“I Hope Newcastle go from Strength to Strength” – Chris Hughton

Posted on May 31st, 2012 | 75 Comments |

Chris Hughton.
"No regrets"
The Newcastle Journal have recently published an exclusive interview with Chris Hughton, in which the ex United Manager reflects on his time at the club and gives an insight into what is, I suppose, his side of the story and his feelings – both at the time of his sacking and in the period since.

Chris was relieved of his responsibilities in December 2010, a moved that was greeted with a certain degree of incredulity by the United faithful, as he had actually done a very good job in pulling the team together and winning promotion back to the Premier League at the first attempt.

He was replaced by Alan Pardew, a move which it is fair to say was also greeted with a degree of scepticism by the fans.

At the time, the Newcastle United “Board” issued a statement which read “The board would like to place on record their thanks to Chris for his considerable efforts during the club’s transition from Championship to Premier League club.Chris has shown exceptional character and commitment since being appointed manager in October 2009. The club wishes him well in the future”. There was of course a later report of a much more interesting statement given by a “somewhat off-guard” Derek Llambias to a group of United fans in one of Newcastle’s hostelries a bit later, but lets not go there.

Many managers in Chris’s position would have hit out given vent to their feelings at great length in the media, but typical of the man, he accepted the situation with a quiet dignity and moved on. Chris told the Newcastle Journal:

“Bitterness? I have never felt that about what happened. I don’t think that way and I don’t harbour grudges towards anyone at the club. If I am absolutely honest I don’t look at the club now and think ‘What if?’ What is normal when you lose your job is that it’s very tough for a while. You watch games but you want to be working.

“But I wanted to look forward from the moment it changed and I lost my job. Now I don’t look at Newcastle and wish them any ill feeling whatsoever. I’m absolutely delighted at what Alan Pardew has done and I’m delighted Newcastle are there. For the fans who were very good to me, it’s great they’ve had success. And there are still players there who were there with me when I was there and I am really glad they are doing well.

“The likes of James Perch, of course – and Leon Best and Danny Simpson and Mike Williamson. It’s fantastic to see them part of everything that is happening because we knew what good players they were. Then of course the club has recruited very well. I really like Yohan Cabaye and Hatem (Ben Arfa) is showing what a fantastic talent he is.”

Chris went on to say that he has not been back to the club since he left, but he will when time and commitments allow it. He was pleased that Alan Pardew had mentioned him when addressing the League Managers Association Manager of the Year Event where Pardew and gave him credit for his part in what has been built at United over the last few years. Chris said:

“It was a lovely thing for him to do, I did appreciate it and he deserved that award for the job he has done there. Alan is someone I have known for a while and I always knew he was a good manager. It was nice to get that recognition because it is in front of the other managers throughout the Football League. So for him to say that, I really appreciated it.”

Typical of Chris however is the fact that he reserved his final words for the Toon Army:

“Wherever I am in the world, I still get Newcastle fans coming up to me and thanking me for the promotion season which is so nice. It is an incredible support and a really, really lovely part of the world. I would love to see them go from strength-to-strength.”

As fans we can only speculate what “might have been” if Chris had been allowed to continue in the managerial seat at St James’ Park – we will never know. What we do know is that Chris has done well since leaving, having taken Birmingham City to the Championship playoffs on a shoestring budget, whilst Alan Pardew has indeed taken Newcastle to “the next level” – finishing fifth and qualifying for Europe. So smiles all round eh?

As Alan Pardew acknowledged at the LMA Awards Ceremony, Chris Hughton started the rebuilding at United and left him a good squad and set up to inherit. Perhaps the jewel in the crown of that inheritance is Graham Carr, the Chief Scout who has continued to unearth gems in the form of top class recruits, and who Chris brought to the club. Thanks Chris.

Comments Welcome Below.

NUFCBlog Author: UTD111 UTD111 has written 59 articles on this blog.

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75 Responses

  1. I think I may have said this before, but how about Chris for Liverpool? He has a similar CV to Rodgers.

    He’s probably better off at ANOTHER mid-table side like West Brom though.

