Hughton gives strong hint of Butt exit.

Posted on April 23rd, 2010 | 88 Comments |

Butt in action, but for how much longer?
Butt in action, but for how much longer?
Newcastle United manager, Chris Hughton, speaking in an interview, has given a very strong hint that this may be Nicky Butt’s last season at Newcastle, and that he may be retiring from the playing altogether as our spell in the Championship reaches it’s close.

Hughton said of Butt:

“If I look at the period of time I’ve been here, Nicky has been a wonderful ambassador,”

“I knew of him before, of course, and his achievements at United when he was one of that group of young quality players.

“What I’ve seen of him in my time here is exactly that – someone with the grandeur he had at United.

“He’s 35 now but is someone that trains well every day, and when we’ve needed performances from him, we’ve got them.

“With the squad we’ve got, he wouldn’t have got the amount of minutes on the pitch someone of his competitive nature would have liked.

“He’s a hard player to leave out because he’s a good player. He has characteristics to be a coach or a manager and certainly has great experience and knowledge of the game.”

It has been speculated in some quarters that Butt, the captain of the team when picked, may favour a move into coaching, and Hughton concluded by touching on that. He also revealed that Butt will go out on a high, lifting the League Championship trophy tomorrow as Newcastle Unite face their penutultimate Championship game against Ipswich at St James’s Park.

“A coaching position here is not something we’ve spoken about but Nicky is the club captain and will pick up the trophy on Saturday.”

Nicky’s glittering career.

If Butt does retire at the end of the season, he will be calling time on one of the most decorated careers in English football. A defensive midfield protege of Alex Ferguson at Manchester United, he rose through the youth ranks and broke into the first team alongside players such as Ryan Giggs, David Beckham and Paul Scholes. With that group of players he won six Premier League titles, three FA Cups, three Charity Shields, and of course, the Champion’s League and Intercontinental Cup between the mid nineties and mid noughties.

It was during this time that Nicky had a successful England career too, with 39 caps in total. Nicky played a starring role in the 2002 World Cup in Japan and South Korea, and Pele named Butt (or “Nicky Boot” as he called him) as England’s player of the tournament.

However at Manchester United, with Roy Keane, and then Paul Scholes’s emergence as a midfielder, starting places in the heart of the Manchester midfield were at a premium, and Butt moved on to his present home on Tyneside. Of course, with Newcastle United, Nicky’s trophy haul went down somewhat, though he did win the mighty Intertoto Cup with the Glen Roeder ‘Dream Team’ of 2006, and now of course, he has a Championship title to his credit too. After a lean spell where he was sent on loan to Birmingham City for a year in the 2005-6 season, Nicky returned to enjoy perhaps his best year at the Toon and was deservedly awarded the Newcastle United ‘Player of the Year’ title for 2007.

Through his powers have almost certainy been slightly on the wane in recent times, reports of his demise have been much exagerrated, and his tough tackling presence will be missed at the heart of the Toon midfield.

NUFCBlog Author: workyticket workyticket has written 1088 articles on this blog.

Related Posts:

88 Responses

  1. Always feel Butt had become a target of sorts. Sure his legs had started to go, but he also played some blinders for us. Never caused any problems off the field, a consumate professional if you like.

    I think he deserves a place on the coaching staff of he wants it. I think he would be good to have around the place still.

  2. Came in for lots of unwarranted stick from fans simply because of who he was, and not how he performed. When we got relegated he was only one of a few players who could say he gave everything and never stopped battling. Never moaned when he was left out this season and contributed when needed to make sure we got promoted.

  3. i’m usually one of the first to give him some stick, but he’s been nothing but a professional the entire time he’s been here. head down, hard working, getting the job done. well done nicky.
    wouldnt mind him sticking around in a coaching role to help to develop some of the young talent we have coming through the ranks.

  4. the few games i saw him play i found pretty disappointing to be honest. his closing down was REALLY average. If you’re a holding midfielder/ball winner, then that’s pretty much the most important part of your game. That being said, the toon should put him to use where we’re not relying on his (aging) legs to close down space and players. take advantage of his wealth of experience and sign him up as a coach!

  5. Not one of Sir Bobby’s most inspired signings, the team always had to move down a gear or two when Butt played this season as he couldn’t keep up oherwise. I sincerely hope the new youth policy will put an end to NUFC being a rest home for ‘top’ players that wouldn’t have spat on us when in their prime, including Owen, Viduka, Barnes, Rush, and Butt.

