Hughton finally puts the record straight on Tiote, Ben Arfa and Carr.

Posted on April 8th, 2012 | 44 Comments |

Chris Hughton.
Hughton: It woz me!
In a brief but revealing interview for the Independent on Saturday, Chris Hughton has decided to put the record on misinformation about his role at Newcastle United.

Speaking on his time at the club, he said (amongst other things) what some knew already, that it was actually he who brought Graham Carr, Hatem Ben Arfa and Cheick Tiote into the club.

Whilst he was managing at the club, the now Birmingham City manager was dogged by rumours in the media that he a mere cipher at the club, that the team was run by a committee of senior players who actually picked the team, and that player aquisitions were out of his control after Hughton brought his old Tottenham collegue, Graham Carr, to the club as Chief Scout. The rumours about the players running team affairs were eventually refuted by Hughton himself, who described it as a “slippery slope,” and also by Kevin Nolan and other senior players. Now, Hughton has finally hit back at other misinformation about the recruitment of key signings, Hatem Ben Arfa and Cheick Tiote, and also the recruitment of the club’s current Chief Scout, Graham Carr. After talking about the days following his sacking by Derek Llambias and Mike Ashley on the grounds they were looking for someone “with more managerial experience,” Hughton had the follwing to say, firstly on whether his sacking was “unjust,”:

“Was it unjust? Yes, and that’s how most people felt at the time.”

He then added on Tiote, Ben Arfa and Carr:

“We’d just got promotion, I had brought, contrary to other things I’ve heard, Cheick Tioté into the club. I was very fortunate because I’d also brought in a chief scout, in Graham Carr, who knew him as well and he was a great support for me.

“We had brought in Tioté and we had brought in Hatem Ben Arfa, who unfortunately broke his leg. Almost,apart from that, it was the squad that came up. We were in 10th place and at the time my feelings were the same as most people, but everybody moves on and I was very positive afterwards. Although, if I had a choice, I’d have preferred to be there, but I got a lot of support and the best solution was to be positive.”

What is known is that Hughton first brought Tiote to the attention of Kevin Keegan after being sent on a scouting mission during Keegan’s ill fated second spell as manager at Newcastle United, which was long before Graham Carr joined the club. At the time, the player was on loan to Dutch club, Roda JC (from Anderlecht in Belgium).

If I may digress slightly for the moment, Keegan himself was also the subject of similar smear stories in the media about his second tenure at St James’ Park once relations were soured with Ashley and Llambias. On his departure a “highly placed Newcastle source” allegedly spoke of the “Madness of King Kev,” suggesting that Keegan was a deluded madman who expected Ronaldinho, Thierry Henry, Frank Lampard and of course, David Beckham, to be brought into the club by Ashley the billionaire.

Getting back to Hughton though, he also had some words of praise for Ashley for how he kept at least some major players in the team on their relegation, something which did not happen at Birmingham, where no less than fifteen, mostly major, players have been sold / released since he took charge at the club in June, 2011. On this he remarked:

“Newcastle had very much a core of the team that wanted to stay, and probably that is a testament to the regime of Derek Llambias and Mike Ashley, who could have had an absolute fire sale. We lost a lot of players but there was a real good and important core of the team that stayed, and, of course, most of them were very good players.

“Nothing will change my mind about whether I think I should have lost my job. I don’t, and I still feel the same way, but there is no bitterness. The players at Newcastle needed some guidance and some motivation and probably they needed an arm around them to get them back to playing to the abilities we knew they had.”

You can read the full interview here.

NUFCBlog Author: workyticket workyticket has written 1092 articles on this blog.

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44 Responses

  1. Interesting stuff – sheds a little more light on the whole scenario.

    At the end of the day, it’s worked out for us both.
    Chris Hughton is working what can only be described as miracles with Birmingham, and it’ll be a great day to see him get them re-promoted.

    Chrissy has certainly proven himself as a trusty, reliable, honest, hardworker. To top things off – he’s a gent as well.

    Best of luck to him – I’m sure he’ll get a rapturous reception at St.James’ Park next season :)

    Keep up the good work on this site as well lads,


  2. Yeah, just another dumb move and a warning to future managers, you don’t have to be doing something wrong in order to get fired.
    Plus the fact Hughton won the Championship by a country mile, so thanks Chris now feck off as we got someone who we can deal with, someone who is desperate for a job and will do as he’s told.
    Mr. hoof the ba, and his soundbites.
    Could be a name for an up and coming band.

  3. He’s doing well with Birmingham with a very average team…he didnt deserve to be sacked and it showed lack of respect to a man who saved our club….

    but over a year later, its difficult to criticize the decision from a footballing point of view with the miraculous job Pards has done.

  4. Chuck:

    You are misunderstanding me, I am not attcking you.

    However, if Nicky Butt’s name was first on the teamsheet why was he loaned out? I’m sure you will say polictics! Crowds can often be wrong but I remember a lot of groans at Newcastle on his numerous misplaced passes. I don’t know if he had a high completion % or not, but if he did, that is because most were sideways or backwards.

