Chris Hughton has changed the face of Newcastle United

Words by Kevin Doocey on .

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 🙂

Comments welcome 🙂

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JIMILEY: ⏱ 06/02/2010

Hughton should stay until we can judge his ability in the Prem. He is doing a good job and has bought well on a shoestring in Jan. We should give him the chance to prove himself in the Prem. The fat one must go. No ifs or buts.

JIMILEY: ⏱ 06/02/2010

Hughton should stay until we can judge his ability in the Prem. He is doing a good job and has bought well on a shoestring in Jan. We should give him the chance to prove himself in the Prem. The fat one must go. No ifs or buts.

Smellymuffhole: ⏱ 06/02/2010

Cant agree more, in the premiership with the right backing and sufficient funds i think he will do ok! Hes got the backbone of a good team there, a excellent creative centre mid another left back and maybe another winger and i think we will survive in premiership mid table

Brian: ⏱ 06/02/2010

Well said he is a ok manager but at this level with a team as good as ours it would be hard to get it wrong I love peter lovenkrands but it's sad he is to old to be as prolific as big al because I think if he was about 25-26 then wow he'd have no9 easy I hope that mauling will give andy the confodance to push on and be great fingers crossed ehh:-)

Brian: ⏱ 06/02/2010

Well said he is a ok manager but at this level with a team as good as ours it would be hard to get it wrong I love peter lovenkrands but it's sad he is to old to be as prolific as big al because I think if he was about 25-26 then wow he'd have no9 easy I hope that mauling will give andy the confodance to push on and be great fingers crossed ehh:-)

chuck: ⏱ 06/02/2010

You`re right Doocey, cant be denied, the facts speak for themselves. Guy was handed a basketcase club in chaos, given nothing in the way of dosh and came out with a united side who are running away with the league. Now if Hiddink were to show interest in managing the side, I might have pause for thought, but I honestly can`t think of anyone else who i would trade for Hughton. The problem`s with this club has more to do with managers than anythig else (and the fans demands for constant change)too many managers, too many different approaches, resulting in an unsettled dressing room, ergo a confused team that does`nt respond with any enthusiasm, we saw that during the final quarter of last season. On another note, we may be enjoying the company of Mr. Ashley for a while longer, noticed a return to an early practice of stocking the youth side, having brought in a young Viking from The Faroes, not something an owner interested in selling would do. There`s going to be quite an increase in The EPL`s tv. revenue next season grossing over one billion pounds, which amounts to each PL member club receiving fifty million apiece, nice piece of change and certainly an incentive for owners or perspective owners. Why the recent takeovers by interests as varied as The US, The Gulf States and East Asia, it`s about the money, plus the show business aspect of owning a PL club. An appealing business, whose earnings are expected to increase at a rapid pace over time. So, Could be Mr.Ashleys United for the foreseeable future !

chuck: ⏱ 06/02/2010

You`re right Doocey, cant be denied, the facts speak for themselves. Guy was handed a basketcase club in chaos, given nothing in the way of dosh and came out with a united side who are running away with the league. Now if Hiddink were to show interest in managing the side, I might have pause for thought, but I honestly can`t think of anyone else who i would trade for Hughton. The problem`s with this club has more to do with managers than anythig else (and the fans demands for constant change)too many managers, too many different approaches, resulting in an unsettled dressing room, ergo a confused team that does`nt respond with any enthusiasm, we saw that during the final quarter of last season. On another note, we may be enjoying the company of Mr. Ashley for a while longer, noticed a return to an early practice of stocking the youth side, having brought in a young Viking from The Faroes, not something an owner interested in selling would do. There`s going to be quite an increase in The EPL`s tv. revenue next season grossing over one billion pounds, which amounts to each PL member club receiving fifty million apiece, nice piece of change and certainly an incentive for owners or perspective owners. Why the recent takeovers by interests as varied as The US, The Gulf States and East Asia, it`s about the money, plus the show business aspect of owning a PL club. An appealing business, whose earnings are expected to increase at a rapid pace over time. So, Could be Mr.Ashleys United for the foreseeable future !

