Hughton has chance to silence the boo boys.

Posted on May 18th, 2010 | 120 Comments |

Hughton and his trusty sidekick, Calderwood.
Hughton and his trusty sidekick, Calderwood.
A short twelve months ago we were a club in turmoil. Whilst we were surveying the wreckage of relegation from the Premier League, and the subsequent fallout in the next couple of months, one man had the chance to grasp an unlikely opportunity and turn it to his advantage – Chris Hughton.

Of course, we had already seen Chris in charge of the first team a couple of times in brief spells as a caretaker whilst the managerial doors were flapping open and closed all around him. He just got on with it, and whilst it probably wasn’t the most successful stints anyone has had as a caretaker, few can blame him for having any part in what was our departure from the Premier League. He was thrown in at the deep end with a bunch of players who didn’t know if they were coming or going, or indeed who else was coming or going above them, yet he just got on with it.

This time around could be very different though, and whilst we are still in some degree of turmoil as a club, it is nowhere near the levels seen last year. Through that though, Chris Hughton has earned himself the right to take us forward unlike any number of big name managers who had done well elsewhere before moving to Tyneside. Hughton had essentially been on a working job interview, in which ultimately he was successful. The success didn’t end there though, and now we can look back on a trophy-winning, record-breaking season in The Championship with fondness.

We know it is going to be tougher in the Premier League next season, but Hughton will be able to call upon the players at his disposal and ask them for that extra effort, something he has earned from the players. On top of that, he is also being suprememly confident on our chances of signing players, despite what the press may lead you to believe.

People say that this is the same squad that got us relegated with the best players taken out. I say it is the same squad with a more healthy outlook and with the bad apples taken out. We have a team in every sense of the word now, a bunch of players that has as much pride as I do when I put the black and white stripes on.

Hughton still attracts the critique of some fans though, with claims of not playing the youngsters enough, or not being tactically gifted, or the absurd assumption that anyone could manage these players to the league title. This is something Alan Shearer wouldn’t have had to deal with if he had achieved exactly the same this season. That last sentance will cause an uproar, because the truth hurts.

What we have now is one of the games genuine nice men in charge of first team affairs. Someone who sticks with his players, protects them, and gets on with it whilst giving nothing away to the press. We have had egotistical managers before, we have had big name managers, and none of them worked. In fact the last manager that truly worked out was Sir Bobby Robson, another one of the games gentlemen.

Hughton can do it. He can keep us up, and he is far better placed than anyone else is right now to take us forward, forward meaning survival.

NUFCBlog Author: toonsy toonsy has written 643 articles on this blog.

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120 Responses

  1. Well said. Personally, I am getting a bit tired of the “Doesn’t play the youth enough” statement. He’s picking the players that are good enough to take to the pitch. And quite frankly, while the CCC would’ve been a good opportunity to test more and more of the youth, I for one didn’t want to sacrifice promotion for a test of skill. That’s what scrimmages and closed door games are for. That’s what the Reserve games are for. That’s what pre-season will be for. When the so-called youth can prove themselves in those situations, then it’s time to promote them to the first team and show their talents on the main stage.

    CH has done fantasic with this team this year. I can’t wait for the next season to start. I have every confidence that he’ll get more out of this team (and new additions) than just survival.

  2. wonder how the ‘fans’ will react towards Houghton after a few defeats on the spin?
    Have no expectations for next season, if we stay up, great! Any better, bonus! If we get relegated, ahh well!
    Just hope we stay united for the whole season!

  3. I just think our squad on paper last season would have frightened off most of the opposition..Collocini alone was probably worth most first team squads combined last year.
    I am not taking anything away from CH,He is a seemingly nice fella but I think if he was in charge of a smaller club last year he may have come unstuck.
    The football even at championship level I would describe as very 1 dimensional,often dull and we picked off loads of teams with a lucky strike when the had massive chunks of possession but without the luxury of a target man the possession usually fizzled out in the final 3rd of the pitch.

    Next season this squad will find the pace,the precision attacks and the general play a whole different ballgame…last season we waltzed it as we where way superior to most teams….it will be interesting to see how the team motivates itself after a few kicks in the heed.


  4. If team investment is as expected (Poor) I think a few defeats…and a rout or two….the Toon Fury will be intense at the board,the players and the manager….I can see MA showing CH the door if we are languishing in the bottom 3 at xmas.

  5. On the other hand give Chris £20million in this window £8-10m for a decent striker (flog Shola and Best and Ranger) and see how we get on.