    Although, to be fair to Butt, he has at least been the consummate pro both on and off the pitch. Nevertheless, like the others, I’ll still be glad to see him gone.

  6. does anyone find hughtons recent mutterings in regards next season as worrying in the extreme and all to ominous givin the regime in charge…dont mean to be a negative nigel but he seems to be dampening our already rock bottom expectations for next year. Why?

    Sometimes the difficulty is with your scouting network that until you are sure of what division you are going to be playing in, the markets are different, so in that respect, we are pleased we have secured our Premier League status earlier than the end of the season.”

    “But of course, there are lots of teams who would very much have a head start on us because they are the teams who knew they were going to be in the Premier League and for them, it is an ongoing thing all season.”

    “We have got a little bit of work to do, but we would certainly rather be doing that work going into the Premier League than perhaps having to go through the play-offs.”

  7. buddy says:
    April 23, 2010 at 5:57 pm

    What’s worrying about that, buddy? He’s simply suggesting that he will be looking for a better class of player now he knows for certain that Newcastle United will be a Premiership club next season. Isn’t that what you wanted to hear?

  8. Any player like Butt, never gets the opportunity to shine. The role he plays is not a glamourous role. It doesn’t attract ‘Hollywood’ players and largely all you can do is get on with it. When you do it right you go unnoticed. However, when you get it wrong, an unneccessary amount of attention seems to be drawn to you.

    On the whole I am not dissappointed to see him retire, or leave, whichever it turns out to be. Not because I wish him any ill will, or because I think he’s the worst player we’ve ever had (he’s far from that). Only because it opens up an opportunity for someone else (hopefully younger) to stake a claim.

    I only hope that some of the younger players, or anyone that we sign as Nicky’s replacement has the same professional attitude and dedication.

    He himself is obviously aware that his legs have gone, and he’s chosen to call time on what has been for the main part, a successful career. That in it’s own right should be commended, many other players would have leeched out another contract from the club.

    All the best Nicky, I wish you had lifted as many trophies for Newcastle United as you did for Manchester United, but it was not to be.

  9. @buddy , we will know only when transfer activity finishes. I think best we can hope or wish is having a good start. I really hope we don’t go through same emotions like last season in PL. Hope CH buys 3-4 good players with fighting spirit and who feel proud in Newcastle Shirt.

  10. I would like people to comment and what a think our teaam will be next season;

    S.Taylor Wheater Coloccini Enrique
    Larrson Barton O’hara Jonas
    Carroll Rodallega.

    Subs; Forster, Williamson, Simpson, Guthrie, Nolan, Routledge, Lovenkrands. :)??

  11. Daan4tooN:

    I’m not really worried about the names on the team sheet, so as far as I’m concerned it can be the same regulars as we’ve had this season. I’m more concerned that whoever does get on to the pitch next season demonstrates the same comitment as has been shown this year.

    It’s pointless to go on about this potential signing or letting this player go for whatever fee because all we can do is watch it all unfold.

    Whoever they are, when they step out on the pitch at the beginning of next season, we should get behind them. Not give them grief after the first mis-placed pass or because they wouldn’t be you choice.

    Players come and go, even great ones. Only Newcastle United remains.

  12. I’d personally rather have a weekend where I can watch the achievements of my team come to fruition and afford myself a little drink.

    Next season can wait until after the weekend in my opinion :)

  13. agree Starkadder, i wasn’t sure about Rodallega because he looks likes someone who could disrupt the dressing room!

  14. worky,toonsy

    my reading of it is that its yet more attempts by the club to dampen the collective expectation of the fans. we are in a great position financially, we are in the top 20 richest clubs in the world(i no this is last season but next season will quite likely produce similar if not better figures if the feel good factor is maintained) so there is no reason we cannot spend like that. i do not mean crazy amounts but the sensible invesment of circa 20mill to give this club a sound footing going into next year.

    to me it just seems that hughton seems to be gearing us up for yet another window without adequate first team investment by saying we are behind and talkin about the poor financial situation of football clubs. we should be ahead of other clubs in terms of scouting because it has been nearly guaranteed we would go up for quite some time now….and we should always have been scouting prem quality players because that was supposed to be our aim this year. so for that reason it is worrying….am i wrong in reading it as such?

  15. Ah how we’ll miss the pin point passing, the pace and the superbly timed tackles on the edge of our own area – not !!!. Butt had 3 years more than he should have had on stupid wages.

