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Hugh must be joking

By Lee Ryder on Oct 18, 10 07:05 PM

The mere suggestion that Chris Hughton should go as manager of Newcastle United is nothing short of football madness.

Talk that it's time to go for Hughton leaves me cold, as the former Republic of Ireland international is THE reason Newcastle United have not imploded in the last 12 months

Against all odds Hughton brought the United players together at a time when it could all have gone pear shaped in the Championship.

Since then, with limited funds, and with a limited coaching team (now decimated after Colin Calderwood's departure) he's still put in a more than reasonable performance back in the Premier League.

Eight points so far and with a bit of luck and a little bit less sloppy defending (Blackpool and Stoke), United would have been further up the table and the talk of Hughton going would be a non-starter.

The loss of Hatem Ben Arfa has been a major factor in the last month or so, but come Saturday night we could be back in the top 10 of a tightly bunched Premier League table and looking forward to a home Carling Cup tie with Arsenal ahead of the derby.

Seldom does replacing managers left, right and centre work - and especially at Newcastle United.

We've been crying out for stability, under Hughton, that's what we've got.

Newcastle have tried everything when it comes to managers, big names, overseas names and former names.

And looking at the out of work managers, who would replace him.

Martin O'Neill? Phil Brown? Gareth Southgate? Gordon Strachan? Diego Maradona? Big Fat Ron?

And given the fact our last PL season featured FOUR managers, surely we don't need to learn the hard way again?

I've said before at some stage Alan Shearer is destined to be manager of Newcastle United and still believe that to be the case.

But given that Big Al has already stated he doesn't see a return to the dugout in the near future at SJP, you'd have to rule it out.

What Hughton has brought to Newcastle is a dose of reality.

At no point has he tried to play the fans or play up to them.

At no point has he spoke above his station or pretended he is something he's not, he's a manager without an ego.

He's never tried mind games with any other manager and he's kept the feet of his players firmly on the ground, without shouting the odds at any of them.

Now in a season in which survival was set to be the aim - which the Magpies are just about on course for as it stands - Hughton appears to be in the firing in line.

The next three games at Newcastle United all of a sudden have never been so important.

18 Comments

Simon said:

I have a lot of time for Chris Hughton and agree that sacking him would be folly but I just can't help but feel that Martin O'Neil would be a fantastic manager at Newcastle.

Of course that's not going to happen because only Chris Hughton is really prepared to work with the current management team and within their limited ambition and commitment.

beatski said:

And where's the source for the whole 'hughton out' thing? the daily mail. we all know how often they get exclusive info, being banned from st james and all. just s*** stirring from the gutter press.

Big Si said:

The last thing we need right now is a change of manager. However, I do believe that he picked the wrong team on Saturday and he needs a home win.

boater said:

shearer back?!?! I can only assume you miss seeing us play in the championship Ryder. Hughton should be given a bumper new contract, nevermind be left questioning his job security after a handful of games in his first season in the top flight. Hilarious.

Matt said:

Hughton has brought stability to a squad that was hanging off a cliff. Give him time to find the right formula. Remember his only managerial experience has come in the championship. Its a different ball game up here. Eight games into the season, plenty of football to play. With Danny Simpson coming back soon should level out the back four. Perch has shown he needs more time to adjust to the level in the EPL. You have a bunch of players who were playing against lesser competition last year and knew they were going to win every game pretty much. Its a different test this year. Give them time

Rowan Milsted said:

Surely no-one affiliated with the club wants to see him sacked, this has to be a ridiculous and unfounded report... please say it is. Over the last few seasons more heads have rolled at St. James's than in the French Revolution, and it's done us so much harm, culminating in us getting relegated. Newcastle have been a pantomime team and a laughing stock and we're all SICK of it. Now, finally, under CH we have some stability- which is what we've needed for a long time. He's stood by us, taken the helm of a sinking ship and he's done it all with honesty and grace. Last season was a massive test for him and he passed with flying colours. This season it's even harder, and he knows that better than anyone. Yes, we lost games we needed to win (Stoke and Blackpool) and the 1st half performance against Wigan was awful, but the fightback to 2-2 showed everyone that this team have backbone and character, exactly what we need. We've also had some great results, and 8 points so far isn't bad. He's put together a decent team with no money, but more importantly he's gelling the players and getting us to play as a team. He needs more time, the season is young and we're still a a work in progress. Sacking him would be suicidal, shameful and idiotic, and would see us going backwards again, back to being a circus team with no stability. CH is down-to-earth and realistic which are all good qualities for the job at Newcastle. My head's telling me that this rumour is false, but my heart is panicking. We must stick with CH- he stuck with us.

