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This Is A Worrying Comment From Chris Hughton

9:54 am, Saturday, July 9th, 2016 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 66 Comments

Former Newcastle manager Chris Hughton has quite a bit of management experience in the Championship and was unlucky last season not to get his latest club Brighton & Hove Albion promoted.

Chris will be at St. James’ Park again in the coming season although in April and May we were hoping that would be with both clubs in the Premier League.

But it didn’t turn out that way and it was bad news for both Newcastle and Brighton that both clubs are in England’s second division.

chris hughton colin calderwood

Chris Hughton and Colin Calderwood at Brighton

Chris (along with assistant manager Colin Calderwood) will get a huge welcome on Tyneside when he brings his Brighton side to St. James’ Park on 27th August and he will deserve it.

Chris still hasn’t received the full credit he deserves for the way he brilliantly managed the team seven years ago and got us promoted from the Championship in 2010 with a massive 102 points and 30 wins.

His reward was to get fired in early December of that year, with Managing Director Derek LLambias being the main instigator of that daft decision.

We respect Chris’ opinions and when he says Newcastle will find it hard this season down below – that’s a cause for concern.

This is what Chris said last week in the local Brighton paper – The Argus:

“I think Newcastle will find it hard because the league is hard.”

“Ritchie and Gayle are two Premier League players, but they know the Championship as well.”

“The impression I get straight away from their purchases is they are buying to get promotion from the Championship.”

“They have bought two very good players and because of the financial clout they have, I expect them to buy well for the Championship.”

“And however hard they find it,  one thing is guaranteed, it will be a tough place to go. I expect them to have a good season.”

“Rafa Benitez is a well-traveled manager and a very good manager. Even though he hasn’t experienced it, he’ll know what the Championship is like.”

“He’s very good at what he does. Rafa Benitez sets his teams up very well and I think that will be a plus in this division. He is just going to have to do that more often than he is used to, with the volume of games.”

“I think he’ll cope because he is an adaptable manager. They are entitled to be favorites and I’d be very surprised if the two players they have just signed are the only players they bring in.”

“I think they’ll have a real go at getting out of this division.” “The favorites will be determined by the end of the summer transfer window and what work they’ve done.”

“If Villa bring in several players to do the same they will be on the same level. Both of them will be very difficult places to go.”

“It lifts the profile of the Championship when you have got Newcastle and Villa in particular, no disrespect to Norwich.”

Most of that is positive from Chris apart from that first sentence.

We still think people are under-rating Rafa’s ability as a manager to handle a long tough season in the Championship.

Rafa’s teams often play close to 60 games  a season, because they are nearly always  in Europe – like Valencia, Liverpool, Inter-Milan and Naples.

chris hughton colin calderwood

Chris Hughton and Colin Calderwood at Newcastle

So Rafa is used to playing lots and lots of games in a season and using his squad appropriately.

So we are not sure Rafa himself will find it that tough – although he is not a person to take anything for granted.

It would be good if both Newcastle and Brighton can be in the Premier League next May.

Comments welcome.

Tags: Championship · Coaching · Newcastle News · Other News · Premier League · Press

66 responses so far ↓

  • 1 scout // Jul 9, 2016 at 10:12 AM

    Hughton saying Benitez will COPE in the Championship haha. You couldn’t polish his shoes son. Ill always have a warm welcome for Hughton after what he done for us but come on get a grip.

  • 2 cousto // Jul 9, 2016 at 10:13 AM

    misleading heading

  • 3 Slank // Jul 9, 2016 at 10:15 AM


    It ain’t worrying it’s realistic from someone who probably knows more about the Championship and Newcastle than any others in that league.

  • 4 expatmag // Jul 9, 2016 at 10:16 AM

    More to the point, I think it is Hugton who us worried or else why comment on a club ither than his own.

    Feebke attempt at reverse psychology

  • 5 welshgeordie9 // Jul 9, 2016 at 10:23 AM

    moaning about our new signings, ffs, been crap in past Windows because we’ve been targeting players from the French league that either haven’t put the work rate and effort in, moved on to bigger clubs and failed miserably or still here moaning about how good they are and should be playing champions league football.