    And Rodallega is the slowest player I’ve ever seen

  16. Buddy, I think it’s all part of a strategy. Let’s not forget the January transfer window. The same rumours persisted and the club seemed to be aiming to do nothing and just blunder on as was. All of a sudden the signings materialised.

    We may not appreciate some of them, or even any of them, but they did a very important job. They arrived at just the right time to provide fresh impetus to a team who were, quite frankly, flagging.

    Our transfer tactics were right then. There is no reason to believe that they won’t be again. Just because the club spin a line or two, doesn’t mean that they aren’t working behind the scenes to get what they believe is necessary in place for next season.

    Why draw attention to our plans and weaken our hands in both the transfer market and in planning for next season.

    I for one could do without the incessant speculation about who’s going where and who’s coming here and how we’ve overspent on that player of not spent enough on the squad as a whole.

  17. buddy,

    There is nothing to say anybody is reading it right or wrong. What Hughton is saying about the club financially is being echoed from a lot of places including other clubs.

    Your right, next season should see our income increase, but that wont happen suddenly at the start of the season. You dont get paid your whole salary in one chunk at the start of the year do you? Same applies.

    Who knows what we will spend? And who knows if we have or haven’t been scouting players? Not many people by all accounts, apart from those that matter, ie Hughton, Ashley although reports are that Graham Carr has been very busy! The way we went about things in January makes me feel a little more optimistic.

    It seems reasonable that expectations should be dampened, remember it is also dampening the expectation of agents! I seem to remember Birmingham announced a January war chest of £40 million. Not much of that got spent, mainly because they were being quoted ridiculous fees as other clubs knew they had money, that’s according the bloke who was best man at my wedding and holds a box at St Andrews. It’s the same with Man City and Chelsea, clubs that are openly wealthy get ripped off.

  18. Great Pro…must stay in some capacity at the club (not playing obviously),Top lad,model pro, youngsters at SJP with stupid big headphones and a chip on your shoulders-watch and learn from Mr Butt.

    Bet it means alot for him tomorrow lifting a trophy..I almost feel guilty having knocked him a bit…Good Luck Nicky and thanks for the memories….and yellow cards (jokin) :)

  19. “though he did win the mighty Intertoto Cup with the Glen Roeder ‘Dream Team’ of 2006”

    I’m sure Nicky Butt puts that above Champions League winning team of 1999 :)

  20. Aye Toonsy but The ‘Toto Cup was that small it fell out of his pocket and was lost forever :)

  21. buddy says:
    April 23, 2010 at 6:54 pm


    my reading of it is that its yet more attempts by the club to dampen the collective expectation of the fans. we are in a great position financially, we are in the top 20 richest clubs in the world”

    Buddy, we lost our place in the top twenty clubs when we were relegated and the turnover of the club was cut in half. You simply can’t afford to make big signings with Championship revenue, you have to know for certain that you will be getting Premiership TV rights money and all the other stuff before you start to look at ‘Premiership’ players or the whole club can go under. Nobody wants that.

  22. A club who will get 50k supporters at every home game and has more than a million supporters in all should have higher aspirations than ‘just staying up’. The size of their customer base demands more.

  23. Standing ovation for Nicky Butt from me.

    Get on the coaching staff Nicky
    & thanx for your steadying, professional ways.
    All the best man.

  24. UTD111 says:
    April 23, 2010 at 8:13 pm

    “Somebody should tell Ashley’s puppet, there’s only one “United” – and he works for us…”


  25. UTD111 says:
    April 23, 2010 at 8:17 pm


    Just posted 2 messages and they haven’t appeared ….

    Keyword censorship?”

    Are you on a proxy server, UTD 111?

  26. UTD111 says:
    April 23, 2010 at 8:20 pm

    “I knew of him before, of course, and his achievements at United ”

    “There y’go Worky”

    Eh? What’s gannin’ on?

  27. OK….

    My point being – we have as much right to refer to our team as “United” as any other United (in fact, we do…..)

    Manure think they have the god given exclusive right to be known as “United” – and this is encouraged by the way in which the fawning media defer to them.

    Anyone associated with Newcastle United should not join in this crap – let alone our current manager :/

  28. I think UTD111 is criticising Hughton for referring to Manchester United as ‘United’, when we are actually called United aswell, even though everybody calls us Newcastle and not ‘United’

    That now means Hughton earns the tag of being Ashley’s puppet apparently.

  29. Funny that, I’ve never referred to Newcastle as ‘United’.

    It’s always been ‘us’ or ‘we’, unless I’m talking to someoene who doesn’t know who I support, at which point its always ‘Newcastle’.