  2. Poor Birmingham are in a real pickle, except for on the pitch. Their biggest shareholder is still up on money laundering charges, his appeal to have his assets unfrozen has been turned down, they keep missing deadlines to file their accounts and have been banned from bringing any players until they do, the Football League may take further action further down the line and so on. They’re already at a disadvantage and their season hasn’t even started yet. Good fans though who appreciate Hughton far more than he ever was when he was at Newcastle.

  3. It doesn’t look like Chris Hughton will be going to West Brom – they seem to be focussing on former Hoffenheim and Schalke manager Ralf Rangnick

  4. Aye GS, doing the same thing over and over and over again, and always expecting a different result. But how does that one square with “If you don’t succeed, try, try again?”

    Answer that one! :-)

  5. UTD111 says:
    May 31, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    “It doesn’t look like Chris Hughton will be going to West Brom – they seem to be focussing on former Hoffenheim and Schalke manager Ralf Rangnick”

    And it was supposed to be Hughton vs the tinker gadgie, Ranieri, the other day, UTD.

  6. My definition of insanity is playing with poisoness snakes. Whether I was God fearing or not, I would be snake fearing and get the F@cker defanged.

    Hedge my bets a bit. If there is a God the snake wouldn’t bite me, if there isn’t, I wouldn’t be deed.

    Anyway, I agree with Chuck and Ba is off. So, is it Gamiero or De Jong we would want?

  7. I know. It is June tomorrow and my official NUFC calendar has Hatem Ben Arfa on it. I have to admit had a sneak peak thinking it would be him and now I am waiting for the clock to tick to midnight. I think I will “forget” to flip to the next month in July.

  8. GS, Do you think they have this one of Tevez in the Man City calendar?


    I would definitely give that one a miss!

    It seems to be Chris Hughton week in the Chronic / Journo:



    They seem to have finally cottoned on to what I was saying months ago on here, which is nice. :-)

  9. The more of those toss pots that want to die by snake bite the better. This country is so mental when it comes to religion. If only we had a state sponsored religion like you lot… then no one would care and our politics would be insane. The founding fathers would be horrified to see what’s become of their grand experiment.

  10. GS sez,
    Anyway I agree with chuck….

    Now thats the most inteligent comment i have heard in a long time, being most claim they disagree.

    Seems that three of the most impressive up and coming young Managers/coaches i had touted, were included in the four considered by Liverpool.
    That’s Martinez, Rodgers and Liverpool coach Clarke.

    In fact i was pleasantly surprised with both Martinez and Rodgers, I think we could possibly add Lambert to that group.
    I realise Martineez is a Spanish national but i feel he has learned his trade in england, therefore home grown so to speak.
    But i’m relieved to see there are some young home grown managers on the horizon, who have studied the game and have their sides playing a modern version of the game.
    For too many years we have suffered under ex players as managers, who continue to play an outdated style of football, cause they have never really put in the time or effort to watch and learn, from present day successful clubs, who apply the lessons learned and who can adjusted to different tactica approaches.
    The prime example is Morinho, who can and did play the same way against Barcelona as Chelsea played in both the semi’s and final of the European Championship.
    But the same Morinho, can have his side playing an all out attacking role, horses for courses.
    Yhats what i’m talkin bout !

  11. GS says:

    “Anyway, I agree with Chuck and Ba is off.”

    If he goes GS its not the end of the world. Maybe good for us in the long term cos Pardwho wouldnt rely on 4-4-2 when he felt pressured to get results.

    I know its been said many times but flexibility in the forward line (where players can perform other roles other than their starting position) is a key to fluid, attacking football.

    Marveaux HBA and Cisse are a decent front three with Cabaye prompting. Shaquiri would have been ideal but he went to Bayern for a measly €10m which is a weeks wages for the Fatman :) Second choice is still Ramirez but he’ll bugger off to Citeh probably. Howvber its that type of player we should be looking for not necessarily an out and out striker !

  12. The Chronicle is getting a bit obvious now….

    We had “Mike Ashley Week” featuring Mike Ashley 5 nights running….

    Now it’s “Chris Hughton thinks Mike and Alan are great” day

    At least Gibson and Oliver tried to be subtle about it

  13. I’m sure Sports Direct and NUFC, use the print media and other means to advetise there wares.
    All of which is welcomed (the revenue) and I’m sure they see nowt wrong with a bit a quid pro quo.

