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One Chris Hughton?

Posted on February 21st, 2010 | 69 Comments |

One Chrissy Hughton?
One Chrissy Hughton?
On a day when two of this season’s unsung heroes finally got some vocal recognition from Level 7, there was perhaps more to take home than the three points from a comfortable 3-0 victory over Preston. Newcastle supporters have had every right to question the current board, with the owner’s intentions still up for much debate (see here for more details).

For his sins, Chris Hughton is now in cahoots with Ashley and Co. and inevitably suffers by association with his employer and the lasting ill-feeling between board and supporters. But even the most cynical of supporters are conceding that whatever their opinions of what the relationship between Hughton and the board represents, whether he’s just an extension of them or his own entity and doing his own thing, what he’s delivering is winning football. Not always pretty, not always elegant but generally, winning.

So I guess it was inevitable that by it’s nature, the more vocal element in black and white would recognise his contribution in song. That it happened in yesterday’s game was still perhaps a surprise to some, certainly yours truly, although arguably it was already overdue. And that it happened on a day when a new Coloccini ditty was given some air time by the lads and lasses of Level 7, was perhaps just a happy coincidence, or is it that the mood is just slightly brighter all of a sudden?

The mood was far from bright at kick off, as most of us uninformed about Routledge’s absence discovered that Guthrie had been forced onto the right with Smith back in the middle with Nolan. Otherwise the team was unchanged but there was that inevitable foreboding that without a combination of our two wing wizards, we were going to be in for a long afternoon.

We didn’t have to wait long for the mood to match the bright sunshine though, as Smudger won a loose ball and found Lovenkrands in behind the full back just inside the box. The Dane teased a cross towards Carroll at the back post but the flight of the ball took it over the despairing keeper and into the top corner. The striker at least had the decency to look sheepish, shrugging as he headed towards the corner to celebrate.

Despite the pre-match feeling being that it would be a tight affair, the early goal got the juices flowing as the home crowd sensed another goal feast. But it wasn’t to be, and when Lovenkrands pulled up with a hamstring pull, the natives were distressed to see the thus far slightly underwhelming Leon Best replace him. But Newcastle saw saves from a well-struck Smith volley and when Williamson’s header was well saved, the ball just wouldn’t come down quick enough for Best. Preston had their own chances and Parkin had a couple of decent opportunities to equalise for the visitors. First being denied by a point blank save from Harper and then volleying wide a few minutes later.

The play was predictably narrowed with Guthrie’s natural instinct being to tuck inside and effectively leaving Simpson to provide the width. In fairness, the full back did that quite well and demonstrated an ability to mix the type of cross he can throw in, which was something I’ve not seen him do that often, but which was a welcome sight. The middle of the park was too static though, and on a number of occasions, frustration both on and off the pitch could be sensed as the options available to the man on the ball were minimal.

By this point, Level 7 were amusing themselves with their own aside as the new Coloccini ditty did the rounds for the first time with any gusto. Coloccini has been one of the standout performers this season, so perhaps surprising that it’s taken this long but then it’s not the easiest name to get into a song. Or so I thought…

Struggling at first to understand just what the feck they were singing, it soon became clear that the lyrics were as thus –

Sung to ‘I love you baby’ by Frankie Valli

“Oh Coloccini,
You are the love of my life,
Oh Coloccini,
I’d let you shag my wife,
Oh Coloccini I want girly hair tooooooooooooooo…” (though I’m not convinced it wasn’t ‘curly hair’)

much to the amusement of the uninitiated and obviously it didn’t take long for it to spread. And when a Preston supporter trussed up in a lovely summer dress and sporting a glamorous blonde curly wig made himself known, it seemed there might be a theme to the afternoon. The subsequent banter between the man in question, was in keeping with the general mood and after a rendition of “One Lily Savage”, when Level 7 demanded that he “Get his t*ts out for the lads”, of course he generously obliged. Perhaps, as per, we overstepped the mark with “Do you take it up the ****” though…

The second half started well enough and within ten minutes, we had our second goal. Smith seemed at times, bizarrely, to be the more offensive of the midfield partnership but when he and Nolan combined well in the box, the Scouser was left with an easy slotted shot past the keeper to make it 2-0. And yet, there was again a failure to capitalise on that impetus and when Gutierrez came off for Ryan Taylor, we effectively lost any wide outlet.