    I never say ‘Magpies’, ‘Mags’ or ‘Maggies’, nor do I say ‘Toon’ or ‘Toon Army’.

    Weird, that’s just struck me. Seems Chris Hughton also thinks the same way as me.

  30. Toonsy@41

    No he’s always been Ashley’s puppet mate – he was the only one left who would take the job.

    And he’s done a great job, no-one can deny that.

    That’s got nothing to do with us referring to our team as “United”

  31. I agree with Starkadder to be fair. I generally use ‘Newcastle’ when talking about Newcastle, although I do sometimes use ‘The Toon’.

    And yes, I’m a geordie. Not that it really matters anyway.

  32. UTD111,
    aye man,
    surely, the whole idea of being ‘united’ comes from there being one team from a town/city & therefore ‘UNITED’, a la ‘US’, the TOON.
    So to call manu or sheffu ‘united’ is a misnomer & therefore wrong as they aren’t actualy ‘united’.
    But hey, there y’go, you can’t accuse the world of sport, media punditry & the like of being intelligent, can you?

    hope it went well mate.
    Just a few score to go he?

  33. UTD111 says:
    April 23, 2010 at 8:32 pm

    “No he’s always been Ashley’s puppet mate – he was the only one left who would take the job.”

    So you’re insulting him for taking the job. Would you have respected him more if he bottled out and refused it, UTD 111?

  34. toonsy says:
    April 23, 2010 at 8:35 pm

    “I agree with Starkadder to be fair. I generally use ‘Newcastle’ when talking about Newcastle, although I do sometimes use ‘The Toon’.”

    I’m an old fossil, it’s always ‘Magpies’ for me. I divven’t like ‘Toon’ overmuch.

  35. It matters a lot Toonsy.

    The Leazes End used to always sing “there’s only one United”. And our name IS Newcastle United….

    I can only assume younger fans these days are growing up accepting the alternative and the media crawling after manure…..

    Maybe we should just give up and drop the “United” tag if none of you are bothered LOL

    Newcastle black sox anyone ??


  36. UTD11.

    Born and bred. Mid-forties.

    I always think that the Toon thing is as much a Sky thing as the United thing is a media thing for Man. U.

    The way I look at it we aren’t Newcastle Town, we’re Newcastle United, so we shouldn’t really refer to ourselves as the Toon. Particularly since Newcastle is a city, not a town. Yes, I know it’s the local term for the city, but it still doesn’t sit right with me. We are not the City of Newcastle army, we are the Newcastle United Army. If I have to pick a term, it’s going to be Geordies.

    Sorry like, but I guess I’m just picky!

  37. Not really Chuck…

    Even the Chronicle still have regular headlines about “United this….” and “United that…”

    So the local paper still keeps the faith even if (from what I’m hearing in here) local fans aren’t.

  38. It’s the Toon.
    It’s London Town.
    No matter that they’re both cities like.
    & anyhoo,
    it’s the fans that are the Toon Army, not the team, another common mistake made by the thick & fawning media.

  39. Personally, I care what we call ourselves about as much as I care what Peter and Jordan are up to next, which is to say not much.

    The Toon
    The Magpies
    Yonder Chappies In Black & White

    Who gives a copulation as long as we know what we’re talking about?

  40. Apart from anything else……(as we head back to the Prem)….it really gets up Manure “fans” noses if we chant “there’s only one United”


  41. Cant say I particularly like the toon toon chants and the geordie bootboys is pretty dumb.
    Though have to say there are some entertaining chants, like “Oh! shola Ameobi” and found the W/Brom fans chant @ St. James, so are we,so are we… in reply to the local chant of going down, going dow…..quite funny
    But for those who remember there was nothing quite as stirring as Howeeeeeeaaaa Newcaasiiiile when roared by forty odd thousand voices, intimidating !

  42. Chuck, I’m not sure UTD111’s reply was a put down – if it was I didn’t take it as one – most of my friends, and we are all of the same age group give or take a year or two, feel the same, as it appears Worky does.

    To be fair, after the match ‘we’re all stopping up the toon to celebrate’, so I do use the term ‘toon’ in what I consider to be it’s proper place. I just don’t think Toon Army has the same meaning as, for example, Geordies or Magpies.

    When I was a bairn, we were always the Magpies (CAPITAL M), not that bunch of small time Charlies from Nottingham who also termed themselves the magpies (little m, and everything else) and dared to immitate our colours.

