Walking in a Hughton Wonderland?

Posted on December 11th, 2009 | 105 Comments |

Earning the respect?
Earning the respect?
‘When all is said and done, more is said than done’ to coin a sporting phrase, and the cliche-filled environment of football blogs and forums like this can be considered to contain a whole lot of hot air along the virtual ether. From the people who write the articles, to those passing comment via them, everyone has an opinion on all things Newcastle United, and of course we do like to have our say.

Yet rarely, if ever, do we all agree on something, but are we approaching a time when we can all just about agree on one thing? Chris Hughton is indisputably ‘making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear’. Regardless of the quality in the division, regardless of the undeniable expectation we should have of our highly-paid stars to perform, Chris Hughton has stood up and been counted this season, and has not been found wanting.

By no means do I always agree with what Louise Taylor has to say but her article in the Guardian is excellent. In it, she suggests the contradiction of a number of skewed (mis?)perceptions, during Hughton’s recent tenure and explores how he is quietly going about his job and getting results in spite of the protracted sideshows constantly arising to trip him up along the way.

One of the perceptions is that a manager with little profile and on such a modest salary, can command the respect of this playing staff. The results this season speak for themselves, but so too do the way in which he has dealt with adversity. Adversity being the ongoing ‘sale saga’ (yes, I know we’re ‘not for sale anymore’, apparently…), adversity being Joey Barton and his unusual behaviours, adversity being ‘the Blu Bambu incident’, adversity being the way he has transformed a lacklustre, de-motivated squad into a machine that looks destined for promotion at the first attempt.

Hughton has managed to arrange his troops, such that he has the egos and leaders helping to lead the line, in the dressing room, on the pitch and in dealing with the media. Another perception is that even in spite of the false impression that most Newcastle fans are ‘anti-South’, Hughton is helping to illustrate that ‘outsiders’ are, in fact, welcome this side of the Tyne. Without constanly spewing forth empty platitudes, his relationsip with the fans is subtly blossoming.

A refreshing change also to the perception that defenders cannot defend for toffee once they commit to life as a Magpie. Four clean sheets on the trot and twelve overall this season, suggest otherwise. Chris Hughton and his able assistant Colin Calderwood can be proud of that turnaround, despite the probability that this is in part due to the difference in the challenge our defence has so far encountered.

It’s that time of year and the borrowed tune is relevant, and supporters should be in generous mood. The ‘Walking in a [insert name] Wonderland’ song has taken on increased reverence since the passing of the late, great Sir Bobby Robson and his version is still sung at games. So to bestow that tradition upon Chris Hughton, would be a big indication that he has finally been accepted by the majority and that the masses believe in him (with or without the significance of his relationship with the reviled current board). It may not be long before we hear a rendition, and perhaps it is due?

And of course a Happy Birthday for today, to Mr Hughton, sharing it with my best friend and best man. I’ll raise a glass to both at my work’s Christmas ‘do’ today and we can only hope that they celebrate with another black and white victory tomorrow at Oakwell.

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

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105 Responses

  1. well you cant deny he’s done a canny job for a bloke being paid 5 grand/week …. but if i was in his position i’d get the team promoted then walk away because next season his reputation as a manager will be in tatters when the wins turn to losses due to little or no investment from fatter belly gutbucket.

    ..aye git yoursel a proper job next season chris.

  2. He has pleasantly surprised many people – me included. For anyone to detract from his achievements based upon the league that we are in would be extremely churlish. Happy Birthday Mr Hughton – you deserve to enjoy this one!!!!

  3. He’s totally surprised me. He looked like a frightened rabbit last season on the touchline . . .and after 7 wins on the trot, he still does. Now that’s a surprise!

  4. Doesn’t the table look good eh?

    Pos 1 Newcastle Pld 20 Pts 45 Gd 23
    Pos 2 West Brom Pld 20 Pts 38 Gd 22
    Pos 3 Cardiff City Pld 20 Pts 33 Gd 15

    As well as the 12 point cushion (please don’t get too comfy lads), our goal difference is pretty impressive too – if only we could score more!!

    Chris Hughton has though done a marvellous job under circumstances that would have beaten other high-profile names. 

    He’s used the dressing room to his best advantage by using the player committee to assist and that is not player power but an astute and very good management style.

    Chris Hughton’s surprised many and his achievement is quite remarkable.  Well done him and I’m sure he’ll enjoy his birthday today.