And with little to shout about on the pitch, it was the man in the hot seat who became the subject of Level 7’s attention as cries of “Hughton give us a wave” started. An apparent reluctance was unfortunately-timed, give the swift response from Harper who had received similar attention after another decent save. The most obvious explanation being that Hughton isn’t a name easily pronounced or duly heard in song, and let’s face it, he’d hardly have been expecting it.

But eventually he cottoned on and duly gave a wave in the direction of the Leazes and thus, songs which have been on the lips of many but rarely been whispered formulated. Versions of “One Chris Hughton”, “Chris Hughton’s black and white army” gradually emanating from the ranks, some with more universal consent and others with the obvious enthusiasm of a few die-hards with great willing.

Either way, when Pancrate came on for Guthrie and set up an almost carbon copy chance for Ryan Taylor to steer in the third, it effectively put the cherry on the cake. And while some question his tactics and others worry about his ability and pedigree should we be promoted, there was a clear nodding of gratitude and acceptance to Hughton yesterday. Because if promotion and the dreamy world of Premiership football is your bag, then we may indeed, at least for now, be walking in a Hughton Wonderland.

NUFCBlog Author: bowburnmag bowburnmag has written 234 articles on this blog.

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69 Responses

  1. Fair play, not been Hughtons biggest fan but credit is due where credit is due!

    Chris Hughtons black & white army! ;)

  2. Hughton will forever be a legend to me if he gets us promoted. He had a good team to work with but what i’ve been most impressed with is how he has helped changed the image of the club. The buying of young, hard workers, and creating a feeling of togetherness in the squad – a remarkable achievement considering the disarray from last season.

    I’m glad Coloccini has finally settled in too.

  3. craig chisholm says:
    February 21, 2010 at 9:06 pm

    “good article. who writes this blog anyway? is it you toonsy?”

    Several different people write for this ‘blog, Craig, including toonsy. This one was by ‘Bowburnmag’ though.

  4. got to admit andy, when we went down and all the other sh*t going on i thought we would go free fall. hats off to CH if i am honest. Do you think he will last a season in the PREM??

  5. how do you know worky? does it say it anywhere? it looks like its all the old originals from Eds blog when it first started. I used to go on there alot (always slagging cashley off of course!!) ha ha

  6. see watford showed a bit backbone on sat,got draw with 10 men,pleased claverly got red will miss toon game,one of there better players,every little helps

  7. Not a big fan of CH but can’t knock the job he has done especially in the defending department.
    Would easily be out foxed tactically by most prem managers though.
    Like I said respect to CH-Mike will wash of hands of him when he starts asking for a pay rise of a bigger war chest,but for now I am reasonably happy :)

  8. Nice article, BBM – that (comparatively) early night obviously left you with far more functional brain cells than I’ve ended up with. The centre of town at 2am looked like a fire drill outside a strippers’ college. Fantastic.

    Some great singing yesterday and I have to admit the away fans held their own well.

    Gutted to have missed the first goal – the only one at our end – due to fekkin’ Flybe running half an hour late. Atmosphere seemed subdued a bit but I suppose being ahead from the 3rd minute kinda does that.

    I think the reason I like Hughton so much is that he is tha antithesis (entry for poncey word of the day) of almost everyone else in football: humble, capable and honest. Let’s hope he keeps giving us reasons to sing for a while – he’s been a revelation this season.

  9. the best thing for hughton to do is get us promoted then take a hike because as – jason states – the fat b@stard will not back him in the transfer market & just use the poor man the same as he did with mr keegan.

    bowburn – did you make your excuses & leave ? , if it was as bad i imagine i’d have done the same thing & went to my local for a couple of pints.

  10. CH has worked a minor miracle by getting some of our ‘dyed in the wool’ cynics, i mean, fans on-side, a minor miracle i tells ya’.

