There are certain happenings, namely with regards to managerial shuffling and cup wins, that live in infamy among and around a club’s supporters and grounds. The 6th of December, 2010 is another one of those dates Newcastle United can attach to an already incalculable list of calamities. It’s the date when Newcastle United’s owner sacked manager Chris Hughton.
Chris Hughton might well have been knighted in the eyes of most Geordies and Newcastle supporters the world over for his thankless heroics last year, saving this club from the beckoning depths of the Football League and in turn, putting them back on a reasonable, realistic pace at which to start challenging for top honours again.
“Deluded” had, in the recent past, been an adjective brandied about trying to most reverently describe the hopes and ambitions of Newcastle United supporters, though it would be hard nowadays to find any particular supporter who would not have been in jubilation had, after the last round of fixtures this year, Newcastle managed to be nestled comfortably at seventeenth or higher.
Handed the reigns last October amid a solid run of results in the Coca-Cola Championship that eventually saw his Newcastle United side top the Championship with a points total of 102, managing to go unbeaten in every match at St. James’ Park, coach cum caretaker cum manager Chris Hughton was nicely en route in regards to the club’s Premier League survival, putting in some stellar performances along the way, though apparently it has not been up to par with Mr. Ashley, the Newcastle owner’s unfounded expectations.
And if there was ever one to defend the inane workings going on behind the scenes at St. James’, their rebuttals would fall short of proving the board’s sanity upon review of the club’s confirmation of the sack, posted to their official website:
“Newcastle United Football Club have today parted company with manager Chris Hughton. Goalkeeping coach Paul Barron also leaves the club today.
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 football.
Chris has shown exceptional character and commitment since being appointed manager in October 2009. The club wishes him well for the future.
Regrettably the board now feels that an individual with more managerial experience is needed to take the club forward.
The task of appointing a new manager now begins. An announcement will be made shortly regarding transitional arrangements pending the appointment of a successor.”
And as Chris presumably packs up his belongings from Newcastle’s Benton training headquarters, a certain Joe Kinnear, whose name for some reason or another has failed to go away, waits in the balance for the chance at a second coming to lead Newcastle United…….somewhere.
Fifteen games into the new year and Newcastle’s ambition to become an ever-present in England’s top flight has inadvertently called upon the soap opera that is Newcastle United to continue once again. A star striker still up against potential jail-time, a crumbling confidence and team moral, Steven Taylor’s contractual dispute and now, they’re manager-less. Move over, Manchester City, ’cause Newcastle just got a whole lot more exciting- and just in time for the January transfer window.
There’s only one question now: “What will Mike Ashley do next?”