RB! But he is a useful utility player who gives his all. He isn’t ever going to light up a game though. Shows character in that he stuck it out despite beginning howlers and fan abuse.

  • jawballsaswallwell

    Sep 23, 2012 at 8:45 AM

    Comment #3

    Turnaround indeed. I remember there was a strong suggestion at the time that Hughton was sacked because he insisted on buying Perch. Not considered an astute buy at the time and for quite some time after.

  • Marty-Toon

    Sep 23, 2012 at 8:55 AM

    Comment #4

    Perchy is the right pic of football today,not a winging little twat like a lot of others.
    He put in some terrible performances when he started but he put his heed down and worked hard.
    He doesn’t complain,he’s glad to put the shirt on.
    I think he’s an astute RB but a better DM

  • cyprus

    Sep 23, 2012 at 8:56 AM

    Comment #5

    Regarding our midfield: Anita doesn’t seem ready for the pace, so, for now RB is where he should be. We must find five useful, hard working bodies there, do we have that? Marveaux is the key, I think. I haven’t seen him play for us yet (no, last game he wasn’t playing, was he?) and I can’t think of a solid 5: Possibly this is ideal when all fit? Tiote,Guti, HBA, Cabaye, Ba or Cisse (interchangably).
    Of course, the above means no width, but Anita and Santon can play the ‘flying back’ role.

  • Marty-Toon

    Sep 23, 2012 at 8:57 AM

    Comment #6

    On Ben Arfa from last post
    I think he’s much better on the left than the right as he played a lot of Games there in France and got us several goals from there since he came

  • Marty-Toon

    Sep 23, 2012 at 8:59 AM

    Comment #7

    No width with Gutierrez and Ben Arfa in the side??
    What are u on?

  • Marty-Toon

    Sep 23, 2012 at 9:01 AM

    Comment #8

    5 In midfield I’d have Ben Arfa,Cabaye,Tiote,Gosling/Jonas ,Marveau

  • Marty-Toon

    Sep 23, 2012 at 9:03 AM

    Comment #9

    Santon could play RB and have Fergie at LB with Anita pushing up to midfield.
    One thing with him pushing up is his distribution of the ball would be better than Tiote

  • cyprus

    Sep 23, 2012 at 9:04 AM

    Comment #10

    The two you mention are my favourite players but they aren’t wingers. HBA doesn’t want that role, Guti can’t really cross. Wingers, as I meant it there, create width and pace, ruining defensive formations.

  • jawballsaswallwell

    Sep 23, 2012 at 9:09 AM

    Comment #11

    That’s a nice midfield 5, but I don’t think Gos would be threatening Guti for a place.

    Could also play Guti at fullback and Anita in a midfield 3 as long as Tiote is in there to do the holding and provide the bite. I’d quite like to see how those 3 would combine in central midfield, could be superb.

  • 89Norcal

    Sep 23, 2012 at 9:21 AM

    Comment #12

    Cyprus, missed you on last article,

    I was proposing this


    With Cab obviously pushing up center, and our Dembas running across each other (a system that Shola and Ba have mastered) while keeping them central to score goals.

    Since Ba is better on the ball under pressure, he should be behind Cisse so he can slot a pass through or find his own gap.

    I’m convinced 4-3-3 won’t be a long term solution, since Ba hates the wing almost as much as the bench, and Guti is not a proper winger to play opposite of Hatem.

  • 89Norcal

    Sep 23, 2012 at 9:23 AM

    Comment #13

    ^Swap Anita for Tiote


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