Chris Hughton has changed the face of Newcastle United
Hughton - Doing a very professional job at Newcastle United this season
As expected for some, we're top of the Coca Cola Championship and so far so good for Newcastle United. In less that 12 months after we plummeted into the Coca Cola Championship without a whimper, we've seen a fair few ‘big’ players leave the clubs and leave behind them, their big wages. Michael Owen, Obafemi Martins, Mark Viduka, Habib Beye, Damien Duff and many more left, as Newcastle United prepared for their first season in the lower tier of English football, in 16 years. With Mike Ashley ‘trying’ to find a buyer for the beleaguered club, we missed out on summer transfer targets and installing Alan Shearer as manager.
In the midst of all this, Chris Hughton, who had been employed by Newcastle to be Kevin Keegan's assistant manager, kept the team training and introduced some discipline into what were then, a confused bunch of lads with no one knowing if they'd be at the club for much longer.
We started our season with a reasonable point against a new look West Brom side who alongside us had been relegated from the Premier League. It was Damien Duff who scored the equaliser and soon left for Fulham, where he is doing very well indeed.
Anyway, since then, we've had Chris Hughton installed as permanent manager and although many wouldn't consider him a manager or indeed agree with his tactics, throughout the course of the season he's created a steady side which are aloft the Coca Cola Championship table.
It's funny to see how quick some fans turn on Hughton, for instance, after our 0-0 draw away to Leicester City. People questioned his tactics and rightly so but labeling his a ‘second class manager’ and whatnot is pretty outrageous, just look at his record on Tyneside so far.
The team is being run like a proper football team. Chris Hughton has the team in the right frame of mind and has established a hardworking bunch of lads, who are working for each other. Sometimes we mightn't play the most attractive football, but our 5-1 mauling of Cardiff City yesterday showed that we can indeed score goals and we have a bit of creativity in the side. Wayne Routledge, Jonas and others were inventive yesterday and we need that, at this level.
You'll know if you read this ‘blog regularly that my opinions don't change with the wind and have always backed Chris Hughton to succeed with Newcastle United at Championship level at least. So far he's doing that but it's not just the performances on this pitch and our form over the course of the season so far that's strengthened my opinion. He is running the club better off the field, his latest incentive for the strikers to earn the coveted #9 shirt will make Andy Carroll, Leon Best, Peter Lovenkrands and others really give it their all to clinch the shirt. At any other club, the number nine shirt isn't that important, however at a club like Newcastle United, we've had the likes of Malcom MacDonald, Jackie Milburn, Andy Cole, Alan Shearer all wear the shirt, and score a fair few goals too. Hughton is doing a good job and if he secures Premier League promotion then you can't fault him one bit.
Newcastle United FC is going in the right direction and lets keep it that way 🙂
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