Thursday, 28 October 2010

Do Newcastle deserve Chris Hughton?

More managerial shenanigans. No, I'm not talking about Jim Chapman at Dumbarton (I'll come to that later), but the media-fuelled rumours swirling around Newcastle United that manager Chris Hughton might be forced out. There has always been a phalanx at NUFC who, with an inflated sense of their own importance, believe that - in spite of the incredible job Hughton did in delivering them from the second division, and his creditable consolidation of the side in the English Premier League - they deserve a "bigger name" to produce Champions League Football. Probably by the week after next.

This is little short of pathetic. Chris Hughton is a skilled, hard-working and decent man. His team are ninth in the EPL, just four points off the top five. That's a very solid achievement indeed. The Newcastle board have tonight come out with an uninspiring statement of support for their gaffer - one which simply says that he remains their manager (you don't say!) and that... wait for it... his contract will be reviewed at the end of the year. No hint that he can stay longer term. So, after all he's done, the poor chap is still on probation.

If they do get rid of him, the club will sink even further in the estimation of those who think that a sense of perspective (let alone gratitude to a manager who rescued them from their last two, disastrous, "star appointments") is part of what makes a football club deserving. Not an overweening sense of entitlement. Do Newcastle United deserve Chris Hughton?  That's what's really at stake here.

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