Let’s just have a look at Newcastle United right now

Words by Kevin Doocey on .

### Hughton - Delighted to be manager of Newcastle United FC

This day one year ago, we were preparing for the home visit of QPR at St.James’ Park, and indeed looking to grab top spot of what when then called the Coca Cola Championship. We went on to draw that game 1-1, Marlon Harewood scoring his début goal for the club, after Ben Watson had put Queens Park Rangers in line for a win. Add to that, confusion over the ownership of the club, constant rumours of players leaving, and indeed many stories of potential new managers. One year on, we’re 6th in the Barclay’s Premier League, in the 4th Round of the Carling Cup after defeating Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in a thriller and are settled to say the least.

Yet, two defeats at home - against Blackpool, who can play football, and Stoke City, who are the poorest footballing team in the Premier League to say the least, have put a cloud over Chris Hughton & NUFC. I’m reading stories from all over, claiming ‘shock defeats’ and nonsense like that. We’ve come into the Premier League with one ambition - to survive relegation. Anything better than that is a bonus.

It’d been a great change from a year ago. We’ve a humble, no-nonsense manager, who bothers with everything worthwhile on the training pitch and can spot a very good player too. We’ve brought in James Perch, Dan Gosling, Sol Campbell, Cheick Tioté, Hatem Ben Arfa & now it seems Yven Moyo has also joined the Newcastle ranks, despite interest from a little club called Manchester United. These all arrive, when realistically, a lot of people didn’t expect anyone new to come through the door of St.James’.

Mike Ashley is going to stay as owner for the foreseeable future, but already, has increased the clubs value since promotion, putting it beyond the £100m asking price last year. it also looks as if we’ll be strengthening in January if need be, with Hughton quietly confident that he’ll get some financial backing.

Never mind this nonsense of disappointment of the season so far. We’re exceeding expectations, and more importantly we need to see that we’re heading in the right direction - recruiting promising youth, and adding some young flair to the side.

Our next trip is to the City of Manchester where we’ll look to try an get something from the biggest money wasters the richest club in the Premier League. You never know what might happen, with other clubs having already gone and scraped points from Mancini’s side.

Anyway, we can only wait and see. So far so good, indeed very good from Newcastle United & Chris Hughton. Long may it continue.

Comments welcome 🙂

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David_Mag: ⏱ 28/09/2010

Nice balanced and objective view - I completely agree that our sole aim this season is survival - nothing more, nothing less. In order to re-establish ourselves as a Premier league side we need more than one season. We need a medium to long-term plan, in which recruiting quality youth players definitely plays a key part. I'm chuffed with our focus on developing youth in recent times. Depending on injuries and form we may need Hughton's quiet confidence about funds being available in January to well placed. I have to say, however, that based on recent windows I trust him if he says this is the case. Realistic expectations noted, I'm still a wee bit upset about the home loss to Stoke. Being 1-0 up at home against a team in our 'mini-league' and coming away with nothing needs to be remedied. Nolan's comments today (http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/teams/n/newcastle_united/9041015.stm) are spot on for me - at this level 'slopiness' will be punished by all opponents, including a side high on graft but low on creativity such as Stoke. Overall, I share the view we are doing well so far. Ben Arfa still needs to gel, Cambell has a contribution to make and Guthrie, S. Taylor and Simpson will give us more options when they're fit again, not to mention Gosling. Here's to a good result again City.

chuck: ⏱ 29/09/2010

Fair assessment, although i may disagree on Stoke being the poorest footballing team in the league, sure how they play is not pretty to watch, a big strong side who play route one football, much like BSA`s teams. However not many teams like to play against them and they are successful in what they do, give em a bit of credit. You`r right a bit of flair and recruitment of promising youngsters is the way to go, but survival and a slow rebuilding of the side is essential, with a promising start in adding both Tiote and Ben Arfa, a bit of steel and a flair playmaker come goal scorer. At present we badly lack a decent RB, regardless of what Chris say`s about Perch IMO neither he R.Taylor nor Simpson are quality players, that a replacement for S.Taylor who looks like he will price himself out of the side, I would suggest Bourgherra at Rangers. A Connor Wickham or a Wolfswinkel would`nt look bad up front with Carroll, twin towers so to speak. Well we can speculate all day , but the club seems to be going in the right direction, survival and a couple of decent additions each season will hopefully bring us back to being a top six side in the not too distant future. I cant end without saying what a great job Hughton has done, give the man a contract, what or who are we waiting for, don`t want M. O`N. and I don`t think Morinho is interested, so go with the guy who got you here!