    Benitez have signed players who have got better work rate, much better than the French players we have got or had and not up their own backsides either.

  • 6 rossrich // Jul 9, 2016 at 10:25 AM

    Seems to me he’s just stating the obvious. It is going to be tough. Not really worrying comments.

  • 7 Ruddy Marveaux-lous // Jul 9, 2016 at 10:46 AM

    Ed you don’t need click bait we already come to the page regardless.

    Obviously as a Championship manager with strong ties to Newcastle I think Chris is entitled to have an opinion on Newcastle. In fact he was probably asked to give his opinion on Newcastle by a journo so I don’t think he’s went out of his way to play mind games with Rafa.

    I think we may find the Championship a little tougher than when we were last in it in 2009/10 but still fancy us to walk it fairly easily. Looking forward to welcoming Chris Hughton back as I have a tonne of respect for the guy, treated awfully by MA at the time.

  • 8 JamesToon // Jul 9, 2016 at 10:47 AM


    Totally agree mate. People expecting us to sign bloody champions league players ffs they need to smell the coffee we are in the championship not the prem anymore

  • 9 funlovingexpress // Jul 9, 2016 at 10:48 AM

    Hanley is a mistake. He is not a good CB. I get it if we are bidding something like 2 million and want him as a squad player but if we are paying proper money then its a mistake.

    Hughton can’t exactly call the league an easy league now can he? People need to get some perspective on this.

    He has to please his own fans. Many clubs fans will be asking why their team arent investing in the same way to go for promotion.

    They need to cover their backs. They do this by saying how hard the league is. They have to look like they are doing a good job after all.

  • 10 Big Archie // Jul 9, 2016 at 10:51 AM

    “Chris still hasn’t received the full credit he deserves for the way he brilliantly managed the team seven years ago and got us promoted from the Championship in 2010 with a massive 102 points and 30 wins”


    Harper, Colocini, Enrique, Nolan, Williamson, Barton, Guthrie, Routledge , Duff, Simpson, Taylor, Smith, Jonas, Best, Butt Ameobi, Carroll, Lua Lua, Krul, Saylor.

    John Carver and Joe Kinnear could have brought that team straight back up.

    No manager at all would have done it.

  • 11 Veltmann // Jul 9, 2016 at 10:56 AM

    Now Rotonda will be here,reverting to type and telling us how good Hughton is and how awful Pardew is..

  • 12 welshgeordie9 // Jul 9, 2016 at 10:56 AM


    I rather have hard working players like Gayle and Ritchie for example than one trick ponies like Cabella and thauvin.

  • 13 JamesToon // Jul 9, 2016 at 11:03 AM


  • 14 JamesToon // Jul 9, 2016 at 11:04 AM


    It’s not even that mate, Richie has everything Cabella has plus the work rate determination and everything else.

    Anyone thinking Hanley will be added as a CB option with Hayden potentially replacing Tiote?

  • 15 jazzyp // Jul 9, 2016 at 11:04 AM


    Its easy to say that now RE Thauvin and Cabella, Simply because they were a failure. At the time the Nufc fans were buzzing because of the supposed calibre of players coming in. The same can be said for the current crop of incomings

  • 16 welshgeordie9 // Jul 9, 2016 at 11:05 AM

    You beat me to it.

    Lee Ryder ?@lee_ryder
    Cisse joins Shandong Luneng in the Chinese Premier League #nufc

  • 17 Yo-yo // Jul 9, 2016 at 11:05 AM


    Totally agree that Rafa respects players with high work rate and commitment as much as their technical abilities. We have had our fair share of prima donnas who turn up when they feel like it, but are world class on their day and look where we are.
    Leicester, Wales, Iceland all show that a team is more than the sum of its players and football is a team not an individual game. Moments of magic by such and such a player are great but cannot happen every match and win us a league, unless all the players work as a unit.
    Our past amateur ‘managers’ were forced to rely on odd moments from HBA and their ilk when basics such as setting up the side, making sure we can pass to each other and move into space were ignored.

  • 18 Son of Geordie // Jul 9, 2016 at 11:06 AM

    Been a while between posts, glad that we have Rafa in charge. I am sad that it took a relegation for Mashley to change his tact on how to run the club, but hey it has happened, and we now have a manager back in charge so some good has come of it.

