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Walking in a Hughton Wonderland

By Lee Ryder on Feb 21, 10 03:13 PM

They say you should give credit where it's due and that was certainly the case for Chris Hughton against Preston North End.

Quite some time ago, I asked Chris Hughton if he was a bit upset that he hadn't enjoyed more recognition from Newcastle fans in the form of a terrace anthem.

Hughton quickly dismissed the idea and moved on to a different subject, his view being that he'd rather see all energies projected on to the 11 players on the pitch.

That changed for a while against Preston North End with Newcastle 2-0 up and coasting.

During the live blog yesterday I was asked what the long term answer was at Newcastle United as far as a manager is concerned, I still stick to my guns that Alan Shearer is the answer to that - as did 75% of readers during a 'game time' poll.

But if Hughton gets United promoted, he will have to, by footballing rights, be allowed to continue in the Premier League.

We'll never know if Shearer would have done a job as good Hughton - or better or worse this season.

But at 2-0 yesterday though against PNE it was then that fans decided to demand for a wave from Hughton.

It was a far cry from almost 12 months ago at Bolton's Reebok Stadium when fans chanted "You don't know what you're doing" at Hughton.

The first round of chanting died out without Hughton acknowledging their request.

That was probably down to the fact he was fully focused on the game.

Then, moments later the left hand went up before an eruption of "There's only one Chris Hughton", a song that you thought you'd never hear from Newcastle fans.

It has been chanted before at St James' Park when Tottenham Hotspur were the visitors to Tyneside and the Spurs faithful's rendition of "There's only one Chrissy Hughton" was boomed round Level 7.

That night Hughton stuck up his hand.

At that time I thought it was probably the wrong thing to do with Kevin Keegan's exit in 2008 fresh in the minds of Toon fans and feelings on Tyneside rather raw.

However, many United fans yesterday in the excellent Leazes End singing section were quick to show their appreciation.

Hughton deserved it.

Yet a place in Geordie folklore is only likely to be assured if he finishes of the job he started in August.

And if the fans are singing the name of ex-Spurs man Colin Calderwood (who has also done an excellent job and deserves credit too) in the same way Terry Mac used to enjoy the banter with the fans, then I really will be flabbergasted!

12 Comments

gary trainer said:

This man and his sidekick deserve every little bit of success that comes there way.They have put everything into this job and more which to us geordies is as good as success in some ways.Are the country still laughing at us?the answer is no they are not and in my eyes that is all down to 1 man,well 2 men in hughton and calerwood so well done fellas.Promotion or not you have done this club proud and for that we are forever grateful.Keep it up fellas and yous will go down in geordie folklaw and rightly so to.WELL DONE so far and i wish yous all the success in the world.

cushybutterfield said:

Wouldn't disagree on Alan Shearer being the long-term solution if by that you meant in a year or twos time when he's had a chance to gain experience at a smaller club. But it would be sad if he took it on too soon and failed.

Chris Hughton deserves a chance as manager if we get promoted. Sacking him because he got us promoted would make us an even bigger laughing stock than we were last summer.

Graham Southern Toon said:

Lee, I am disappointed that after all that has gone on before you are discussing next season and who might be manager? Come on, surely it is time to stick to footballing matters, we are top of the league and the players have been great for most of this season, and that surely has to have a lot to do with Chris and Colin and the great work they have done? Against the odds and the off field issues they have just got on with it, some good signings in January and now the last push for the title.
Chris has to be given a chance if we make it to the Premier League, talk of Shearer is madness, there is no telling if he can be as good a boss as he was a player, stick to the man that has done all the hard work.
Well done to Chris and Colin and here's hoping the title is soon in the bag.....

Tad Caster said:

Come on, Graham. What on earth did you expect?

ray douglas said:

As an exiled Geordie living in Northampton , I would say "amen" to all the positive comments about hughton and Calderwood. Calderwood was manager of our local side , Northampton Town, and did a fine job before going on to Nottingham Forrest. If Newcastle do get back up to the premiership , they might do worse than to keep the present managerial team in place !

John Peel said:

We should leave CH where he is to continue doing his job. Never in the past few years has supporting NUFC felt so stable. It's nice to know that nothing leftfield could happen at any moment and crack the thickening ice on which we skate.

Would Shearer do a better job in the premier, I don't know. But give CH a chance, he's pulled everyone together with one of the best manager attitudes since Bobby imo.

toongonebad said:

CH & CC are doing a great job overall and in circumtnaces others couldn't live with.

could Shearer do better? from what i saw of him end of last season i would have to say no. the work he did really did look like he was brand new to the job. And to be fair CH has looked like that too but he seems to be picking it up as he goes along and having PL players in the CCC is giving him a chance to get things wrong and still be in with a shout at the end of the day.

In between 1 or 2 good managers at this club over the last 15yrs we have, or the board have taken chances on other managers. we should look at what England, Chelsea, Liverpool and what ManU would do when AF puts his feet up. Go and get a proven manager to run this club. not an also ran or someone who might come good, just go and get someone WHO CAN DO IT!

toongonebad said:

CH & CC are doing a great job overall and in circumtnaces others couldn't live with.

could Shearer do better? from what i saw of him end of last season i would have to say no. the work he did really did look like he was brand new to the job. And to be fair CH has looked like that too but he seems to be picking it up as he goes along and having PL players in the CCC is giving him a chance to get things wrong and still be in with a shout at the end of the day.

In between 1 or 2 good managers at this club over the last 15yrs we have, or the board have taken chances on other managers. we should look at what England, Chelsea, Liverpool and what ManU would do when AF puts his feet up. Go and get a proven manager to run this club. not an also ran or someone who might come good, just go and get someone WHO CAN DO IT!

nufc1989 said:

As a season ticket holder i have to say the "excellent Leazes End singing section" are rather poor.
Minus saturday when they were pretty average to say the least; all they are content with singing is "where've you parked your mini bus?", "time to go **** ***", "we don't care about ashley" (if you's didn't care about him then why sing about him?), "get out of our club", "your support is ******* ****" amongst others. All of the chants getting behind the team tend to come from the gallowgate, and i'm sure when results go wrong in the Premier League next season i'm sure the "excellent Leazes End singing section" will be the first group of fickle fans on Hughton's back chanting "Shearer" as they did against Reading on the first game of the season before Shola's first.

bob harvey said:

Why is everyone so impatient? Keep the accolades until May [hopefully]. 'Doing a good job ... ' is right, but not done a good job --- yet.

James H said:

Let's just say you work for a company. Now you've done your job. Increased sales performed well. Would you expect to be sacked? Of course not so why on earth would it be justified or helpful to sack Hughton?

He may not be the solution long term but he has done nothing wrong. Besides the constant chopping and changing of managers is EXACTLY what has got us in to this situation.

Finally when will we just forget about Shearer? He was a great player he tried to manage for too short a period. But there was absolutely NO evidence in that period that he was effective. I understand that it wasn't his team etc but the performance at Villa was just wretched. That was the most he could motivate his players for the biggest game in the clubs recent history?

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Lee Ryder

Lee Ryder - Proudly born and bred on Tyneside, the Chronicle's chief sports writer has followed the fortunes of the club over the last three decades as a Toon fan and football writer.

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