  5. The table @4 certainly doesn’t look good – so much for copy/ paste!!

    (Ed – looks slightly better now…)

  6. Wow!  Midas must have worked a spell on the table @4 – it’s as intended now……

    Could it have been tidied up by BBM or someone in the inner sanctum?  If so, thanks.

  7. For ‘inner sanctum’ read ‘As You Like It’ post-1.30 today because that’s where I’m heading to be fed and watered for Christmas lunch.

    So any f-ups from then on, will remain just that :)

  8. i recall it being said that we’ll need 90pts to guarantee promotion, so with that thinking, were half way and were not even half way through the season… not bad at all. all being well we’ll have the thing wrapped up with 6games to spare
    i feel dizzy

  9. I think we’ll need a lot less than 90 points to guarentee promotion this season. Looking at the points haul of the teams below West Brom, I can’t see any of them getting more than 75 points this season. If we don’t sell any players in January and we don’t have a major injury crisis then I think we could have this league tied up by the end of March.

  10. after reading that – just 1 thing to say:


    if your birthday wish was to be recognised for all the good work you’ve done, consider it granted fella

  11. Happy Birthday to Mr H – the story of this season, for certain.  Manager of the Month 3 out of 4 months so far.

    Credit also has to go to the other staff – Calderwood, and co, specialist coaches.  And also the conditioning staff, who have kept the all-important injury rate contained so far – as important a job as any one of the players.

    3 more points tomorrow and I’m happy to see CH’s name in the record books.  Any suggestions on line-up, anyone?

  12. Whumpie, you’ve raised a point which until now appears to have been forgotten about – injuries and strains resluting in training.

    One wonders if CH’s changed the training surface or the regime as we don’t seem to be suffering as many as in previous years.  Similarly, we don’t seem to be picking up as many strains during games.

    Any thoughts folks?

  13. For the sake of it, and to put off returning to my work, here’s my starters:

    Simpson – Colo – S.Taylor – Enrique
    Pancake – Butt – Guthrie – Jonas
    ——- Loverboy—– Shola

    Bench: Krull, Kadar, R.Taylor, Lua Lua, Carroll, Ranger

    I also think that if we get 3 points tomorrow, Wor Chris may be (rightly) tempted to open up the play a bit and allow a bit of flair back in.  His ‘thud-n-crunch’ tactics have got us 12 points clear of 3rd,  sooner or later he can afford to risk losing the odd clean sheet and find out if we can up the scoring rate a bit, and the entertainment with it.


  14. The injury and conditioning bit is a major soap-box subject for me. Allerdyce had it right, and we should have kept that entire system and staff in place when he went. We lost (fired) our chief physio a while back and things seem to have improved since. Co-incidence?

  15. Whumpie. I disagree with your speculation that a win might encourage a more cavalier approach in that:

    (a) a 15pt gap can be eroded;
    (b) it’s far too early;
    (c) it’d be nice to go up unbeaten from now on and end the season with record ponits haul and
    (d) I don’t think it’s in his make up to play such football – he’s a defender remember.

    Maybe the fans’d be happier losing and enjoying the games or winning having played dull ones?

  16. Fair play to Hughton. I hope he enjoys this one as he thoroughly deserves it like. He’s doing a fantastic job under the circumstances and morale is clearly high!
    ..Off topic but i’ve just been told by a gunner mate that Wenger apparently mentioned the possibility of sending Jack Wilshere out on loan in Jan?..Said he’d preferr it to be a premier league club, but a top level championship club would also definitly be considered..surely we have to at least throw our name into the hat? The lad looks like he’d be different class to the majority of the players in this league and he’s barely half their age!

  17. Fair play to Hughton SO  FAR. He is starting to make amends for last season when he was woefully out of his depth. It will take a long time for me to forget his clipboard twiddling insytead of making changes to chase games……. but as i say, fair play. He is going about setting the record straight the right way.

  18. I love you CH for all you have done for my might TOON and I still know we are in a CH Revolution and CH is going to take us places. He has a plan in place to get the right players in and take us places. I remember him saying he is looking for a long term contract and I bet he will get one with all he has done He will.
    CH if you want a good birth day go for this line up:
    Krul, Zurab, Butt, Pancake, Loverboy, Ranger, Harewood.
    Happy Birthday CH.