Joey Barton 666: ⏱ 06/02/2010

Good article, I support chris 1000%. but in your list of no9's you missed out wor jackie mate, a better no9 than the alchy malc

Joey Barton 666: ⏱ 06/02/2010

Good article, I support chris 1000%. but in your list of no9's you missed out wor jackie mate, a better no9 than the alchy malc

Doocey: ⏱ 06/02/2010

He's mentioned now Joey Barton 666 :) Couldn't leave him out!

Doocey: ⏱ 06/02/2010

He's mentioned now Joey Barton 666 :) Couldn't leave him out!

brod: ⏱ 07/02/2010

though im not an ashley fan i feel newcastle have a much better team now without' the high class mercenarys on high wages that were only at the club for the money.the team has strength in depth now and is on the march back to the big time.least we aint had 4 owners in the same season like pompey fans have to put up with.So its about time every 1 stoped moaning and got behind the team onwards and upwards.

brod: ⏱ 07/02/2010

though im not an ashley fan i feel newcastle have a much better team now without' the high class mercenarys on high wages that were only at the club for the money.the team has strength in depth now and is on the march back to the big time.least we aint had 4 owners in the same season like pompey fans have to put up with.So its about time every 1 stoped moaning and got behind the team onwards and upwards.

chuck: ⏱ 07/02/2010

Brod Grow up son they are all there for the money,every last mothers son.

chuck: ⏱ 07/02/2010

Brod Grow up son they are all there for the money,every last mothers son.

icedog: ⏱ 07/02/2010

DOOCEY,loved the post,I have always been against CH i will admit (tatics),but after being at match fri,i was v.happy,you could say he never had the tools to play diff before,mind 90%of play was down left in first half better 2nd half,but lets wait and see,one swallow does!nt make a summer:)

icedog: ⏱ 07/02/2010

DOOCEY,loved the post,I have always been against CH i will admit (tatics),but after being at match fri,i was v.happy,you could say he never had the tools to play diff before,mind 90%of play was down left in first half better 2nd half,but lets wait and see,one swallow does!nt make a summer:)

Brian K: ⏱ 07/02/2010

Glad to see CH getting the praise he truly deserves. Let's not forget, when this season started the club was in free fall. Big players were jumping off the sinking ship like rats and we were being tipped by many to be relegation candidates come the end of the season. The best thing he’s done is get rid of all the headline grabbing egos out the door (this includes some previous managers also) and what we now seem to have is a group of honest hardworking pros who’ll do their best for the club.

Brian K: ⏱ 07/02/2010

Glad to see CH getting the praise he truly deserves. Let's not forget, when this season started the club was in free fall. Big players were jumping off the sinking ship like rats and we were being tipped by many to be relegation candidates come the end of the season. The best thing he’s done is get rid of all the headline grabbing egos out the door (this includes some previous managers also) and what we now seem to have is a group of honest hardworking pros who’ll do their best for the club.

icedog: ⏱ 07/02/2010

BRIAN K,dont belive for one minute CH had anything to do with getting any players out,that was ashleys call,he was left with what ashleysaid,but he has went ok with them

icedog: ⏱ 07/02/2010

BRIAN K,dont belive for one minute CH had anything to do with getting any players out,that was ashleys call,he was left with what ashleysaid,but he has went ok with them

icedog: ⏱ 07/02/2010

off to kip catch yous later

icedog: ⏱ 07/02/2010

off to kip catch yous later

Steve: ⏱ 07/02/2010

I just hope he will keep the same tactics from now on. We should be where we are with the team we have. We might have even had more points if we had played a more attacking formation earlier in the season. I'm still not convinced that Hughton is the right man to do the job in the premier league however I would still give him the chance when we get promoted.

Steve: ⏱ 07/02/2010

I just hope he will keep the same tactics from now on. We should be where we are with the team we have. We might have even had more points if we had played a more attacking formation earlier in the season. I'm still not convinced that Hughton is the right man to do the job in the premier league however I would still give him the chance when we get promoted.

Robbanufc: ⏱ 07/02/2010

Very nice post, Doocey! But the fact of it all will be that no matter what, I for one will support whoever manages us and whoever playes for us. Unless if it's a dirty mackem! :p 10 days and i'm at St. James' Park! :D

Robbanufc: ⏱ 07/02/2010

Very nice post, Doocey! But the fact of it all will be that no matter what, I for one will support whoever manages us and whoever playes for us. Unless if it's a dirty mackem! :p 10 days and i'm at St. James' Park! :D