My own view is that Hughton has been strung out to dry on this one. Mike Ashley has given him very little to work with in terms of resources since he was awarded the managers job, but working within those restrictions and doing a grand job appears to be not enough.
Let’s not forget where we were when Hughton took control of the reins at Newcastle.
We had just been relegated and had a club up that was up for sale. Players were leaving left, right, and centre amid rumours of a poisonous dressing room and infighting. The club could very easily have drifted towards oblivion, but it didn’t, and that was largely down to one man – Chris Hughton.
Chris Hughton will forever have a place in Tyneside folklore in my opinion. Whilst I admit that I wasn’t overly keen to see him appointed as our full-time manager, I have to say that come the end of his tenure at St James’ Park he had completely won me around and I was right behind him. In fact I was even singing his name at The Hawthorns yesterday, along with a large percentage of other fans I hasten to add.
Hughton had one brief last season, and that was to get the team promoted. He did that with room to spare and showed along the way that he was learning the role. He wasn’t faultless, but then he never claimed to be. He was learning all the time, but he did have a knack of man management right from the off as he helped to rebuild a fractured team spirit at the club.
He only had one brief this season, which was to secure survival. He won’t get the chance to complete that task, but he does leave us sitting 11th in the table, four points clear of the relegation zone with near enough half of the season gone.
The quiet man has always just got on with the job in hand. He brought dignity back to the club and handled turbulent events such as the Taylor/Carroll affair along with countless other flashpoints with consumate ease – an ease that perhaps a rookie manager shouldn’t have possessed. He knew how to play the press and was well liked all over.
He is not dead, and I understand that this piece reads like a funeral reading, but it is the end of an era. As I said earlier, Hughton will always have a plce in the hearts of the Newcastle faithful. Fans regulalrly chanted his name. He earned that, and he was arguably one of only a handful of former managers who deserved it.
The dismissal has left many people scratching their heads and has raked up a lot of old ground. We had a bit of stability for the first time in heaven knows how long, but that is no more and we must be prepared to go through the inevitable media circus that will follow until Mike Ashley appoints a replacement. Incidentally this next manager will be our 13th in 13 years.
One thing is for certain though, and that is that Chris Hughton will be a hard act to follow, so Ashley must have some ace waiting to be played up his sleeve!
There really isn’t much more I can say about this at the minute. Obviously I’m gutted for Hughton as it has now become clear that all the talk of a new deal was complete bollocks and Ashley has been stringing Hughton along, aswell as the rest of us.
So thank-you Chris for your hard work. Thank-you for bringing some good players to St James’ Park and for your help in developing Andy Carroll into an international class forward. Thank-you for dragging this club back from the abyss. Most importantly, thank-you for the memories!
Best wishes for the future, Chris. I only hope that your next employers value your contributions more than the fat shower of shit that owns our club!
All the best!