  19. Is Nolan not still suspended? Praps it’s only 1 match, in which case swap him in there for… um…

    Blimey.  We have choices.  Not used to this!

    Ok, put him in the hole instead of Guthrie.

    Lesh – yep, see your point.  I don’t mean a wholesale switch, just an adjustment to see where the tipping point is before we start leaking goals.    It’s ultra-tight at  the moment, but there is a danger that teams will start to work out how to play us if we don’t change it a bit.

  20. I must be having a Friday brain-fart.  Butt instead of Smith?  Nah.  Midfield of Pancake, Nolan, Smith, Jonas.

    Much more like it.  I need to lie down.

  21. Here’s a quandry (can you tell I’m really bored with this Programme Brief I’m supposed to be editing?): For a moment, entertain the idea that we get promoted at the end of the season. Assume Harewood’s gone. We still have Shola, Carroll, Loverboy and Ranger, with the likes of Donaldson lurking, and of course Nolan, who is as much a striker as a midfielder. Problem: they’re all big (and bigger) lads.

    You realise that for the Prem you’re going to need a Martins-style striker – small, pacey,  hard to mark, someone to take the knock-downs from the big lads.  FCB gives you £5m to get another striker, plus whatever you get from selling one of your other strikers.  

    Who do you sell?

  22. Whumpie, we would have 4 strikers;
    The bigs lads – Ranger, Shola, Carroll
    Pacy lad – Lovenkrands, Xisco (he is still on contract)
    All we need is a striker who can score every week.

  23. Will anyone back CH if he lose 5, draw 2 out of 10 matches? …In the Pre Legu.

    Will anyone still wish he Happy B’day or expect him to be sack or leave by his own?

    -Will anyone i mean anyone out there(in this blog) still support him if this results came true?

    -I will! Remb he is the one that brings us up. (but is still early days…lets gets the trophy on hand 1st, meanwhile lets support our team)…we must learn from our lesson.

  24. Davis, I will support him coz he was there wen we needed him. Hey I remember I supported Joe Kinnear wen we were playing sh@t.
    I have seen worse days.

  25. Shola is on about 1 goal per start… I firmly believe that Xisco’s absence is one of the reasons we have team spirit this term, so sooner gone the better as far as I’m concerned. McLoven just ain’t that quick; need more of a Defoe type of player (though cheaper and perhaps less likely to come across as a cock).

    I just don’t think we can hold onto 5 strikers, let alone when at least 4 of them are the same kind of thing.  Trouble is, I can’t really think of any that I’d be happy to lose.

    Nice problem, really.  Just something to debate on a Friday afternoon…

  26. People to lose in January or the summer:

     – Butt (ta for the great service Butty, but no new contract)
     – Geremi (how much??)
     – Barton (will be in clink by then anyway)
     – Harewood (just lerrim go, despite recent heroics.  Shola better.)
     – Xisco (if he really is still on the books?  Send him back to his twinkie)

    Sign Simpson permanently, get another CB, a really quick midfielder and a small, quick poacher of a striker.  All under 26, and all earning less than the people listed above.

  27. Happy Birthday CH-Job well done,kept a steady ship that is sailing well in a sea of fizzy pop.

  28. Whumpie-i mentioned Wilshire from Arsenal earlier and having a browse i found an article on their official website regarding him going on loan where Wenger says he’d consider loaning him out to a top CCC club. I think its vital we put our name in the hat tbh, even if we do lose out to a prem club. He’d be the midfielder at the top of my list for January, he’s a fantastic talent.

  29. The thing with Hughton is that, you can’t help liking the bloke. And a manager that has the fans on his side gets a lot longer when things go badly than one who is not popular. Due to one reason or another Dalglish, Gullit, Souness and Allardyce were not as popular with the fans as Keegan or Robson. Hughton can generate himself a lot of goodwill this season that in turn will give him time next season in the Premier League, and this he is doing in bucketfuls.

  30. been thinking about that too re; nippy striker. my suggestions are;

    jay simpson – banging them in for qpr, not going to get a game for arsenal any time soon

    jamie clarke – looks quick, though maybe a long term option

    maybe tempt someone like humberto sauzo – recently said he wants a move to the prem

    annoying because frazier campbell would have been the perfect candidate if ma hadn’t been trying to cut his losses

    who else is there?