  11. Whumpie, be thankfull you weren’t with Ryanair, you could have ended up in France and be told to get a ferry.

    If the team starts badly next season then whoever was in charge would probably be given his P45, even Shearer assuming he was doing as good a job as CH. I think we will be OK next year as I reckon Ashley will get some new players in.
    Its looking like a three horse race to score 20 goals for us, the way Nolan muscled his team mate aside to get the 2nd goal was something else.
    My money would still be on Carroll though.

  12. This article almost brought a tear to the eye. Great to see some unity and the fans getting behind everyone.

  13. what a bunch of losers!
    It was only last week when we got a thumping from derby that you were slating him.
    My opinion has not changed. He did not want the managers job when we were in the premiership and his record was woeful.
    He only it took it this season when he realised he inherited a strong squad which most managers could have done a similar job.
    What worries me about him is, and i use one of his recent quotes’ I CAN SEE ALL MY NEW SIGNINGS ESTABLISHING THEMSELVES IN THE PREMIER’
    If that is not enough to put you off hughton then i dont know what is! ! !
    You all remind me of butterflies, fluttering from one flower to another depending on how the wind is blowing.
    You will all be slating him next week if we get beat.
    This should be called the butterfly blog.

  14. It is s start for Hughton to win over the juveniles who sit in level seven but some of the more mature fans will take some convincing. For me he has done a great job and deserves all the praise if he gets the job done.
    I think he is in a partnership though with as more than half of our tactics and organisation coming from calderwood. Calderwood appears to have the defensive approach to games.

  15. it’s possibile hughton may get snapped up by another championship club considering the job he’s done this season and the measly contract he’s on at nufc. there’s a demand for managers who can win promotion. just a thought.

  16. @ toonsy
    what are you hmmm for?
    Is that you fluttering around again wondering which flower to land on?
    Its the truth, deal with it.

  17. To be honest if someone had offered mee 5 points clear of second and 6 in front of third after 31 games I’d have snapped thier hand off, I agree that with our squad we should def be up there but it’s one thing looking at the squad on paper and another to get them to actually put a shift in and perform.

    Is Hughton long term manager…. I don’t see it myself but we have to give him his chance in the prem if he gets us promoted

  18. BSNo9 – It’s your opinion, not the truth.

    The truth for me, is something I will decide.

    I’ve had my pops at Hughton, and I still will. But to completely rubbish him off for next season is ridiculous.

    I think he is doing well enough this season, which is where we are, this season. We will worry about next season when we get up. Surely Hughton deserves another crack at it. I don’t think it will work out, but who is to say anyone else would?

  19. BSNo9 – Forgot to say I just wish Hughton would set the team out more adventurous away from home. That is my only gripe really.

    Then again, he did that at Derby and we got panned so it shows what I know.

  20. What a anxious & stressful life some must lead, always ‘worrying’ about the future & never enjoying the moment.
    I’m starting to worry FOR ya’s.
    Poor things.

    Nevermind, the world will end soon, sucked into a singularity & oblivion.

  21. I find it truly churlish that all those who claimed CH would crash & burn from the get go, in this league, haven’t got even the smallest, soupcon of magnanimity to agree he’s done an excellent job with what was a totally broken team.
    The guy deserves better.

  22. Shinton – How can you judge Hughton on his record in the Premier League last season? He inherited a disjointed dressing room under a load of controversy cos of Keegan/Ashley/Kinnear. His last game in charge before Shearer took over was, if I remember correctly, not too bad in relation to how we’d played for the rest of the season (think it was a 3-1 home defeat to Arsenal). My support for Hughton hasn’t wavered all season, and I am not one of these fickle fans who spits my dummy out every time we lose.

    What is wrong with Hughton backing his new signings? Are you suggesting we buy players only to say publicly ‘They’re only good enough for the Championship’. It would not only effect confidence of new players, it is a ridiculous way to treat a new investment. What makes you so convinced Routledge and Williamson aren’t good enough for the Premiership? I would love to know what qualifies bloggers to decide if players/managers are good enough for the Prem. If Newcastle played with the current players last season, with the same manager, with the same determination, spirit and effort, it’s likely we wouldn’t have gone down. We only went down because of 1 point after all.