    I don’t think you will win your argument about Butt here or anywhere. He wasn’t the same player after he left Man U and maybe Ferguson saw his declining skills and that’s why he sold him.

  5. Interesting stuff there Worky.

    I don’t know how I got drawn into an argument about Pardew vs Hughton, but my position is that they have obviously both been good for NUFC.

    Says a lot about the owner as he has made some strange decisions and still it looks to be working out for him. Appointing a casino boss as MD of NUFC was as strange as the Hughton sacking.

    I can’t remember, but did Llambias actually end up running naked at SJP?

  6. Chris Hougton did great job for us, and didn’t deserve the sack, but I don’t believe that we would be where we are if he was still the manager. Pards has done wonderfully so far, although next season will be a real test. Can’t understand his critics. Now let’s look forward to our most important match of the season, Liverpool v Everton!

  7. A top bloke Chris Hughton and he will always be remembered for the work he did holding the fort, helping us establish ourselves and getting us back to the top flight.

    I wish him all the best at Birmingham, and I’m sure we will see him again at St James’ Park soon.

  8. GS
    What does Tiote do right now for this side ?
    Well Butt did the same, but in a much more subtle manner, he didn’t send every guy he tackled into the stands.
    He took fouls for the most part in a non dangerous part pf the pitch, but got the DM job done.
    Possibly too subtle for you and the few more , who just didn’t get it.
    Granted at 33 or so his legs were not as good as once, but his awareness and positioning made up for it.
    If you and those who regularly booed him, think he was so bad, why was he penciled in for every game when fit?
    Same thing with Simpson lately, another player who leaves out the spectacular to concentrate on doing his job and covering for Williamson.
    Possibly being viewed as disloyal, for taking a tough contractual stand, instead of accepting a low-ball contract.
    The guy has got the job done for the last few seasons for peanuts, give the guy a decent contract.
    And hey feel free to attack me if you feel like it.
    Strident indeed !

  9. Nicky Butt’s first season with us was awful. Almost as if he couldn’t believe Man Utd didn’t want him anymore. His second season Souness farmed him out on loan, but in his third season he was excellent and outshone Scott Parker. He actually won over a lot of people, especially after his poor performance vs Man Utd in the F.A. Cup semi final in his first year.

    I remember him coming back pre-season in his third year with us and scoring two goals (I think) against Sampdoria or someone like that. The fans began to get behind him and it showed with his performances on the pitch.

    His last year you could see his legs were gone, but all in all he did ok up here considering the free loaders we’ve carried in the past.

  10. Nicky Butt looked okay when he came back from his loan period and actually played like he wanted to be at the toon, however it was common knowledge his legs were gone in football circles his positioning and experience got him through that season, last season with us was something to forget

  11. Oh and good luck to CH in the playoffs, he did a great job at the toon and is doing even better at brum who effectively sold anyone on more than 10k a week (which was most of the first team)

  12. Chuck:

    I don’t boo Newcastle players.

    You have something against Tiote??? Seems to me that he is linked with a lot of big clubs for a large fee.

    Who came calling for Butt on loan with an option to buy, Birmingham City was it?

  13. Good time to bring this all up!?.Relevence none truth who knows why not bring up Joe Harveys sacking while we are on.

  14. Hi , ManU, Citeh, Arse , spurs and chelski , are all at the european cake party , seeing who’s going to get the biggest piece !

    We are like the madhatters not invited to the party but gate-crashing anyway, sorry we’re not invited but can we have a bit of cash cake too ???

    Please please can we come to your Euro – Party please ?

    We will behave if invited , honest !!

  15. Chuck for the stupid thing you said about Pardew..cant fault nicky butt, solid guy.

  16. I don’t get it why are we talkin about Nicky Butt?

    Jimbob: think them two goals were against Roma, both headers of his shiney dome if memory serves me well.

  17. nzed,

    no we won’t if this weekends BS keeps being repeated.

    2 dodgy goals for chelsea, yet another dodgy pen & sending off for manure (not that that one effects us, but a prime eg).

  18. goodoldjimgold incorrect, it was Villareal. Champ manager fans on here anyone? Blooming hell.

  19. Ahmed says:
    April 8, 2012 at 11:00 pm

    “How much to trust an article that says Roda JC are Belgian?”

    Sorry Ahmed, it’s Anderlecht who are Belgian. Roda JC is in the Netherlands.

  20. Doocey says:
    April 8, 2012 at 8:43 pm

    “Keep up the good work on this site as well lads,”

    Thanks Doocey, good to see your blog’s doing well. Keep up the good work too!

  21. Ahmed says:

    April 8, 2012 at 11:00 pm

    How much to trust an article that says Roda JC are Belgian?

    It doesn’t actually say that though…

    Good read!

  22. Toon-Kris says:
    April 9, 2012 at 12:09 am

    “It doesn’t actually say that though…”

    Sorry, Toon Kris, it was my mistake originally. I mentioned Anderlecht (Belgian club) and Roda JC (Dutch club) then, like an idiot, put “Belgian” in front of Roda instead of Anderlecht. Then, I corrected it after the post was published. Sorry about that. I have been an afficionado of Dutch football since the days of Rinus Michels, Johan Cruyff and 1974 World Cup when I was nine, so I do know where Roda JC are from (Kerkrade in the Netherlands). ;-)

    Thanks BTW!