  • 19 jazzyp // Jul 9, 2016 at 11:06 AM

    All the best Papisse. Another player that has overstayed in the team simply because of the lack of depth in the squad

  • 20 welshgeordie9 // Jul 9, 2016 at 11:07 AM


    Yeah i get that, I think Benitez is very good judging players before he signs them unlike our previous managers.

  • 21 welshgeordie9 // Jul 9, 2016 at 11:11 AM

    Just been thinking why leave cisse go before rivière, so with Armstrong might be going out on loan.

    Rivière (Ffs)

    Need to replace cisse.

  • 22 Average_Contents // Jul 9, 2016 at 11:12 AM

    Good luck Cisse. I’ll never forget some of those memorable goals you scored after we signed you. Magnificent.

    Shame you got stifled being played on the wing.

  • 23 nut meg // Jul 9, 2016 at 11:13 AM

    Hayden has already passed his medical!!

  • 24 Ruddy Marveaux-lous // Jul 9, 2016 at 11:13 AM

    I foresee more blood letting and that’s only a good thing. We’ve managed to get rid of the likes of Saylor, Obertan, Marv, Colo and Cisse, now all we need is to rid ourselves of the likes of Riviere, Sissoko, Janmaat and Gini and we’ll have a good core of players to build from.

  • 25 Shadow_Shearer // Jul 9, 2016 at 11:14 AM

    Ohhh yesss! Good news, cisse is packing his bags for China. That’s 40 grand off the wage bill, to a player who contributes very little to linking the midfield with attack.

    Also colo 60 grand off the wage bill.

  • 26 JAMSHA // Jul 9, 2016 at 11:14 AM

    gr8 cisse of, now plzz gufo n rivere out

  • 27 Ruddy Marveaux-lous // Jul 9, 2016 at 11:15 AM

    Cisse went on a lucky streak and was stifled by the fact he’s a shit striker.

  • 28 JamesToon // Jul 9, 2016 at 11:17 AM


    Not sure about that, yes everyone were backing the signings more because we had to as we’d spent good money on them, but think nearly everyone had their concerns over whether they’d adapt, and the fact that they weren’t proven in the premier league

  • 29 welshgeordie9 // Jul 9, 2016 at 11:17 AM

    Ruddy Marveaux-lous

    What about gourffran and thauvin.

  • 30 Ruddy Marveaux-lous // Jul 9, 2016 at 11:19 AM

    It was a non-exhaustive list, if I was being ruthless I’d get rid of the likes of Anita, Tiote and Dummett as well.

    But yeah I’d flog Gouffran and Thauvin as well.

  • 31 Son of Geordie // Jul 9, 2016 at 11:19 AM

    Mclaren and Charley’s wasteful spending on transfers last season was a disgrace. They were totally out of their depth. No doubt charnley has survived termination due to Rafa standing by his side. Charnley will be scared to upset the apple cart now.
    Rafa seems to be doing a good job so far with transfers, I hope Gayle comes through with the goods, I am excited by having Jesus in our defence. Matt Richie is a quality player.

  • 32 welshgeordie9 // Jul 9, 2016 at 11:22 AM

    Going back to cisse, i wonder if Rafa is going to keep Armstrong now cisse has gone.

  • 33 Son of Geordie // Jul 9, 2016 at 11:24 AM

    Happy to see Colo go. He had his moments, sometimes unfairly maligned on the blog, other times fair cop.
    Rivière and cisse both need to go. Lots moe transfer business to come.

  • 34 Fostino // Jul 9, 2016 at 11:24 AM

    Hayden and hanley comes…Then janmaat and tiote can go. Goofy and riverie don’t make the grade either so space for a new no.9 ..Although only a good St warrants this position. The likes of vuckic..Sammy. .bigi will be moved out too. The squad is taking shape. We won’t be able to hold on to sissoko either unless we make him captain and vocal point of the team.

    A lb is still needed. Haidira not food enough

  • 35 welshgeordie9 // Jul 9, 2016 at 11:25 AM

    According to Sky Sports News, Cisse has gone for undisclosed fee, wonder how much.