    Some people are never happy.

  23. there’s no middle ground with some of our fans, and they are so blinkered they cannot see anything other than him colluding with enemy i.e. ashley.

  24. mr hughton deserves a lot of credit for what he has done so far,but the big test is can he mix it with the big boys in the prem,i hope he can.

  25. Malchick I’m not blinkered, I’m just not letting it spoil my admiration for the manager, who lets not forget, has got the players actually wanting to do well for him. Not many clubs have honest, reliable chairmen with no ulterior motives. If fans let chairmen/owners determine their enjoyment of the game and appreciation of their manager, not many people would enjoy football would they.

    “there’s no middle ground with some of our fans, and they are so blinkered they cannot see anything other than him colluding with enemy i.e. ashley”

    how about
    there’s no middle ground with some of our fans, and they are so blinkered they cannot see anything other than negativity, evil chairmen, conspiring managers and gigantic chips on their own shoulders, in place of gratitude for a great job done by an unlikely hero.

  26. CLiNT FLiCK says:
    February 22, 2010 at 10:44 am (Edit)

    I find it truly churlish that all those who claimed CH would crash & burn from the get go, in this league, haven’t got even the smallest, soupcon of magnanimity to agree he’s done an excellent job with what was a totally broken team.

    ====

    I thought we’d crash and burn, although not specificaly as a result of Hughton being made manager. I figured we’d be at least a couple of seasons in this league before we managed to escape.

    It’s not a done thing yet but it certainly looks like I could be wrong (for the first time 1976 incidentally) and we might indeed get promoted.

    Got to give Hughton credit, we’re top of the league and 5 points clear. I don’t think we can ask any more of him than that.

  27. Welcome home Mr de Payen, the blog is already a far brighter place for your presence. Trust all is well?

    Now pull ya finger out, have a word with the gaffer and start penning some articles you lazy get…

  28. We can all make wild/unfounded predictions, that’s normal.
    But so long as we admit we called it wrong if/when it turns out we were, then it’s only right, & manly, to make it known & give respect/credit.

  29. CLIiNT – “Manly”?…

    Easy tiger.

    And yeah of course it’s all thinly-veined, such is my style it would seem . But what else can you do when you’re trying to represent supporters who now, more than ever, are often poles apart in their feelings and opinions.

    Too subtle or not subtle enough?

  30. Rrrraaaaarrrr!

    As you wrote it, it took it that it was your views.

    You don’t wanna get any bamboo splinters mate.

    Panda’s eat bamboo, that was thinly veiled wasn’t it?
    :)

  31. I thought it was quite subtle…

    They’ll be picking splinters out of my a*se when they put me in the ground, or burn me to the stake. Whichever is more appropriate at the time.

  32. 2 points to clear up which i have been questioned about.
    1. Hughton openly admitted he did not want the managers job last season when he was on a losing run. He used the excuse he was a coach. Within a few months, no one could prise him out the seat when things were going wrong. That is not a man of leadership quality! Shearer wanted it come hell or high water despite his equally unimpressive run.
    2. Regarding routledge being good enough for the premier? He couldn t make it at spurs or villa and was shipped out to qpr where he hardly set the world alight.
    You say wot you butterfly?

  33. Shinton

    1. You base your opinion of Hughton’s leadership quality on things you have read in the paper, rather than on the things that happen on the pitch. I think you have got the order of importance wrong.

    2. Routledge joined Spurs at 20 and was kept out of the team by Aaron Lennon. He’s still only just turned 25 and you are writing him off for the Premier League already? Plenty of players don’t start to prove themselves ’til their mid 20s.

    My opinions haven’t changed all season about Hughton, no butterfly here

  34. Routledge also had bad injuries at crucial points in his development, that’s what happens sometimes.
    Then everyone thinks he’s crap, when he just hasn’t been playing through injury & a.n. other team picks him up cheap, us in this instance.