  31. We won’t be signing anyone significant in January I wouldn’t imagine.
    Were 12 points clear.  Ashley will be looking at the lowest possible outlay at the minute.
    Results are papering over the cracks for me.  Where’s the long term planning for the club?  The scouting networks?  The plans for next season if we go up or if we stay down?
    Although Hughton has handled himself brilliantly with grace and humility.
    Having said that we should be 12 points clear with this team in this division.

  32. Happy B’day to Chris – nice to see people already moaning about how many games we’ll lose in prem, man lets enjoy this season first.
    Think I’d prefer LuaLua upfront than another loanee – send Harewood back in Jan
    If we had to sell one of our strikers to buy another smaller/quicker I’d prob sell Shola – don’t think he can cut it in prem and has no hold up play or heading ability – need to keep him for this season tho

  33. Stuart79 says:
    December 11, 2009 at 3:35 pm

    “Having said that we should be 12 points clear with this team in this division.”

    Stuart, we should get promoted really, but it isn’t as much of a walkover as you think. Middlesborough’s squad is quite close to ours in terms of value with WBA behind them, and we should be fighting a tight battle with them for the promotion places. Being seven points ahead of WBA, with Middlesborough making a real dog’s breakfast of things so far is a bonus.

  34. “By no means do I always agree with what Louise Taylor has to say but her article in the Guardian is excellent. ”

    Bowburn, are you sucking up to the witch because you know she reads this ‘blog now? :-)

  35. looking forward to tomorrows game – will almost be like a home match with 7,000 there – be a tough game tho, mark robbins has them playing with belief.
    According to chronicle Hughton will be putting Nolan straight back into team tomorrow, hopefully for nicky butt great player in his time but def looking a bit past it this season and last (in fact he’s been poor for most of his time at newcastle with the exception of about 15 games)

  36. Hughton is already on record as saying he wants to a LB, CB and striker in January.  LB and CB are absolute necessaities in my opinion as we saw what happended when Taylor and colo were out earlier in the year and currently if Enrique gets hurt we’re likely screwed.  We have the FA cup to think about as well now- would hate to see injuries to the back four in non-championship games.

    We will need significant changes in midfield if we are promoted- a true AM and a creative winger with pace.  Will probbaly also need cover and/or replacement for Smith assuming Butt is gone.  But those types of changes will have to wait until the summer.

  37. its funny like reading the comments we are all almost begrudgingly saying congratulations to Chris for such a good job . The fact is he is a manager that we did not want , and there is still a chairman that we still don’t want !

    BUT lets forget about alan shearer for now and the shadow of KK , and get FULLY behind Chris he’s done a FANTASTIC job so far , keep it going we may be singing  Chrissie is a Geordie ….by the end of the season …


  38. workyticket says:
    December 11, 2009 at 3:58 pm

    WBA and Boro haven’t got 1 player who earns more than 30k per week I reckon.  We have about half a dozen.

    We have a CB worth £10m, Taylor – £6m, Nolan –  £4.5m, Gutierrez £7m, Enrique – £6m, Barton – £5.8m to name but a few. 

    Neither WBA or Boro have players worth that much in their entire squads.

    My point is we have players earning massive wages who cost alot  more than any other Championship players.  We should be winningthis league as easy as we are.

    The teams I have seen have been so poor it’s untrue.

  39. I must admit CH is doing real well, better than I thought he would, and he is a real likable guy. But as a manager I will reserve my judgement as I think you cant judge him on the crest of a wave I think we need to see him going through a bad run before I could judge him, and that wont be this year. So have to wait till we are back in the prem next year ;)

  40. Still here Batty.  Sat in Syracuse airport waiting for my flight back to New York City.  Bloody delayed!

  41. Seen Dean ashton has had to retire. Best of luck to him, good player plagued by injuries.

    batty – forgot to say the other day, best of luck to your youngun. Just remember he is doing you and this country proud. Try and keep your chin up, we’re here for you (small consolation that last part :D)

  42. any ideaswhere to park 2mrw? they not allowing cars in the away parking area, looks like a bit of a hike! especially with all those xmas shoppers!!