  • 36 jazzyp // Jul 9, 2016 at 11:25 AM


    Feel free to go back through the past post’s years gone by mate. there was a lot of Optimism especially with Cabella.
    My point is That every signing is an unknown quantity buddy, No body knows if they are going to be a success or failure

  • 37 jazzyp // Jul 9, 2016 at 11:26 AM


    I would have hoped for around the 5 mill mark pal

  • 38 welshgeordie9 // Jul 9, 2016 at 11:28 AM


    Do think he will be replaced.

  • 39 YouCouldn'tMakeItUp // Jul 9, 2016 at 11:31 AM

    Cisse gone! (Just beat me to it, welshy).
    Fone nowt for ages now. Space in the squad for better players now.

  • 40 YouCouldn'tMakeItUp // Jul 9, 2016 at 11:32 AM


  • 41 Shadow_Shearer // Jul 9, 2016 at 11:32 AM

    It looks like isaac hayden will not be a loan deal, it will be permanent deal. Can’t see why somebody would go from arsenal to newcastle unless he’s guaranteed first team football from rafa.

  • 42 Shadow_Shearer // Jul 9, 2016 at 11:34 AM

    So much transfer news these days it’s exciting. That’s why i love rafa already.
    He’s still got a massive job sorting out the deadwood. Gouffy, Riviere saviet & possibly SDJ need to be seen to.

  • 43 jazzyp // Jul 9, 2016 at 11:35 AM


    The way this transfer window is going mate i would say yes.
    Rafa is definitely clearing the ranks and about time to. I thank Cisse for his time here but his last season was shocking.
    I can remember sitting in the stands and listening to the boos and abuse aimed towards Cisse at half time against Norwich last season, In which he never materialised after half time.
    Again as well against west ham away.

    We have had to many players at the club that are simply not good enough or there time has past.
    Hopefully Rafa is addressing that

  • 44 Fostino // Jul 9, 2016 at 11:36 AM


    Jesus lascalles mbemba Dummett

    Ritchie sissoko shelvey wini

    Gayle de jong

    Current best team. Still new players to come and current players to go

  • 45 welshgeordie9 // Jul 9, 2016 at 11:37 AM


    It could be permanent because he can play in so many positions, he could be a replacement for Janmaat, tiote, can he play left back, perhaps one of those could be leaving.

  • 46 Novocastrian66 // Jul 9, 2016 at 11:37 AM

    The Chronicle reckons the fee is around £5m

  • 47 Ruddy Marveaux-lous // Jul 9, 2016 at 11:38 AM

    Forgot to mention SDJ as part of the clear out. There’s no chance he’d make in the Championship.

    Apparently, according to Lee Ryder, there will be another big name departure this weekend. With Sissoko at the Euros I doubt it’ll be him, but if it’s Tiote, Gini, Janmaat or SDJ I’ll not be too disappointed.

  • 48 welshgeordie9 // Jul 9, 2016 at 11:40 AM


    This one have come out of the blue, there’s been nothing about cisse in the last couple of weeks, i don’t think, full of surprises is our boss.

  • 49 YouCouldn'tMakeItUp // Jul 9, 2016 at 11:40 AM

    Klinsman for England manager? Why do I find myself liking that idea?

  • 50 Son of Geordie // Jul 9, 2016 at 11:40 AM

    Transfers are now being handled as they always should have been. When a player is sold, there is every expectation that they will be replaced whilst strengthening the squad.
    Farewell cisse, some wonderful goals. Some goal droughts, lots of smiles. Often left up front with no support and a midfield that couldn’t get the ball up to him.

  • 51 welshgeordie9 // Jul 9, 2016 at 11:40 AM

    Can’t another Chinese team come in for rivière.

  • 52 YouCouldn'tMakeItUp // Jul 9, 2016 at 11:42 AM


    I dont even think a chinese RESTAURANT would come in for Rivierre!

  • 53 welshgeordie9 // Jul 9, 2016 at 11:43 AM


    Do think he will do a good job, loved watching him play when i was young.