  35. ha! love that coloccini song. we’ve been singing in down nevadas here in nyc for a few months…think one of the guys heard it on a trip home and brought it back over.

    also good to hear CH getting the vocal backing. it seems that people have got behind him for doing the job well enough. like many have already said, it’s often not pretty but at the end of the day, it’s 3 points needed and gained.

  36. Routledge has been a great signing for us so far, hopefully we’ll gain promotion and he’ll have increased in confidence enough to reach his potential in the prem

  37. @ eastcoast mag or anyone else who can help?
    Hiya,
    We are going to New York in March for a week’s holiday. It’ll be the first time we have been to the USA, very exciting! We are wondering if there is somewhere we can watch Newcastle’s home game with Sheffield Utd, which is live on Sky (Monday evening kick off UK time). We’re staying in Midtown Manhattan & we really don’t want to miss the Toon game if at all possible,

    Can you help with suggestions about where to go?

    Cheers

  38. My god, if you’s think Routledge is premier class then I don’t see why I should spend my football nouse on you’s.
    Absolutely clueless!!
    He is busy, but flatters to deceive. I have to be honest, I think he has more end product than Jonas, but thats not difficult but I don’t rate Jonas at all.
    I guess I’m just a better judge of footballer than you’s.
    C’est la vie.

  39. @moLar – if it’s on TV, it’ll almost definitely be on at nevada smiths (www.nevadasmiths.net) check their site maybe a week or two before as they keep their schedule pretty current. its pretty easy to get to from midtown or by cab, and shouldnt be that expensive.
    last game against them, we had a good showing from the toon army nyc as well as a good number of sheff utd fans, and randomly their chairman (his son had apparently run the nyc marathon the day before. nice guy actually, jumped in a photo with a bunch of us after we had just beat his team!)
    anyway, if i can help out any further with the match stuff or nyc in general, feel free to email me (contact info should be on my profile thing)

  40. @eastcoastmag

    Thanks very much for this, will check out the website to see how close it is to where we’re staying. I tried your email address via the profile thing and got a bounceback saying it was undeliverable. Am pleased to hear it’s not just premier league games being televised over there if the reverse fixture was on. I’m in New York to celebrate my birthday, can’t wait. Any suggestions for good, laid back places to go for drinks nearby also welcome (I assume if it’s a UK evening kick off it’ll be in the afternoon there, so places to go afterwards)

    Thanks again

  41. @Bobby Shinton Number 9 – if only your confidence in your team could match your own unfaltering confidence in your own opinion.

  42. Well, Routledge might not, at the present time, be good PL material but to say he’s not a good signing for as is hard to comprehend – and note that it’s not unlikely for him (for example) to become a solid PL winger if he stays fit and plays regularly.

    Fans tend to just condem players way to easy. Boumsong for example was indeed a miseralble player FOR US and a crap buy. Must ppl on these boards would say he as a player is L2 material at best.

    Nonetheless, to say HE IS a crap player is just funny since the guy is a starting CB in a “decent” club (playing regulary in CL, beating “small” teams like Real Madrid) and also normally a starting CB for a “decent” national team (yeah yeah, I agree that the Irish should have made it to the WC, but now France is there and they might very well outperform teams like e.g. England…).

  43. @ andreas
    not once did i say routledge was a bad signing for us. In fact for the undisclosed fee, it was good business. He gives the team balance and width and is a good championship player. My point, which you have totally missed was he is not premier class and thats what hughton was saying about all his new signings.
    You have a foreign name so i put your mistake down to the lack of understanding the english language. I hope.

  44. BSno9 mate, you seem to miss the fact that we do agree that Routledge isn’t PL quality player at the moment.

    You have not stated that he was a bad buy; just that he isn’t and won’t be a PL quality player (in a few posts) – which in my opinion sort of implied that we could have bought “better”, i.e. not a good buy, but you have now clarified your view and stated that you deem him to be a good acquisition for the present campaign so in the end we just have different opinions regarding his (and other players) future potential.

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