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Why Newcastle United must keep Chris Hughton

October 29, 2010 Leave a comment

I thought I would write my thoughts about one of my childhood heroes and current manager of Newcastle, Chris Houghton.

As a boyhood Tottenham fan  I saw Chris Houghton play many times. My dad used to take me many times to watch Tottenham play both at White Hart Lane as well as other grounds around the country. We used to arrive in time for the team coach to arrive and I remember him saying hello to me as a 7 or 8-year-old as he got off the bus on one occasion.

It seems to me that he has done a remarkable job at St James’s Park since becoming manager. The number of high-profile names that have taken up the hot seat at Newcastle and not lived up to expectations is a huge signal that it is not all about having a big name to take a club forward.

Chris has the respect of the playing squad at St James’s Park. This, for me, is where a manager earns his corn. To earn your players respect is the hardest thing to do. It is never given on a plate. Some managers have this awful knack of talking to you as a child. If you can be on their level then you are in a great position to achieve.

The club have publicly backed their manager. So why are Newcastle saying that contract negotiations will be underway at the end of the season. You would have thought that there would be some urgency to tie him down to a long-term contract. Hughton has stabilised the club. Many thought that Newcastle could struggle this season after their return to the top flight but he has exceeded many people’s early season expectations. It seems like he has the majority of the Newcastle fans on his side too. This hasn’t been gifted to too many previous managers there.

So is there a hidden agenda behind the scenes at St James’s Park ? Are the Newcastle United decision makers looking to attract another big name on board at the expense of their current popular manager?

I certainly hope not. Newcastle United should have learned valuable lessons from their recent past and continue with Hughton. They should have some much needed continuity and maybe we could see some real success at St James’s Park in the not too distant future. 

There has been speculation that he would soon leave the club. The bookmakers seem to have taken enough bets on this occurance recently to make this a media story. This week has reinforced his credentials as a fantastic manager. If this continues he will be talked about as a potential future England manager.

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