Chris Hughton will always be remembered with affection and respect by Newcastle fans.
Now they have been joined by former Sunderland striker Don Goodman in singing his praises.
Now working for Sky Sports, Goodman says that Chris Hughton ‘never once…whinge, complain or feel sorry for himself’, despite his treatment by Mike Ashley and later, Norwich City.
Don Goodman says that the former Newcastle boss is a ‘fantastic manager and coach’ who ‘hasn’t got the credit for what he’s achieved’.
Looking at his record as a Manager, any neutral would find it very difficult to argue.
At Newcastle, Chris Hughton had a series of players sold from under him by Mike Ashley and wasn’t given a penny to spend, only to then lead Newcastle to a fantastic 102 points and only lost one of the final 33 matches in the Championship.
On promotion, Hughton was given next to no money to strengthen, but had Newcastle comfortably in mid-table having beaten Sunderland 5-1 and Arsenal 1-0 away in recent weeks. Despite this, he was sacked so that Ashley could bring in yes man Alan Pardew, who was willing to be the owner’s puppet and happy for players to be bought and sold without him having any say.
The following summer (2011), Chris Hughton joined relegated Birmingham and got them into the group stages of the Europa League and finished fourth in the Championship, only to lose in the play-offs.
He asked to leave and went to Norwich City, where he finished 11th in his first season (2012/13) in the Premier League, then was five points clear of relegation with five matches to go of the 2013/14 season only to get sacked. His replacement Neil Adams proved a disaster, picking up one point from the last 15 and Norwich slipped into the bottom three and were relegated.
Appointed at Brighton on new year’s eve 2014, Chris Hughton stabilised the south coast club that season and then the next (2015/16 – last season) he saw them agonisingly miss out on goal difference for automatic promotion and lose in the play-offs. Not collapsing in disappointment, Brighton and Hughton are showing every indication of heading up with Newcastle this season.
I often wonder what would have happened if Ashley had simply stuck with the excellent Chris Hughton and allowed him just to get on with the job – I doubt we would have seen the total chaos and eventual second relegation of the owner’s short time at NUFC.
Don Goodman on Chris Hughton:
“Brighton are on (Sky Sports) twice during the 10 days (starting Friday, Sky have 10 Championship matches live in 10 days, including Newcastle at Wigan), and it’s another chance for Chris Hughton to highlight how good a manager he is.
“Goodness me, when I think about Hughton, I think about how talented a coach he is, and how he hasn’t got the credit for what he’s achieved.
“But also, for the dignity he displayed when he was unfairly sacked by Newcastle, and possibly unfair sacked by Norwich as far as I’m concerned.
“Never once did I hear him whinge, complain or feel sorry for himself. He’s now showing not only Brighton fans, but all of us who watch the EFL, what a fantastic manager and coach he is. All credit to him for that.”