  23. Prediction competition now updated.

    Sir Jason Toon pulling away from the chasing pack in first, Maze202 still leading the chase and Kilgore_D_Sprout in third.

    Thanks for bringing it to my attention, Stephen.

  24. GS
    Never booed a Newcastle player in my life.
    Got nowt against Tiote, think he’s one of th best DM’s in the league.
    You continue to misunderstand what i am stating.
    Yes there are certain players at present on the books, who IMO should not be here and i’m sure most of you know who they are.
    Tiote ? great defensive midfielder, a bit too robust for my liking, has a lot to learn as far as distribution and joining in with the attack is concerned, not a playmaker like Cabaye (who’s passes against Swansea can only be described , as sublime)
    He will i’m sure become a more accomplished footballer with good coaching, which i dont believe he’s getting here.
    And if some club is willing to front something in the neighborhood of 20m., i say grab it !

    Bobby Robson
    I dont believe i say stupid things, thats your opinion.
    (in regard to Pardew}
    Whether you agree or disagree, dont insult me by saying thats stupid, give a refutal of my argument.
    Aint that what it’s all about ?

  25. Chuck…. Can’t be bothered to waste my time, but are you f@&£@£g stupid????????

  26. CH should never have been shown the door. Looking at the recruiting for this season Cabaye, Ba, Cisse,Santon, etc
    who knows what we may be higher in the table with CH in charge. Let’s face it Pardew’s past record is not that brilliant.Not taking anything away from AP. It seems Carr has done a great job and it appears Ashley a better one.
    After all is Carroll worth 35m ? This was good business in my opinion

  27. Chuck, I don’t think I have ever come across someone with their head so far up their own arse as you. From your outstanding knowledge of the game, I can only guess that you are a retired premier league manager because there is nothing you don’t know about it. You truly are gifted, you see things in our team that us mere mortals can not… Hoof ball to Ba and Nicky Butts subtleties … My goodness, you have shown how full of shit you are…

  28. Paul says:
    April 9, 2012 at 2:58 am

    “and it appears Ashley a better one.
    After all is Carroll worth 35m ? This was good business in my opinion”

    That was Damien Comolli, Paul, who was taken on as Director of Football at Liverpool for some bizarre reason, after he buggered up Tottenham nicely. It was his bright idea to pay £35 million for Carroll :-)

  29. Oh and on topic… If Chris Who’ton gets his team promoted, he will be sacked half way through the season again.. I liked the job he did for us and will always be thankful but in my opinion he doesn’t have the tactical nous to be a top flight manager…

  30. Aussie Magpie Fan says:
    April 9, 2012 at 3:17 am

    “Fair call Worky…. but am I wrong?”

    Wrong about what, Aussie Magpie Fan?

    You’ve made several different points.

  31. What a great appointment Pardew has been… Got us fighting for 4th and 3 of our absolute top performers in Cabaye, Cisse and Ba are players bought in his regime, so we can clearly cut it without CH’s magic eye for players (I am sure Carr had NOTHING to do with Ben Arfa and Tiote)… At the end of the day Mike Ashley is the best thing to happen for NUFC since Sir John Hall put the plans afoot to take us back to the top, even if the debst ended up cribling us, most of that damage were done by fat fred.

  32. whats everyone’s take on mike ashley now??, Im honestly luke warm to him has pulled the club from the mire and is running things very well but there is always those decisions in the past which he got wrong which have stuck with me. Those Decisions which he did get wrong were probably him learning the ropes and getting to terms on how to run a club so be interesting to see what he has planned for the club.

  33. ah come on … are we honestly comparing Tiote to Butt ??? ill be the 1st to say i was always a fan of Butt and watch him while at Brum but Tiote for me is a better player and this season i know he has missed games but got his booking under control, his performance v Man Utd best display ive seen in our midfield in a decade… ill agree with your opinion of Simmo chuck the lad deserves a major break hes had 2 good season prone to the odd mistake but at same time 7 or 8 goal lines stops this season as well, i also think Willo has had a good season a deserves a bit of credit done well on Saylors absence….

    As for my feeling on Ashley ive always said everytime give him another chance and the CH sacking was the last straw for me but he seemed to have got it right so far … his regin over the last 2 year he has done well, sellin Carroll turned out to be a great move and he has provided funds an refused to panic buy so i say fair play but at the same time im afraid he might make another crazy decision … ill back the club till the end no matter what

  34. Im with u chuck, tiote is nowhere near the finished article , clumsy tackler, gets caught with the ball under his feet, passes when he should hold on to the ball to draw his man in, passing is flakey at times, 20 mil grab it thats what I say and invest it in the team

  35. GeordieMagpie says:
    April 9, 2012 at 11:53 am

    “Anyone know of “GOOD” streams for todays game.”

    “Bloodzeed” is usually the best one, GeordieMagpie.

    I’ll put something up in a few minutes.