  6. On the youth argument. What players do you think will be loaned out in the summer and in which divisions? Nile Ranger definitely should play for a Championship club, but guys like Lualua are getting questionable as to whether they can ever develop into top players.

  7. As happy as it would make me to see Shola and Best get sold, it would also frighten me, because I don’t know if we could guarantee a good striker coming in to replace them. However, I doubt we could find strikers more hopeless than them. Remember everybody, we’ll be hopefully selling Xisco this summer as well. Didn’t Hughton actually say that a few weeks ago?

  8. I don’t think Ranger or Lua Lua will reach premiership level,I think Shola and Best should be sold or loaned to Leeds or someone.

  9. AndrewT – Aye, he did. And Santander have survived in La Liga, however much of a fix it was :D

    But shh, it wasn’t really a fix ;)

  10. I think Ranger should go to a Championship team to see if he improves a bit more with games. It’s far too early to write him off yet.

    Earlier in the season he was playing up front on his own, and playing well. If he could learn to finish, be less selfish, and cotinue improving then he could be useful in the future.

  11. I think Xisco deal or extension was to be decided if his current club got relegated…he has got to be better than best :)

    Bring Back Nacho Gonzalez as well haha

  12. xisco 3 goals in 23 thanks.
    hughton needs all the pennys he can get his hand on

  13. Not ruling Ranger out….just seems to lack that natural finishing touch at the moment….another athlete perhaps Hmmmmmmmmm Premiership would be daunting for both and would get bossed off the ball easily.

  14. Xisco…prolific haha seen his stats…he will probably end up in our reserves again…he loved it there.

  15. Arsenal reportedly interested in Kevin Doyle,good news for us if Wolves can’t hang onto him…………..maybe we don’t need to sign anybody but just hope the bottom halve teams lose all their best players ;-)

  16. Wolves manager said they will be investing on the telly….most owners will invest to try and stay in the premiership…must need to stay there to pay Ashley all the loans back that we owe him….expect we will break even in 2020.

  17. true hitman,but having the money and being able to buy a replacemant as good with it are 2 different things…….Leon Best to Wolves anyone ;-)

  18. Richie-I can’t see even a championship side wanting Best for free….Even the Coventry fans laughed and said he is a pile of steaming dog plop when we bought him :)

  19. it wont be hughton or the players fault if it goes tits up next will be 1 mans fault and thats ASHLEYS

  20. Why did Hughton buy Best? Why couldn’t we at least try to get somebody who had SOMETHING to offer. Pace, height, cannon for a foot. Something. Does anybody know what he’s supposed to be good at aside from being absolutely dreadful in front of a goal?

  21. AndrewT – At the time he had scored more than any of our strikers. It just hasn’t worked out for him yet.

  22. Aint got a clue Andrew,Best seems like he has some Evil Hoodoo on his back that puts its claws over his eyes when he shoots on goal.

    He did one good shot I think that clipped the Bar with a bit of power behind it…didn’t notice anything Else…same with Pancake he was Gash aswell apart from one fluke goal :)

  23. No way Toonsy…he has moved around loads and only really scored at Southampton 17 goals I think last time I looked…he is no way going to score goals in the premiership…NO FECKIN CHANCE !!! :)

  24. SJT I was thinking more of us paying them to take him ;-)
    I’m still hoping he might come good once he gets his 1st goal,but I am ever the optimist!!

  25. best only scored 19 goals in 92 games for coventry,fk knows why hughton thought this was a good buy

  26. But 10 of them were in the first few games of this season. When he was signed he was outscoring our players in this league.

  27. He could only score when he wore his mask cos he made the opposing teams laugh :)

  28. best had nearly 3 seasons at coventry,19 goals isnt good enough what if he scored 10 early on in the season it means nowt

  29. SJT he is good at the odd dummy. As for CH I think he has done better than most thought he would including me. But lets not forget the squad he had to work with was far stronger than any other CCC squad. As I said before I think the true test of his abilities will be how he can pick us up after a few good beatings in the Prem.

  30. Best = Yet another laughable NUFC signing.

    You don’t get champagne on beer money.

  31. Stu – But on that basis, Routledge and Williamson must be worse than Best as they cost less?

  32. Think what Stu meant Toonsy is that in General Best is not suitable at championship level for NUFC from what we have seen and am sure he will find life in the premiership very tough indeed-so might Routledge,Williamson and Simpson….we just don’t know yet.