  • 54 Wayayman // Jul 9, 2016 at 11:43 AM

    Welshgeordie@51 I think we should try flog Riviere to an Egyptian club. They’d worship him over there.

  • 55 YouCouldn'tMakeItUp // Jul 9, 2016 at 11:46 AM


    Yeah he was great player. I think the German philosophy would be good for englands national team. Employing the “Enemy” works. In Rugby and cricket england have employed the aussies, and no one can argue it isn’t working.

  • 56 Nufc-83 // Jul 9, 2016 at 11:48 AM

    Absolutely buzzing for this season normally we have managers who come in and pick the same useless players week in week out (the likes of Taylor and cisse) and they seem impossible to get rid of.. Rafa has come in and got rid of cisse, colo, Taylor all who have been awful for a long time (although being harsh on colo as he had some great times for us). we are replacing these players with hardworking reliable players who have a little bit about them aswell which is key for me. I don’t like just hardworking players like dummet as for me they should be at a better level when playing in the top leagues but if you look at Ritchie he can deliver good quality aswell as run his socks off. Gayle has pace and runs the channels but can finish aswell (no good just being a grafter).

    I have not seen anyone criticising the signing but if someone is they need to start supporting another club in the prem who can attract the top players as the players we are bringing in are better than what we had in the prem. The squad is looking strong I expect us to gain promotion comfortably with gayle as top scorer

  • 57 Shadow_Shearer // Jul 9, 2016 at 11:50 AM

    It’s good rafa is getting rid of players who’s lost interest, for hard workers. Newcastle fans just wants a team who gives there everything

  • 58 Nufc-83 // Jul 9, 2016 at 11:51 AM

    Son of a Geordie no point in getting the call up to cisse though as it just bounces off him.

    When he has confidence and was thus instinctive striker of the ball he was great but then Pardew destroyed him and we got left with a player wouldn’t look out of place in the conference. Most players would go to China and rip it up but I expect him to struggle big time.

  • 59 Lindisfarne // Jul 9, 2016 at 11:56 AM


  • 60 Son of Geordie // Jul 9, 2016 at 11:57 AM

    After cisse who is next to be shown the door? Would like it to be goofy, riviere.
    I find myself unable uneasy about the prospect is seeing sissoko leave, as he is sometimes a quality player, other times absent and because of that a hand brake for the team. He is a want away, or so he tells l’equipe. Can’t be relied upon to put in 100% for the toon every game, every minute. not sure we need him in the championship.

  • 61 Ruddy Marveaux-lous // Jul 9, 2016 at 11:58 AM

    Can count on one hand the amount of times Sissoko has a good game and it’s usually a televised game against the top 4. The man can’t motivate himself for “small” games so how the hell will he be any good in the Championship.

    He’s useless. Get rid.

  • 62 Son of Geordie // Jul 9, 2016 at 12:01 PM

    Nufc83, lmao
    Cisse will need to learn the Chinese word for offside.

  • 63 Mister Tuff // Jul 9, 2016 at 12:07 PM

    Cisse started off with some great goals. Last couple of years he’s been useless, absolutely useless. contributed next to nothing for the team.
    Good luck in China.

    One definite is that Armstrong will not be replacing him – needs to be loaned out again.
    See Tony Mowbray is wanting him back – and is saying there are loads of clubs wanting to get him on loan.
    At least 6 months loan – and re -assess.

  • 64 The overrated Frenchman // Jul 9, 2016 at 12:14 PM

    Cisse had a couple of purple patches but the majority of his time here was dead ordinary. Injured and/or ineffective all too often. Happy to see him move on. Give the 9 shirt to Mitrovic.

  • 65 funlovingexpress // Jul 9, 2016 at 12:40 PM

    I would of kept Cisse. Hes a cracking striker. He’s averaged a goal every 3 games and yet half of his career has been out on the wing for us, which he never was and never will be suited for.

    Many people that don’t rate him dont understand that playing in the wrong position does not give you form or desire.

    The same ones want Sissoko out, even though he has had a very high workrate and shown consistency as a central midfielder.

  • 66 Nufc-83 // Jul 9, 2016 at 12:44 PM

    Funloving I guess you looking for a bite you complete and utter tool.

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