  43. Very Happy Birthday to Mr. Chris Hughton.
    What an excellent job you’ve done so far, against great odds & indifference.
    This guy deserves all recognition he gets.
    He was thrown in at the deep end last season, this time he’s had time & been able to be more measured, after having a taster last season. &  it shows.
    Top work by his staff too-credit to all concerned.
    The lads at the club now, want to play for us, the club & their boss.
    Unity, continuity, teamwork & consistency breed confidence & a winning mentality. CH has built this from the floor up.
    & all done with a calm, relaxed humility that we’ve needed for many a year.
    He is the lynchpin & jewel in the crown of our present position without doubt.
    Happy Birthday mate & thanx for bringing a bit of order & pride back into our football team.
    Dare i say: ‘Hughton’s Black n’ White Army’
    Oh! go on then.

  44. jettison – Thats wher you should read my guide further down the page ;)

    Try parking at the MetroDome mate.

  45. just a few of the problems the boro have are..they have about 5/6 of their players out of contract in the summer , a short arsed ginger ponce for a manager & their dropping like a brick…lordy lord help them… liquidation again ?.

  46. aye clint , that’s true..and the owner has decided to ignore the plight of the club and invest all his time and money on the construction of a hotel/golf complex instead.

  47. Boro’s support is genuinly laughable. i wonder what their average attendance is for this season. 17,000 watched them lose midweek. I suppose all the rowdy hardcore lot stopped going or something after they were asked to keep the noise down, hahaha.

  48. komfort,
    that can’t possibly be in the boro area, is it? :)
    Toonsy, don’t know if support is the right word like. Bit of a misnomer there.

  49. Toonsy  –  thanks, hopefully i will get down in time 4 a parking bay close enough.  If not the metrodome then its somewhere else cheers again! 3 points 4 the lads is all that matters

  50. The Boro’s average home league attendance is about 20,500 Ross, but that obviously does not include the 8838 who turned up for their home league cup game against Forest. That’s an awful lorra empty seats in a 35000 seat stadium.

    Google is my friend!

  51. Starkadder-there attendance’s are so rotten there’ll probably be empty seats in the away end against us!

  52. What gets me is how wigan, portsmouth etc survive in the prem with gates of less than 20k.
    Should you be allowed in the prem without at least a 25k capacity?
    They’d just up & move the team to somewhere that appreciated it more in the states.

  53. Clint-Portsmouth are in a world of trouble at the minute like, financially and on the field. They’re not surviving, the rumour was they had their financial experts working round the clock last weekend to save them from administration and they’re currently a dead on for CCC football next season. It’s a shame to be honest because i quite like them. Their fans seem passionate and a canny bunch. And to think, it was just last year they were lifting the FA cup.

  54. CLiNT,

    Capacity isn’t everything, we aren’t filling our 52000 seater (although we do have twice as many turning up as Boro).

    As a supporter I would rather be in a smaller stadium, packed to the rafters and rocking. I’ve been to big grounds when the attendance has been paltry and the atmosphere is abysmal.

    The problem we have is that a large number of the corporates and ‘prawn sandwich’ brigade seem to have given up on us, and there is no way that your regular Joe can even get into those seats. If you look around the ground on match day, even though there are pockets of empty seats, it’s not the grass roots supporters who have contributed to our lower attendances. It is the clubs policy of giving more and more of the ground over to corporate seats. The Milburn is testimony to this.

  55. Ross  I think there biggest problem was splashing all the cash with Harry R and it is sad to see but I think we will have to get used to as I think a lot more clubs are going to go to the wall.

  56. Ross,
    aye pomey do get a top atmosphere going, but you’re right they’re in deep do-do atm, i don’t see ’em surviving either.
    ain’t most of the empty seats boycotters, i seem to remember the gate dropping 5/6k during the worst of the ashley debacle last season, i’m guessing they ain’t back yet-Let’s see if they come back if we keep up the momentum at the top of the league, i reckon a lot of ’em won’t be able to resist it.
    Butts on seats is where it’s at, & so long as you can fill the ground, the more the merrier, i say.

  57. Portsmouth is a weird one like,
    ‘arry spent a fair bit, got results, then left.
    But, they sold quite a few players for big money recently, where did that cash go?
    Ta-ta’s with the last owner me thinks, that was nice, what a flake!

  58. I’m not so sure Clint.

    The first home game was a washout for sure, only 36-37,000 but it obviously picked up. I always felt that the first home game would be a sign of protest and that low figure would demonstrate that.

