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Chris Hughton approach has been a breath of fresh air

By Lee Ryder on May 3, 10 12:26 PM

Chris Hughton's approach to life this season has been pretty simple and at times probably a bit mundane.

But at a football club like Newcastle United where hype has always come back to haunt us in the past, it's been a breath of fresh air and proof that as obvious as it sounds, it's what happens on the training field that really counts.

Before games, Hughton has bent over backwards to underline how much the opposition must be respected and even when United have hammered in fours, fives and sixes at times this season, later he's still reacted in a respectful way.

Not once has Hughton had a pop at any opposing manager, player or team in a season in which the knives have been out for Newcastle United.

That's more than admirable in my book, it's almost a miracle in the modern game.

And it's no wonder Hughton has so much respect in the game.

Yes it's easier when you are winning, it can cover up a multitude of sins.

Yes, it's going to be tough back in the big league next year.

But Newcastle United didn't fold on the field this year as predicted and the fans didn't off it.

So often pigeon holed as a coach and not a manager, Hughton has simply ignored all of the hype and negativity and got on with the work day in, day out on the training field.

He's let the results do the taking and 102 points and just four league defeats tells its own story.

There was talk of a director of football from the Sunday Press last week but this has been denied and retracted since then.

That can only be a good thing for Newcastle next season if there is to be some stability.

A director of football model has never worked in the UK, and Dennis Wise is living evidence of that from a Toon point of view.

If keeping it simple again for another season gets the results to achieve a respectable and stress free campaign again, then be it.

Expectations at Newcastle vary depend who you talk to.

Some fans will be happy to avoid another disaster while others feel that Newcastle should always be pushing for the top four to six like under in the Keegan and Robson eras.

I still think that Newcastle should be considered a top six outfit but reality says that won't or can't happen overnight.

If the 2010/2011 campaign is a step closer to that then that would probably be classed as a success of sorts especially if Hughton - who has already stated progress in the transfer market will be slow - does not get a decent wedge to spend in the summer.

As far as the coaching side of things is concerned, it's not broke, so don't fix it.

6 Comments

neil johnson said:

Yes Chris Hughton has been splendid - but lets not forget Colin Calderwood and the rest of the backroom boys.Stability is the key - we must retain the whole managerial team.If we do, two or three seasons could produce European football again and dare I say it,maybe a cup!!

NJ Galloway Mags

JJK said:

Lee, could you explain the meaning of this sentence "A director of football model has never worked in the UK"

Wasn't Gordon Milne the Director of Football under Sir Bobby Robson? What he did to earn his money is another question, but what are you trying to say? There should never be a director of football, or giving a director of football more power over the manager is wrong?

dave said:

The club will never go anywhere when you have the greediest man in football in mike ashley.

EldoradoArgentina said:

Yes CH and team have done brilliantly. But there was another breath of fresh air. The YELLOW STRIP. It not only brought SUNSHINE but STOOD OUT.
Look at the Tottenham photos today. See how the YELLOW FLASHES STAND OUT- on the socks too. In contrast the KEEPER WORE GREEN or GREY. Why? - to blend into the background making it more difficult for the
attacking players to know where he is.
Good luck to England in RED as in 66.

M. Sebastian T. said:

The season just ending has proven four things:
1) There are teams that likely will never be able to break the yo-yo cycle with WBA being the perfect example. It remains to be seen if NUFC is set to become another too good for tier 2 but not good enough for tier 1 club (unless a genuinely rich person buys the club from cash strapped Ashley).
2) It is still possible to survive in the PL via playing goon football in the style of Wolves, Stoke, Bolton and Blackburn. However other teams will figure their syles out sooner or later and then relegation is simply a queation of when for the4 mentioned clubs. I'm fully expecting Stoke's bubble to burst totally next time.
3) The so called big four is now the big six and could become the big eight over the next couple of seasons. A result will be that bottom eight clubs will get less and less points. 30 points per season will become the new magic target for struggling clubs. Newcastle fans will have to get use to Sunderland being one of the top group.
4) The gap between the bottom end PL teams and top Chumpionship teams has never been wider. Even though NUFC has done well this season it was actually about as big a challenge as winning the PL Reserve League.

What this all means is that next season NUFC will do very well to get around 35 points, which should equal safety. After that will depend on whether a buyer with much deeper pockets than Ashley turns up. Uncomfortable as the prospect might be for their fans supporting NUFC is better than being a Boro or Pools fan!

My prediction is that Newcastle will survive by the skin of their teeth but will not get much comfort from games against top half teams either home or away.

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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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