Nath said:

If Hughton gets sacked it will be the biggest joke in footballing history. What he needs is funds in the transfer market and experienced additions to the backroom staff. Sadly neither will happen as we're being run on a shoe string budget. I am a bit baffled by some of the team selections and tactics Hughton uses at home. But he is still learning and getting rid of him now would guarantee relegation.

LN2Mag said:

Talk of sacking CH is nonsense and to all the people out there calling for his head,who exactly would replace him? Gordon Strachan? Phil Brown? Joe Kinnear? I don't think so! I cannot think of one other Manager who would either be willing to come here or do the job in the circumstances CH is doing so. This includes the serial quitter Martin O'Neil,who wouldn't come near the place and couldn't work under the current financial restrictions. We need to put a lid on this straight away before the inevitable "Toon in Crisis" headlines start appearing. Colin Calderwood always thought of himself as a Manager, so it is no surprise he has left, this was always going to happen at some point. CH needs to take control of the situation, starting with doing whatever it takes to get Andy Carroll to grow up, even if it means dropping him for a few games. He also needs to make it clear to Kevin Nolan, who I believe is becoming far too influencial in the dressing room, that he picks the team and makes the decisons. CH will ride this out and keep us in the Premier League. A 4th from bottom finish will be perfectly adequate, but we will finish higher than that and all those dreamers who were talking of the top 10 and Europe need to take a reality check. We are a big club in name only not in performances and need to continue the rebuilding job currently in progress

Gondolfin said:

Take it with a pinch of salt. The Daily Heil report a story for which they have no credible sources and we're meant to take it seriously?

But that's not to say Hughton doesn't have problems:
1. We miss a goalscorer. Even in the Championship Andy Carroll didn't look like a 20 goal a season striker. In the Premier League I suspect he's not a 10 goal a season striker. He needs someone quick near him... like Craig Bellamy :) Unfortunately, goalscorers cost an absolute forune and you don't get them on the cheap anymore. Best hope is to pick up a Man City cast-off on loan.
2. The supply on the flanks is poor. Jonas and Routledge are fine until the last third. But, they are still better than the alternative of going narrow like we did on Saturday. If nothing else, ROutledge and Jonas push back opposing full backs and take some of the strain of our defence.
3. James Perch... poor lad needs a rest before his confidence is shot to pieces. Give the solid but unspectacular Ryan Taylor a run at full back for now.

Ginola said:

This blog irritates me. Who has suggested that he go?

No one. Thats who.

Just leave it alone and stop trying to add fuel to what appears to be a very small flame.

Jackie W said:

Chris, Is our manager so we should all stand behind him but how many of you would do a straight swap for him and O Niel ?? Be honest Jackie W

boater said:

Will people PLEASE stop saying things like "well he shouldn't be playing Perch, or nolan etc." as though you not agreeing 100% with every player and tactical selection is testimony to his inefficiency. He has got SO much right it's insulting. Not to mention dropping his 'undroppables'.

You know the expression 'you don't know when you've got it good'?. Well we've got it good. So know you now.

toonagain said:

Think CH is still learning and hopefully he is a little open minded, I believe he is, we have asked him to play 2 strikers up front and he sort of has, it didn't work out but I think we should stick with it. No way should we even think about anyother manager. sadly teams like stoke, and blackpool are at our level now or we are at theres anyway. we've got DG coming back who i think is our best player when on form - not on the right wing however -ever! CH probably brought in the PL best player however sadly we'll probably not see him again, nothing can be done about that and we can't start blaming managers or owners for not investing. Perch is a squad player and cover for DS, who should be back in a week or so. If we expect the players and staff to dig deep this season and stick with it in the hard times then the supporters should be doing the same. forget what the national press say, the daily mail can't even get players names right. the same journo who does there sports probably is the same one that does their "Society" page - aka A.Totaltool

DormAnt said:

The one question that no one has asked is, will CH sign a new contract if he is offered one?

Are we are in danger of taking something for granted here?

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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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