    What I would really like to know is, have all the boycotters purchased a season tick, but not turned up. So their seat cannot be used and remains empty in protest, but the club still have their money, so not really a protest at all. Or, have they not purchased a ticket of any sort in protest. In which case, are those tickets been picket up by matchday sales and people who have newly taken season tickets this season. Since there are no figures to show just how many people boycotted, we will never know.

    For me it was a no-brainer. I support the team so I attend their games. I can’t remember a time in my life when I really though ‘I think my ticket money is being wisely used’ or ‘I completely agree with the direction that the board is taking my club’, so it was no change for me.

    And I’m on the three year deal thingy anyway.

  59. Starkadder,
    it just seems that the numbers have remained the same, around 43/45k, i think that states that, like you suggest, some have a season ticket & aren’t turning up, so no one else can take their seat. It also feels like that’s the hardcore nust supporters right there.
    I think you bang on though about supporting the team.

  60. Ironically,
    it could be that the money from your ticket is being spent wisely for a change.

  61. The strangest thing for me about Portsmouth was the fact that they sold up and were under foreign owners and everyone was like “phew, thank god for that”..and then like, a week later they’re in financial trouble!?..Looks like the fella who’s bought them doesn’t have the money he supposidly had, players and staff not getting paid etc. I have no idea how its happened, its all a bit bizarre like.

  62. So what’s the deal with the press?
    Have they got sick of ripping us apart or is there just not enough bad news?
    Or have they got newer more interesting stuff to rip in the  shape of liverpool, portsmouth, manc?
    Not that Carroll is helping our cause much, just when we start to get our house in order someone has to go & put their foot in it, typical.
    Good to see that CH was having none of it though-Good on him.

  63. Definitely Ross,
    surely he was passed as ‘fit & proper’?
    But, if that’s got owt to do with the fa, it means sweet f a. :)
    fifa, uefa & the fa have got to be the biggest cop out associations in the world.
    & thick as…to boot.

  64. Clint-its the latter for me mate. There’s just not enough bad news. They’ll keep themselves occupied with Carroll for a few weeks but look for a load of made up rubbish to appear if we keep on winning. Either that, or just trivial pathetic little things that they try to make huge stories just to frustrate us. They must be fuming we’re top of the table, they’re literally sitting there waiting for us to lose so they can slap it over the back page.

  65. I don’t know how many the Milburn is supposd to hold, but at times it has looked only half full below level 7. When you take into account the press seats and the clubs seats, that means an awful lot of people who were paying £900+ for Platinum Club or Sovereign Club seats have obviously given it up. Unless they have moved to cheaper seats vacated to those people who have boycotted? Reallistically no one is going to take them up again in our present state. The cost is too much for a regular supporter and the Championship does not have the pull of the Premier League for corporates.

    As I say, we will never guage the true extent of the boycott. Personally I know several people who had those £900+ seats and they have swapped them for much cheaper seats and I can fully understand why. I don’t know anyone who has boycotted.

    Now that might just be because of my age group (I’m less young) so I possibly have a different outlook on the whole fiasco to some of the younger supporters, but with the attendance fallen the way it has, I would expect that I would have come across at least one person who said I have not renewed on principle. I know they exist, but I’m not sure there are as many of them as has been suggested or implied. I am more inclined to think that finances and fare-weather supporters are equally as likely, if not more so to account for our current lower attendances.

    Which are still bloody good and not to be sniffed at it must be said!

  66. Aye,
    y’probably right mate.
    But i think they starting to get on thew liverpool thing-snigger.
    So long the press darlings-snigger again.
    & the pompey thing could get a lot more interesting, don’t think a prem club has gone into admin before, has it?
    Also westham are in deep financial shit aswell. They’re keeping that quiet for now though, cos they’re also press darlings.

  67. Clint-exactly mate, its completly confusing. I havent got a clue whats going on but i feel sorry for them because obviously we know what its like to have a pathetic owner and no clue of whats happening short term, or long term with regards to whether your club is heading upwards or is in downward spiral. Sadly for Pompey, the latter seems more likely. All the papers are banging on about the fact they’re going to have to sell their best in Jan to help the finances aswell. But like i’ve just said, they know as much as me or you really,lol

  68. Speaking of West Ham-i feel very sorry for Dean Ashton. A player with real promise being forced to retire at 26, pretty terrible. However-did you hear there was talk of trying to take legal action against SWP for the challenge that injured him in the first place?..i was shocked it was even considered, surely it isnt his fault!? it wasnt on purpose and to try and take action against him would be canny harsh for me like.