    Same argument as the United thing but for a different generation.

  43. UTD111 @ 62

    That’s just showing how old you are. Chant’s have become much cleverer and elaborate over the years.

    And I do take your point about the ‘there’s only one United’ when we play ManU, and yes I do join in then, but that’s because it does get right up their noses.

  44. Call me a pedant Hugh, go on. :)
    But i’d rather call you by y’real name mate.

  45. Starkadder @ 61

    No it wasn’t a put down – I criticise others for that and try not to do it myself….

    The reason I asked was just that I’m beginning to realise that “younger” fans, whatever age that kicks in at, don’t seem to get as annoyed at the Manure “United” thing promoted by the media – so it was more to check what age group you were in (if you didn’t mind answering of course!)

  46. We used to gan doon the toon, but believe me it was never popular in the day to call Newcastle, The Toon and when refering to the side one seldom said United or the mags, all part of a more recent trend.

  47. Starkadder says:
    April 23, 2010 at 8:55 pm

    “not that bunch of small time Charlies from Nottingham who also termed themselves the magpies (little m, and everything else) and dared to immitate our colours.”

    LOL. We imitated theirs, as did Juventus. They are the oldest club in the world.

  48. Nae probs UTD111.

    Being going to the Newcastle games for about 30 years and much has changed, not just the “United” thing.

  49. Starkadder @ 64

    Disagree mate. The Leazes End had some of the best spontaneous and amusing chants in the history of NUFC…

    Lots of traditional chants were lost when the Leazes was pulled down – then not rebuilt for years as the club ran out of money…..

    Just one example – when United played QPR, and the whole Leazes end were chanting “Oh Rodney Rodney, Rodney Rodney Rodney Rodney SHITHOUSE Marsh”

    Priceless ;)

  50. Worky,
    who was the first game played between.
    Notts co. was one, who was the other?

  51. This is what Wiki has:

    Sheffield Football Club, commonly referred to as simply Sheffield F.C., Sheffield Club or Sheffield, are an English football club from Sheffield, South Yorkshire. The club are most noted for the fact that they are the world’s oldest club now playing Association football, founded in 1857. They currently play in the Northern Premier League Division One South.

    The team was originally based on various grounds around Sheffield, including Bramall Lane, now home of Sheffield United. They are now based at the Coach and Horses Ground in Dronfield, Derbyshire. The club are also noted for participating in the world’s oldest footballing rivalry. Sheffield competed against Hallam in the world’s first inter-club match during 1860 – the match is known as the “Sheffield” derby.

    The club’s finest hour came in 1904 when they won the FA Amateur Cup, a competition conceived after a suggestion by Sheffield. They also finished as runners up of the FA Vase in 1977. They have been bestowed with the FIFA Order of Merit and commemorated by the English Football Hall of Fame for their significant place in football history.

  52. This is the worst day of my life ;( Nicky goodbye! You were, you are and you will always be the best!

  53. well that’s an insult, just because I’m a fan of a great player :O

  54. d¡ngo©™ says:
    April 24, 2010 at 7:04 am
    hahahah love the title of this story. is it a poo joke?
    <<<< when they wrote it they were thinking aboot stuart79

  55. I Call em Toon or Newcastle my Dad always calls them Mags especially if I working and he is texting me goal updates….Never call them United it doesn’t seem right.
    Great pic post toonsy :)
    Parker the Ballerina….can’t stand him!!

  56. sirjasontoon says:
    April 24, 2010 at 9:20 am

    “Parker the Ballerina….can’t stand him!!”

    Best sideways and backwards passer of the ball I have ever seen :D

  57. Toonsy,

    If you’re around, could you possibly put up the team news for the match banter post when it comes out at 2pm? Bowburn will probably be at the game, and I’m in serious bother over here ATM.

  58. workyticket says:
    April 24, 2010 at 1:17 pm

    “If you’re around, could you possibly put up the team news for the match banter post when it comes out at 2pm? Bowburn will probably be at the game, and I’m in serious bother over here ATM.”

    Nee bother. Will it just need the teams putting in?

  59. toonsy says:
    April 24, 2010 at 1:23 pm

    “Nee bother. Will it just need the teams putting in?”

    Aye, just the usual teamsheet news when it comes out from the official site’s ‘live match centre’. You can put the ref’s name up as well and any other stuff if you want to?

    That ESPN interview is up BTW, Toonsy, Bowburn, Deb. I sent you all an e.mail about it. I’ll write a blog about it later on.