  14. chuck says:
    May 31, 2012 at 5:36 pm

    “For too many years we have suffered under ex players as managers.”

    You mean like current World Cup holder, Vicente Del Bosque, who had a playing career at the very highest level with Real Madrid and Spain? Or current Champions League winner, Roberto di Matteo, with Lazio, Chelsea and Italy? Or the previous holder, Pep Guardiola, with Barcelona and Spain? The winning manager of the last European Championship with Spain, Aragones (Atletico Madrid and Spain). The list goes on and on…

    I do see what your trying to get at Chuck, but I think you may be getting a little carried away.

  15. Wake up UTD111, you happen to be one of those two who agree, that i constantly “cast pear among swine” (in the biblical sense of course)on this blog.

  16. WORKEY
    Duh ! no shit, anyone couldda come up with that list.
    But it has little to do with my point.
    If you notice they, with the limited exception of De Matteo, have had little or nothing to do with the EPL, which i was discussing.
    If you like i can give you lists of English ex-pros who failed miserably,
    Shearer and Gazza to start near to home, chuck in Bruce another Geordie failure as a manager.
    Well i wont bore you with the list, but at least it’s part of my original point, not off on some tangent.
    Of course we understand that the majority of past managers came through the players ranks, but that may be changing.
    At present The two top rated young EPL managers Martinez and Rodgers, had short careers as player, that plus the worlds most successful manager, broke in as a translator for SBR, talking bout Morinho.
    And i would be obliged if you would leave out the patronizing postscripts.
    “I know what you are trying to get at, but i think you might be getting carried away” indeed!

  17. ahem cough mutters under breath “pearls before swine” discreetly leaves.

  18. No chance of Hoilett Chuck

    Hmmm lemme see…..ex-pros made good as managers

    Why of course!!

    Double Manager of the Season Alan Pardew!


  19. There’s a new poll just gone up lads.

    Well. it’s our annual one to see how you think we’ll do in the Premiership next season. I’ll post a ‘blog to go with it too soon.

  20. Chuck Hoillet is or will be, to coin a phrase, overpriced for the Fatman. Which is why i said you have to look outside the box before deciding who we’ll bring in.

    Contract running out, low buy out clauses, no agent involved – all of which come far higher up the list of priorities with the current regime.

    On a slightly related topic WT did you see the article this morning which claimed that NUFC’s “soft loan” was £227m ????? Going up by the day if thats the case :)

  21. “Contract running out, low buy out clauses, no agent involved” but forgot “long term injury issue” e.g. Marveaux, Ba and Obertan :)

  22. I went for mid-table FAIL

    Mainly because all of those journalists from London and Manchester have apparently decided that most of the team will be sold.

    These people always know what’s going on

  23. I was first to vote but the second one made it a 50/50 choice. I think we will do well to get Europa league again although it would be nice if we had two chances. ie one through the FA cup.

    At twenty one and showing so much pace and power, not to say his skill levels and goalscoring abilities are not equal.
    I believe this kid will be a great buy, yeah i know there will be a bidding war involved, but just as we sprung for around ten million for Cisse, this kid will be a bargain for anything under ten million and dont forget, he’s still virtually a kid.

  25. Talking bout kids, if i ruled the world, i would have Gatesheed as a feeder side, place all our youngsters in the club on loan, get em promoted to the second division or whatever they call it.
    And have them available, when needed.
    Actually wondered about the difference between reserve football and that played in the lowest (2nd.) division ?
    If the quality is not up to par, then a side like Darlington may be a good choice, after all thats how some of the big sides in Spanish football go about it,
    feeder sides.

  26. There are probably rules that stop feeder clubs here Chuck – otherwise you’d think it would have been tried before now?

  27. In the list I posted above, it says that that “Sevilla FC Juncos” are a feeder club for Sevilla, yet in turn, Sevilla are also a feeder for the club Ashley has modelled NUFC on, Udinese. Also in turn, Udinese are a feeder club for the really big clubs in Italy (Milan, Internazionale etc) and beyond such as Barcelona.