  33. Stu Lidle do a fizzy wine for £2.50 and after 10 cans of special Brew it is just like Crystal :)

  34. No no SJT, you offering him a way out when he is basically saying that you don’t get good players for peanuts.

    Now as Best cost more than the other 2, then surely is a better player according to Stu’s logic, as money spent = player quality. Bassong is another who shpuld have been rubbish, and Beye, who must be shite as he cost the same as what Best did.

  35. Even Collocini might step back into his old ways….he may be more confidant now after a breeze in the fizzys but after a few slaps aroond the heed from the Big Boys he might fall to bits again.

  36. True hitman but then he got his first 23 goals in half the games it took Shearer……….not that I’m comparing him to Shearer in anyway shape or form.Just pointing out that stats can be twisted anyway ya want or that I’m saying Best is a good player cos he’s been poor so far and may continue to be so.

  37. Hmmm ! Best bashing time is it ?
    Apparently both Hughton & Trapatonni think he`s a decent player, two guys with at least 50+ years of experience in football between them and in Trapatonni`s case a history of winning.
    But hey, what the f**K do they know compared to you guy`s ?

  38. Or an the other hand we can spank a load of money on Owen, Martins, Luque, Boumsong etc, and not get anything out of them.

    It’s about signing the right players, not how much they cost.

  39. I suppose you can generalise all day…But as a rule it is normally expensive squads that finish higher…of course bargains can be had,clubs can give players a new lease of life…some players are undervalued some over valued…but as a rule I would agree a team fed on a diet of peanuts and tizer aint going to compete against the elite teams like Barca,Chelsea,Madrid etc…look how Chelsea mauled crappy opposition last season,they hardly even broke into a sweat in them games either.

  40. Chuck – Aye, people that see the players in training everyday must know feck all compared to everyone else.

    Hypothetically, if Shearer would have signed Best I wonder how much stick he would be getting for it? Or how much more tolerant and willing to give him a chance they would be?

  41. Reet, work calls. Off to Huddersfield area tonight. Hopefully I can bump into Lee Clark again by the time I get there ;)

    Unless they are stopping in London tonight.

  42. What I’m actually saying toonsy is that poor players don’t cost alot of money!

    I didn’t say that you cannot get good players for next to nothing, occasionally that can be done.

    To do what Arsenal do for instance, you need a genius of a manager like Wenger, a number of scouts all over the world who are of the highest calibre and a scouting system that has been in place for years.

    We have none of the above!

  43. Chuck all we are saying is Best has not lived upto his Surname so far and apart from 1 shot off the bar I didn’t see any spark from him.

    Maybe he will be a great player this season and bang in 20 goals…..I doubt it but in football you never know….all we are saying (some of us) is that we are not convinced he is premiership quality or better than the likes of Shola and Ranger even.

  44. Martins….Great 1st season then seemed to get worse and worse…her was awesome for Milan on the old pro evo – like shit off a shovel !!

  45. Dave – I suppose a bit unfair, but he had more off days than good days. The mount of easy chances he missed or times he gave the ball away was frightening.

  46. I don’t think he played too bad down at Peterboro,a couple of snapshots on target.however I was smashed ;-) was anyone sober down there?

  47. Thats right chuck,he has been crap but we can’t write him off yet.While he’s wearing black and white I’ll support him on the pitch as I have done with alot worse players than him over the years.Confidence is a big thing with strikers and hopefully a good pre season and he’ll get it back.

  48. Chuck says:
    May 18, 2010 at 7:56 pm
    All we am saying is give Best a chance !

    All I’m saying is Chuck, that Best is a complete waste of space that should only be at St James’ Park next season as a steward!

  49. Chuck TBH I think he has been trying to hard and I have said we might see a different player when he gets his 1st goal for us.
    On a different note I was just wondering if anyone can tell me what a Doylem is I think I know but am not 100% sure

  50. :)

    I am not convinced by Best,might make a good bouncer loan him out to Blu Bamboo :)

  51. Reading some of the comments on here would make you think that we hadn’t just won the league & you could be forgiven for thinking some of you actually want us to fail just so that you can say “I told you so” thank god your not in charge of motivation. How about showing a bit of faith in the man that has just saved us from oblivian. As for Best, in an ideal world we would probably not have bought him but at the time CH judgement was that we needed a striker. Remember at the time shola was injured & our leading scorer was a midfielder. Constantly changing managers & blowing millions on poor players is what got us into this mess, maybe its time to try something else? Lets face it, unless ashley has a major change of heart we don’t have much choice.

  52. I was saying give him a chance after 3/4 games, but after 16 games I can’t see it myself like.

  53. doylem – 2 definitions – An idiot. Derived from Mr Doyle who was a twat.

