Hearing the news that Chris Hughton was sacked disgusted me. Unbelievably, he is the first manager casualty of the season after guiding Newcastle United to 11th place with three games left until the new year. Expectations of beating the drop seem reasonably high with a number of impressive performances put in during the course of the season including an away win against Arsenal, a home draw against Chelsea and most importantly, a home demolition against local rivals Sunderland. For a team who have just been promoted to the premier league, this is an impressive showing. So why sack the manager?
“Regrettably the board now feels that an individual with more managerial experience is needed to take the club forward”. There can be some understanding to the sacking if there was a training ground bust up, or poor results but their concern was 'managerial experience'. It's that notion of thinking that really disgusts me. Is experience an important factor, absolutely, but equally as important is the longevity and faith in a manager which enables him to gain experience. If you look at most of the successful managers, their success could be attributed to either developing a solid squad with effective tactics, a strong spirit within the squad or longevity with a manager who understands when to change things round when the team is in trouble. Everton boss David Moyes is now the third longest serving manager in the English Premier League and has developed all of those factors to make Everton the squad it is today. The success of Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger are well known so there is no need to go there.
How can Newcastle United achieve success if they keep changing their manager? They are not in a crisis at the moment but are in no position to take serious risks especially at this stage of the season. Now the team is without a manager and are scheduled to face Liverpool in the coming weekend. Since Sir Bobby Robson left Newcastle in 2004, they have had seven managers and ended up being relegated in the 2007/2008 season. If they are to achieve any success, they should have kept Chris and showed some sort of faith and loyalty towards him after a very good start to the season. They are not in a position to challenge for Europe but are capable of a respectable position within the league (top 10) and are in a good position going into the second half of the season.
In my opinion, a club is at their best or close to their best when they have a manager who has been around the club for a number of years and understands the principals, tactics and the players of the squad. Bolton were experiencing their best seasons (aside from potentially the existing one) under Sam Allardyce who spent eight years at the Reebok Stadium achieving qualification to the UEFA Cup twice and a League Cup final. David Moyes has achieved a tremendous amount of success in his eight years and counting at Everton. He built a fantastic squad at Goodison Park bringing in quality players such as Tim Cahill, Steven Pienaar and Mikel Arteta leading them to a number of seasons qualifying for the UEFA cup and overtaking Liverpool in the 2005/2006 seasons to a Champions League finish.
That kind of success was built around talent and faith. Newcastle do have a capable squad which was displayed in their matches this season against tough competitors such as Chelsea, Arsenal and Aston Villa. Whether Chris Hughton had the ability to take Newcastle forward or not could be questionable, but he has certainly made a case for his abilities since he took over in 2007. He did not deserve the sack at this present time and it's a damn shame that it has happened. If this sort of mentality of instant success with a new manager is favoured rather than building the foundations of a team with the existing manager for the future, then Newcastle United fans and other teams who may suffer from this have my condolences.