  28. What’s a soft loan ?
    Why is it we have been subjected to a bombardment of NUFC PR lately ?
    Seems we are daly confronted by feel good stories cocerning how the club is proceeding on a fiscally sound program, with profits up, etc.
    But we have also seen figures that dispute those so called facts.
    Overall profit and loss figures, for instance, which compared to those of our former owners, in fact show bigger losses combined with less incoming revenue. A “soft loan” of over two hundred million” ?
    Perish the thought, that after firing half the St. James” ground staff, and playing hardball, with both the agents and clubs , we do business with, but on the other hand giving Sports Direct Free advertising.
    Could there be a syphoning of NUFC profit going into the SPORTS DIRECT accounts.
    Or on the books as a non interest loan from guess who? which is as repayable as any loan.
    Is Mike Ashley, immitating the business plan the Glazers put into effect at Man. U. making NUFC a cash cow for their main business.

  29. chuck says:
    May 31, 2012 at 8:26 pm

    “What’s a soft loan ?”

    A loan at a low rate of interest, below the “market rate” at least, or interest free, Chuck.

  30. chuck says:
    May 31, 2012 at 8:35 pm

    “So NUFC is now into Ashley for 227m. quid ?
    Thought it was around 130m. ?”

    Chuck, do you have a link for this thing you’re quoting from?

  31. This is dissapointing news, guess we will neverget rid of this cnut now, he’s gonna bleed the club for every thin dime he can.

    I would watch my ass if i were Cath. the tea lady.

    Question is will we make a run at some silverware this coming season, now we have the basic infrastructure of a side that could compete with the best.

    A few quality defenders and JR. Hoilett up front, along with Johnson and bobs your uncle.

    All of this of course depending on Ashleys ego, a guy who enjoys proving people wrong, who must be enjoying the success of a fifth place finish and perhaps wish to continue onwards and upwards, who knows ?

  32. WORKEY
    I cant recall whether it’s from News Now or the BBC, but AndyMac mentioned it @ 29 # also, perhaps he remembers.

  33. WORKEY
    Check out ED’s. blog of to-day
    “Newcstle; 25th.richest club in the world”.

  34. chuck says:
    May 31, 2012 at 9:12 pm

    Check out ED’s. blog of to-day
    “Newcstle; 25th.richest club in the world”.”

    Ahhh, I see. That was £277 million but you can ignore it because it’s incorrect. That £277 million is more like the TOTAL figure including what Ashley paid for the club itself.

  35. Ed’s blog is talking of last season’s figures Chuck. This fiscal year ends next month and will probably top the £88m turnover by another £20m or so ?

    Unless of course the Fatman dips his hand into his pocket and coughs up £10m for Stadium rebranding :)

  36. “Ahhh, I see. That was £277 million but you can ignore it because it’s incorrect. That £277 million is more like the TOTAL figure including what Ashley paid for the club itself”

    Dont buy that Worky cos if you buy a club then you’ve bought it. There’s no “loan” that you expect back at some time. Unless of course when you sell it.

  37. Chuck:

    I don’t get why you are so hot for these managers who have achieved nothing yet. If promotion from the Championship is your criteria then there is a fat man at WHam that you should include, and I think he even finished 5th or thereabouts in the Premier League.

    If it is true that Martinez has turned down Villa and Liverpool, what is he thinking? On recent lists (I know, I know) they are two of the top 20 clubs in the world.

    And it is fine to say we NEED, WANT Hoilet but he has his choice of many clubs, so we probably won’t GET Hoilet.

  38. GS
    Did we sign Hoilett yet ?
    Let me know when Woy gets fired, so the Silver Supremo can take the Engerland job, as they were made for each other.
    This way perhaps we could end up with Martinez, who could introduce a modern version of the game to Sports Direct Oooops sorry, St. james’ Park!

  39. And another thing. Chuck complains that others go off on non-NUFC tangents on here but he wants to turn this into a bloody Swansea/Wigan/Junior Hoilett blog :)

  40. I fear for Chuck. A 95 year old man drinking Amstels at 4 O’clock every day on the streets of New York. I have watched those documentaries like “Law and Order” and “CSI” and there is a lot of crime out there, so be careful Chuck.

    And I imagine him in his local bar being asked “who is this Junior Hoilett you speak of”?

  41. I don’t suppose many of you remember big Laurie McMenemy advertising a none-alcoholic knat’s piss called Barbican? – possibly better than any yank brew mind you!