  54. Thing is Noir9 if we are not convinced by a player then surely on a blog we can voice our opinions?

  55. SJT
    In general it`s true players prices reflect their abilities on the pitch.
    Been saying that forever, sure there`s the occasional exception to the rule (Bassong) but most players down to the fifteen year olds have been watched and evaluated.
    In which case niether Ashley or anyone else can wxpect to sign PL quality for fizzy league prices, which now seems to be a fan expectation.
    Why I dont Know ?
    Look we need strengthening before the league starts not after loosing a number of games and looking for the panic button, which can`t be pressed until the winter window.
    Could be too late by then.
    Two or at a stretch three quality players , plus a couple of good loanees would almost guarantee our survival.
    Following that a cull of the one or two unwanted players to be replaced by someone better each season in combination with developing our youngsters, may be the way to go.

  56. Thats all we need Chuck-I would say £20m this window plus any cash we can get for possible 2 of these Shola,Ranger,Best and Lua Lua and we should be safe….Big Mick will be mad to do another gamble on 3 worse premiership teams again…if he does there will be no way back for him I am afraid….Curtains Micky Boy.

  57. He will gamble on a shoestring though if my gut feelings are right…he has no real love of the club just wants to have all the money we will owe him stacking up nicely and spending very little and lacking any vision and forward planning.

  58. How much has Ashley made on the transfers that he has sanctioned?
    Anyone know?

  59. Ashleys made nowt on the transfers.

    Ashley and the club are seperate legal entities. Until he’s recouped every penny he’s put into the club, loans, purchase costs, everything, he hasn’t made a penny.

    As for the club, I doubt they’ve made much if anything yet. We appear to be buying cash upfront, while getting our money in from sales in installments.

  60. haha Jason I remember Martins for inter on the old pro evo! He was immense I remember going mental when we signed him :)

  61. Yes, buoyed by last seasons success perhaps Ashley will be willing to take a gamble on this side and not fork out for any real strengthening of the side.
    Also the recent bookie odds on our finishing position, may give him the impression we are a shoo in to survive.
    If thats the case we could be in for a struggle >

  62. The real problem is that Ashley is gambling that we will be ok next season without spending any real money – He’s probably right as things stand, but if other teams strenghten we could be in trouble.

    What if we do survive next season? What happens next season? Don’t forget were told it will be five years until the club have any money to spend on players. Are we really going to be able to survive for five years without investing in the squad?

    Although there is also the school of thought that Ashley is gambling in survival next season so he can sell a established PL club the season after.

    You know what heppened last time he tried to flog the club – No players can leave, no players can come in ect… Is he doing the same now?

  63. I think Ashley will be up to his usual little tricks behind the scenes Stu…right Cockney Barra Boy :)

  64. When I was watching that video of us beating Leeds 4-3 at Elland Road I was struck by the amout of movement and quality we had right throughout the squad. Sure we didnt have the greatest defense in the world, but the midfield and strikers were all quality, able to outscore a top team away from home. Hughton has set us up with the best defense we have had in years but next season I just dont see where the goals are gonna comes from. Bellamy and Shearer had raw pace, power and skill, Dyer, Robert, Solano ect all had teriffic movement and skill. Who do we have now who can do that, Jonas gets past people and then has little or no end product, Routledge, Guthrie untested in prem. Nolan, too static. Barton always injured. I just cant see who will create goals against prem teams.

  65. Agree, but lets not get carried away too much by our defence – This was in the Championship and most teams created numerous chances against us last season. Just glad none of them had a striker!

  66. Exactly most opposition last season created chances but most had no idea how to get on the end of a decent ball.

    That’s my worry next season…loads of opportunities made and more chances buried in our net :(

  67. I say I’m going to be hopelessly optimistic but either very surprised if NUFC lives up to my hopes or bitterly disappointed if and when they don’t. Otherwise, what’s the point?

  68. I’m sure there will be enough teams worse than us next season, I’m not too worried.

  69. I just think it will be tuff BBM-Course I want them to give a good account of themselves but with age and wage caps,reportedly not mush going to be invested in the first team apart from,loans,kids,rejects and bargains I fear the worst.

    Hope I am wrong.

    Would love us to get a few quality signings though just to add some pace,goals,creativity and excitement.

  70. Jay-Jay-Thats’s what Ashley though when we where in the january premiership window.

  71. sjt – my head tells me all of the signs aren’t great but even considering that, my heart is a fool and the start of the season always mean I think we’ll have a chance of taking some scalps and maybe winning a daft cup. Disappointment is par for the course but we need to remember why we follow this great club. My head says a ‘struggle’ but my heart says ‘Europe here we come’!!