  69. That’s probably a fair assessment starkadder.
    Probably some of that & some of what i’m suggesting.
    Coulda been a lot worse.
    At least it’s nice to know that most of our fans aren’t glory hunters.

  70. The press are just waiting for us to slip up.

    You know and I know it will happen. A couple of bad results, no signings (or a stupid sale) in January, further verbal jousting between NUST and Llambias. Thay can afford to bide their time until we give them the ammunition because at the moment they have other targets (Liverpool, Pompey).

    Hughtons handling of the Carroll incedent has probably gone a long way to making it a non-story for the press. No hysterical statements from player or manager, no fuss. All handled behind closed doors. The way it should be. 

    If we don’t give them any ammunition they will move elsewhere and pick on someone else.

  71. Aye Ross,
    with pompey, have they got the capacity to bounce back, they don’t have big crowds, or even the chance of getting big crowds with their little ground, so if they go down it will be hard for them, how long did it take last time?
    Yea, gutted for Ashton, that was on england ‘duty’ wasn’t it, what a gutter that must be?
    & done by your own player?
    Or did he come back from that & get crocked by swp later?
    Although harsh, maybe insurance against the ‘injurer’ is the way forward to ‘stamping’ out ther sort of crap tackles that the likes of lee cattermole were guilty of last season i.e. Barton, Beye & a gooner i think he crocked in the space of about 4 games-tw@amole more like.

  72. For me Ashton was always a maybe player. Obviously he did well in the lower league but when he got further up the ladder there was always something that made me think he’s not going to make it. Bit like Zamora at Fulham and James Beattie. All were players who at some stage in their careers wer built up to be the next England number 9 (or Alan Shearer as we say up here).
    The real shame is that at 26 a player would normally have time to prove me wrong and make me eat my words, he didn’t get the chance.
    What he cannot do is blame Wright-Phillips and Chelsea. His may have been the original challenge, but didn’t Ashton rush back from injury to join the international squad and further damage his ankle in training with them. His club should have told him ‘no’ and he should have listened to their medical advice.

  73. Makes a nice change that doesn’t it starkadder?
    I’m impressed.
    About time though.
    A manager that knows how to deal with the press.

  74. It’ll probably be west ham, not Ashton.
    They’re losing an asset.
    So it’ll be legals that they have to go through, not necessarily a blame thing.
    swp is a gonk though. (another that isn’t living up to his hype)

  75. What I think is refreshing about Hughtons handling of the media is that he has obviously not had any training at all in how to manage them. That’s why he comes across as a bunny in the headlights.

    You are right Clint, it is refreshing. In a time when everyone in football is in the public eye and has to be media savvy, it’s good to come across someone who is obviously winging it and doint it well.

    I have always preferred listening to the ‘real’ managers speak, rather than those who go all philosophoical on you. Keegan had it, as did Robson, even Dalglish had it to a lesser degree. Gullit didn’t nor did Souness and don;t get me started on Allardyce.

  76. I just like the way he drags them back to talking about what he wants to talk about, i.e. the game etc
    Generally it’s about football, not politics or the press’s agenda.
    Most managers just can’t stay on the straight & narrow, they get drawn in & start answering their(press) dumb fake questions, that are preambles to a more snide agenda.

  77. Clint-the injury i’m pretty sure was sustained when on international duty, it was the one challenge SWP made during a training session i think SSN said. It’s a shame for Ashton and a real shame for SWP, i doubt he felt brilliant today.
    As for Lee Cattermole- I cant stand the lad. The Mackems had i field day with us and Barton, and then they went and signed a carbon copy. He got away with alot of shocking challenges last season and injured alot of players long term. Everyone goes on about him being this old school center mid who plays and tackles hard. There’s a big difference between being able to put in a hard but fair challenge and just going in with wreckless tackles that do damage.

  78. I find it a bit difficult to watch kk on espn atm like.
    I thought, ok, espn, cool.
    Then i saw they’d poached stubby ray from the beeb & that dampened my ardour somewhat. Then i saw kk just after the bs with us & i wanted to punch the tv in.
    I’m learning to live with it now though.  :)

  79. Ross,
    for ‘old school’ read ‘DIRTY’.
    Didn’t he have his debut for boro against us a few years back?
    He was a hacker in that game too.
    If you’re gonna be ‘hard’, you have to get 9 out of 10 right.