  42. Supermac: Budweiser is pisswater which is why I think Chuck drinks Amstel. I drank some when I first moved to the USA, USA, USA but you sure do get a mighty headache from it.

  43. thinking of Laurie McMenemy reminds me of how well 5under1and have done recently – considering they were a 3rd division side in those days !

  44. Supermac says:
    May 31, 2012 at 11:28 pm

    “I don’t suppose many of you remember big Laurie McMenemy advertising a none-alcoholic knat’s piss called Barbican?”

    Supermac, you probably won’t believe me, or think I’m being sarcastic, but it’s in me heed all the friggin’ time and even though I was only a bairn when those adverts were on. I can’t get rid of it! Didn’t Jackie Charlton used to join him in the odd advert for it too? McMenemy was lying through his teeth when he said it tasted “just like a lager”

  45. Sad to say, but he won a trophy for them since we last won one, unless you count the Inter-toto cup.

  46. I used to drink Amstel when I went to see my girlfriends in Spain, except it was called “Aguila” over there. It was dirt cheap in the supermercado, but it was fairly decent and more or less the standard beer in Valencia.

  47. Supermac:

    you can’t even bring yourself to write “Sunderland”. That is a true Newcastle zealot and you are to be commended for your continuing disdain for the SMBs in the face of the all pervasive political correctness.

    I myself, have never been to Sunderland except to see a pantomime at the Sunderland Empire. I swear I was at the Stadium of Shite but me mam insists it was the Empire.

  48. GS says:
    May 31, 2012 at 11:55 pm


    you can’t even bring yourself to write “Sunderland”.”

    GS, it’s a bit like leaving food out in the kitchen. If you do it can encourage rats and mice on to the blog ;-)

  49. I have to go to New York in a couple of months. I should look up Chuck and he can talk about the good old days of Junior Hoilett and when he told me to F@ck off and I can get a lift back to the hotel on his electric wheelchair.

  50. I have just realised the power of the smiley emoticon. You can say whatever you want and do a smiley after and nobody will know if you mean it or not. Double the power with a wink smiley ;)

    Hitler wasn’t that bad :)

    The Catholic Church makes sense ;)

    Graham Norton is good at talk shows, and not in the least bit annoying :)

  51. Johnny Depp doesn’t just play the same part in all his recent films, but with different make-up on :)

    Harry didn’t accept a bung ;)

    Jamie Rednapp doesn’t like people talking about his crotch ;)

  52. Fried chcken (southern fried, down home chicken) n’ gravy, with Creamy mashed potato’s n’corn, with hot biscuits, mmmm, mmm!
    Wash that down with some Amstel and you got yourself a meal.
    Some Cream Brulee, or tres leche’s, n’ a good cup of expresso to get the heart pumping, whats better ?
    Actually i prefer Oranjeboom on tap, which i believe is only available in Holland, they keep the best for themselves.
    New York dangerouse, you gotta be kidding, one of the safest cities in the world.
    Dont come looking for me during the period between June and Mid september, as i’m traveling and fishing in Europe then, plus catching the occasional game.
    Catch you in Aug. before the game in “Los Tres Toros” on Percy St., thats just before i go for a pastie in Greggs.
    I might even take in a game at “El estadio de la Luz”
    to watch your neighbors play.
    As far as asking me about Jr. in the local, hell they are the ones who turned me on to him, which means they are hipper about fitba than you guys are about baseball.
    And oh! by the way “GS”, get a life before it’s too late.

  53. Chuck man, just messing about. I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t think you could give better than you get.

    Only been to NYC once and it was on the coldest January days you had had in 100 years. A Nor easter or wester or something.

    The funny thing is that New Yorkers have a reputation for being stand offish and I couldn’t have found them more helpful.

    You’ll be lucky with the Gregg’s pasties though as they just took the VAT off them. There’s some rediculous rule that they can’t serve them hot from the oven though – really, there is.

  54. Last time Chuck: I am not on a wind-up. I thought you had skin as think as a Rhino having been through 2 world wars. It is just my stupid sense of humour which I apologize for if it did get to you.

  55. GS
    Nah !
    I’m like Akim Tamiroff in “for whom the bell tolls”
    Who utters in his Armenian accent, “I refuse to be provoked”
    Classic moment in film, by a very under-rated actor.