  72. But the wage bill desperately needed cutting then SJT, that’s why west ham will get relagated next season ;)

  73. SJT
    I hope Ashley has a trick up his sleeve. He can no longer use the excuse of being new to the game. It just always seems to me that the team who finishes third gets beat first in the playoffs and the team that does well and wins the league is the team that finishes bottom the next year when the cardiff of whoever end up midtable. Hope im wrong.

  74. I know what your saying BBM-If NUFC was mine I would want to build a good side that entertains…just think a few defeats and the shit will hit the fan and we will be back to square 1.

    £20Million aint going to kill big Mick’s cash flow,he can blast £5Million on roulette in 1 night and that’s not including the pie and champagne bill :)

  75. What? Like last season when the champions were mid table, the 2nd place teams survived and the team in the playoffs got relegated?

  76. What Im saying is the team that wins the league thinks ‘we are pretty strong, just oneor two additions’ and the team that was 6th and wins the playoffs thinks ‘bugger, we need massive reinforcments’.

  77. Aye DJG-He will be a fool to be super tight this window…we need some additions to make players we have keep their socks pulled up and looking over their shoulders…and definatly another striker…Shola,Best,Ranger will struggle IMO-Carroll will get goals I am sure but just don’t see him being prolific-not 1st full season in the prem.

  78. If we survive because there’s 3 teams below us go into admistration and are on minus points it will be funny.

  79. sjt – “Shoot for the moon and if you miss you will still be among the stars.”

    Corny as fck but it’s what we should do every season in my opinion. Bollocks to 17th.

  80. sure I read somewhere that all the teams promoted with 100 points+ have all finished quite comfortable the following season in the prem….Champions league it is then ;-)

  81. Only 30 points & a decent GD woulda kept you up this season in the prem.
    An observation, not a prescription.

  82. Complete change of subject but what dya think of Carragher in the England squad?..I think its shit,it”s like saying I can’t be arsed coming to training but I want to be picked on a Saturday!

  83. just don’t like the fact he retired so didn’t play in any qualifiers and now we’re there and WC is close he suddenly comes out of retirement and gets picked for provisional squad.

  84. BBM-Just hope fat Mick doesn’t aim too low and shoot holes in his lonsdale sneakers mate :)

    BLAM !! BLAM !!

  85. Ok, i get ya’.
    Past his prime too.
    The squad does seem to be chock full of this season’s under achievers like.

  86. Bet Peter Shilton has had his mobile ring tone up full belt and mega vibrate when he is down the bookies as usual.

  87. Like ya say Clint he’s past it,He’s been crap the odd time I’ve watched Liverpool this season…….back to the Toon I still think we should strengthen but how many teams have been promoted over the last few years with a stronger team than ours(on paper)…not many if any imo

  88. “Hello Peter you Busy?”…..”Just putting a wager on Red Rum and off to the Cap and Ferrit for a Few Jars of ale with Banksy…why who’s this?”

    “Mr Shilton….I have some good news David James has broke his thumb gardening last night and I need a safe pair of Hands….you up for the Job Shilts?”

    ‘OOOOOOOOOH hell I !!!!!”

  89. How many teams have been promoted and expect 52,000 sell outs every week….I just think we are being screwed by Wor Mick…should invest properly or go fk a Swan down Jesmond Dene.

  90. I bet all the old schoolers are Richie…..Capello will be digging the greats up next !

  91. Off to Get some Kips…Leon Best if you read my rants earlier don’t take them to heart…you just aint good enough for the Prem and you aint fooling no one Pal !!


  92. Defo mate,but he has no feeling for the club and is a business man so will want to recoup his money.I still think CH will get funds as Ashley can’t afford us to go down again(thats my hope anyway).Unfortunately we’re stuck with him for now.Nobody will be buying us in the near future I wouldn’t have thought.

  93. They got knocked out on pens last night ;-)
    I think bobby n jacky are too young

  94. :)
    Aye he was never a prolific typer and certainly not a prolific striker.

  95. I reckon Banksy Could get a bionic glass eye and bionic arms though-Neet ALL !

  96. I admire Paul Scholes, didnt want to just go and make up the numbers. Good dignity.

  97. So much negativity sounds like those who shame us sing when we’re losing supporters by abusing our team during games. We got relegated last time through players with no motivation but still had quality. Most prem teams do not have the billions of Chelsea and Man. C. I’m sure we will compete with the likes of W.B.A., Brum Stoke etc and finish lower mid-table. Keep the faith.