  80. Clint-exactly. There’s not many “old school” center midfielders still out there, purely because the game has changed in its pace, style, everything. The ones that are known as old school are seemingly the ones that just cant time a tackle anymore.

  81. Aye Ross,
    & the ones that haven’t learned the new rules like ‘no tackles from behind, two footed challenges etc ouch!
    I like a player to get stuck in, but fairly.
    Please mr capello, don’t reward that crap behavior with caps.

  82. clint-to be fair, i do think the rules when it comes to tackling are pretty pathetic these days. That doesnt excuse the challenges from the likes of Cattermole, they’re terrible and should be punished. However, some of the 50/50’s, challenges that Ref’s consider two footed etc are nothing tackles sometimes, it’s all got a bit OTT. However, consistency has to be the key with referee’s and we see time and time again it isnt. It’s almost as if no one really knows the rules these days. You see penalties given in one game where the exact same debatable offence is waved away in another. Blatant Two footed tackles not given in one game and a lads sent off for a fair tackle in another.

  83. We`re fizzy pop stars….Our team is not so good…hope we can get promoted….but not sure about that….

  84. Ross,
    Some refs are scared to give cards etc to ‘big name’ players & some see other players as easy targets.
    Also, some players really know how to con refs & diving & rolling around has become the norm.
    You’re right though, no consistency.

  85. Worky,
    i use safari to browse.
    if i open 2/3 topics, every now & then they stick & crash.
    I use a couple of different computers, so it isn’t down to one comp, what do ya’ think the problem could be, any idea’s?
    As it’s really annoying having to reboot the browser periodically.

  86. CLiNT FLiCK says:
    December 11, 2009 at 10:48 pm

    i use safari to browse.
    if i open 2/3 topics, every now & then they stick & crash.
    I use a couple of different computers, so it isn’t down to one comp, what do ya’ think the problem could be, any idea’s?”

    How many other applications do you have on the go Clint?

  87. Usually none.
    Occasionally 1 other.
    Sometimes i just have 1 instance i.e. page up.
    It’s been doing it from the get go i think, it’s occasional, but annoying

  88. It just did it again, twice.
    I have to end program, then it asks if i wanna send an error report.

  89. It’s just that i don’t seem to get this problem with other sites, so i was wondering if it was something at your end.
    It’s usually when refreshing the page.
    Maybe i’m doing something wrong, but i can’t think what that could be tbh.

  90. Stuart79 says:
    December 11, 2009 at 6:52 pm

    “My point is we have players earning massive wages who cost alot  more than any other Championship players.  We should be winningthis league as easy as we are.”

    Well your point is wrong in the case of Middlesborough I’m afraid Stuart, and you have also overvalued some of the Newcastle players too.  The approximate worth of the Newcastle squad is around £59 million, and the Middlesborough squad is worth around £50 million and is a little smaller in numbers. The average Newcastle player is worth around £1.8 million, and the average Middleborough  player is worth around £1.7 million.

  91. CLiNT FLiCK says:
    December 11, 2009 at 11:41 pm

    “It’s just that i don’t seem to get this problem with other sites, so i was wondering if it was something at your end.
    It’s usually when refreshing the page.
    Maybe i’m doing something wrong, but i can’t think what that could be tbh.”

    I’ll look into it Clint. Perhaps it’s timing out too quickly, but it could be many other things too. I’m so busy ATM though.

  92. Worky,
    that’s sweet mate, just thought i’d let you know anyway, just in case it was something building up.
    No rush man, i can put up with it, just let us know if you find owt.
    Ta for bothering.

  93. 102 workyticket says:
    December 11, 2009 at 11:49 pm
    Stuart79 says:
    December 11, 2009 at 6:52 pm

    “My point is we have players earning massive wages who cost alot more than any other Championship players. We should be winningthis league as easy as we are.”

    Well your point is wrong in the case of Middlesborough I’m afraid Stuart, and you have also overvalued some of the Newcastle players too. The approximate worth of the Newcastle squad is around £59 million, and the Middlesborough squad is worth around £50 million and is a little smaller in numbers. The average Newcastle player is worth around £1.8 million, and the average Middleborough player is worth around £1.7 million.

    Not sure where you’re getting that info from Worky but it’s absolute bollox!

    How can I over value NUFC players? The values I have put are what we paid for them.