A Geordie’s Lament On The Hoying of Hughton.

Say Hello, Wave Goodbye as Phil Collins tries to get out of shot

Why, Mike, why?!

You had just about managed to build some bridges this year. I appreciate it’s cold this winter, but there’s plenty of other things you could have burned to keep yourself warm. You utter tit.

In my 23 years as a Newcastle United fan, I’ve seen some strange things. I’ve seen us jockey for the signings of the best players in the world, progress to the latter stages of the Champions League and run title races right down to the wire. I’ve also seen us get outplayed by Scunthorpe, boycott a chairman and spend cash monies on James Perch and Leon Best. All within the space of six or seven years.

But somehow, getting word today that Chris Hughton had been relived of his duties as manager still managed to unhinge my jaw and spray my afternoon bottle of Brown Ale out of my nose.

I’ve spent the better part of this season being told how well we were doing, maybe not as well as the other two promoted sides, but still well clear of the relegation zone. We’ve had some very memorable afternoons too, I danced around with a pint on my head when we stuck six past Villa and gloated unashamedly at our 0-1 at The Emirates. Not to mention the derby…

Don’t buy in to anything you hear about expectation levels in this part of the world, 17th is all we were hoping for this year. You show me one Newcastle fan who thinks we’re underachieving this season and I’ll show you the fiver you paid him to say it. Then slap you both.

Despite all this though, it seemed not a week went by without hearing some sort of speculation regarding the future of Chris Hughton. Performing well in the league, with a harmonious playing squad (by our standards anyway) and with that rarest of commodities, the full support of the fans. This supposed pressure he was under seemed preposterous.

Don’t get me wrong, he certainly wasn’t everyone’s first choice when he was appointed, but the fact is he took over a club in obscene amounts of turmoil. Still up for sale by an owner desperate to leave, division in the terraces from a fan base looking for post-relegation blood and a squad of over-paid underachievers who were yet to decide their own future. In the following 18 months he not only stabilised the side, but guided them to a convincing promotion and steady return to the top flight. He never asked for credit, he never hogged the applause and he didn’t even make a fuss when not publicly supported by the board, he simply won everyone over by doing a good job.

If he had any sense he would have kicked Mike Ashley’s office door off it’s hinges on the morning after the Sunderland game and said “Right Mike, I want a new contract, here are my terms, they’re not unreasonable, sign it right now or I’ll walk and leave you to clear up the ensuing mess”. Even if he was asking for the kind of money that would have made a rapper wince, they’d have had a hard time refusing. If ever anybody has had their pay-masters by the short and curlies, it was then.

But he didn’t do that. He turned up at the training ground on Monday morning and quietly got on with his job. Contrast those levels of class and quiet dignity to things like Allardyce’s delusions of grandeur or Wenger’s selective vision, and you can see why he’s become such a popular figure in football over the last two seasons.

Mike Ashley laughs in the face of conventional logic

I can remember walking to the ground in September 2008 and seeing the protests in the wake of Keegan’s sacking. Turmoil and unrest do more damage to a football team than injuries, suspensions and dodgy refereeing decisions ever will – It’s no coincidence that Liverpool have started climbing the table now that they’re under steady ownership – and the fact that we were relegated that season, on the last day, by a single point, suggests to me that more stability over the year would have saved us. Good to see lessons have been learned then… *GROAN*

The board have said they want somebody “with more managerial experience” but who in their right mind would want the job? Hughton might only have been 16 games into his Premier League career but he’s worked with most of these players for almost three years now, and they like him. You can count on one hand the number of other managers in the league who can boast that.

SO WHY MIKE!? WHY!? Was the brief stability we’ve enjoyed just too boring for you to tolerate any longer? Have you run out of light conversation topics at your dinner and whizz parties? Surely all your shirt ‘n’ jeans, cheap tracksuit empire pals can’t be that tired of hearing your Joe Kinnear stories. Why not have some of those little lads from your sweatshops fly over and wear our yellow kit from last season while they dance for 50p coins?

You had just about managed to build some bridges this year. I appreciate it’s cold this winter, but there’s plenty of other things you could have burned to keep yourself warm. You utter tit.

So who’s next to swig at the poisoned chalice? We don’t want Shearer. Sky Sports News can find as many slack-jawed yokels as they like who’ll say otherwise to camera, but he’s not suitable for the position, and the paying public know that. We’re not interested in ‘messiahs’ or second comings here either, we don’t want an icon or some christ-like figurehead for this “Geordie nation” I keep hearing about. Wor Cheryl isn’t going to march back up the M1 with Ant and Dec in tow and single handedly guide us to a top four finish.

The early favourites are equally uninteresting Alans, Pardew and Curbishley, with Shearer not far behind. But hey, it wouldn’t surprise me if I woke up tomorrow to hear that we’ve nailed Maradona down on a five year deal, after all we wouldn’t want it to get boring up here.

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1 Comment

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One response to “A Geordie’s Lament On The Hoying of Hughton.

  1. hodaz

    too true. i dread the thought of either alans, and i’ll eat my proverbial hat if o’neil comes (not that i particuarly want him)

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