Newcastle have been through a few managers in recent times, which means there’s a fair few ex-managers doing the rounds out there. While most of those men previously employed by Newcastle won’t be looked at too fondly, given that they were sacked for a reason, there is one who stands tall above the rest. I’ll always be appreciative of what Chris Hughton did for Newcastle and I’m sure many fans will feel the same. Next season Chris will come up against another ex-Newcastle manager, Sam Allardyce, but who will prevail?
Hughton’s and Allardyce’s time at St James’ Park couldn’t be more contrasting. Hughton achieved promotion with ease, bringing a sense of pride back to the club in doing so, and restoring the feel-good factor on Tyneside. That was extended into the Premier League as, just 9 months ago under Chris, the Magpies faired well on their return to the top flight.
Sam Allardyce’s time in charge of Newcastle on the other hand couldn’t come to an end soon enough. Big Sam promised to make Newcastle fitter, faster and stronger, but all he did was to bring his infamous long ball game to the north-east and bore the St James’ Park faithful. So both men are looked upon very differently by the Toon Army, but will either achieve promotion and book a return to SJP next season?
I’m afraid to say it, but I think Big Sam is more likely to bring West Ham back up at the first attempt. He has the basis of a decent squad at Upton Park and with former Newcastle captain Kevin Nolan leading the troops, I expect the Hammers to be there or thereabouts. Hughton on the other hand will have to rebuild a depleted Birmingham City squad, and to achieve promotion for the second time in three years would make Chris’ CV really impressive.
I, for one, hope that Hughton does manage to get one over Allardyce, but he’ll have to overcome the odds to do it. West Ham have been installed as 6/4 favourites to earn promotion, with Birmingham third in the running at 9/4. With Leicester, Reading and Nottingham Forest all looking good for next season, I reckon only one ex-Newcastle manager will be joining Alan Pardew in the Premier League, and unfortunately it will not be Chrissy Hughton.
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