When Chris Hughton was unceremoniously axed by Newcastle there were many fans who were left less that impressed with the actions of the club.
Here was a quiet, unassuming man who had taken control of the team when they were at their lowest ebb having just suffered relegation. He managed to stabilise us and maintain a promotion challenge which ultimately saw us return to the Premier League at the first time of asking, despite the widespread proclamations from those “in the know” who claimed that we’d do a Leeds.
We then started off well in the Premier League. We had some cracking results, most notably against Aston Villa, Sunderland and away at Arsenal, but they weren’t the only ones. However it wasn’t enough and after a poor run of form Hughton was no more.
The reason for the managerial change was that the club were looking for someone with more experience. They hired Alan Pardew who wasn’t the first choice of anyone in fairness. He got the gig though, but he would also face an uphill task in terms of getting the NUFC fans onside. Chris Hughton was a popular manager and for some the world ended when he went. Some are still trying to get over it now.
Pardew started off well and went unbeaten in his first few games. Long story short he finished off the job of securing safety – a job that was started back in August by his predecessor. In fact we could have finished as high as 9th had the team managed to not blow a three goal lead on the final day of the season.
So here we are in this season. We’ve made a fantastic start to the season, a surprising start to the season in fact. We’re playing some decent stuff and have some cracking players who should show their best once they are given time to settle into life in the Premier League. Like it or not, Alan Pardew is doing a good job.
So now to the question of the article: Was replacing Hughton with Pardew, in hindsight, the right thing to do?
Personally I think yes. I wasn’t overly pleased when Hughton was sacked, and I wasn’t overly enamoured with the hiring of Alan Pardew. His record was hardly sparkling but still I decided to back Alan Pardew right form the word go, mainly because the memory of Chris Hughton getting a chance and using it was fresh in my mind. I did it for Hughton and he surprised me, so I thought that perhaps it could happen again.
So far so good on that score. Alan Pardew has us playing some decent stuff and has made us hard to beat in the process. It’s 11 games unbeaten in all competitions and more importantly it’s 11 games unbeaten at home.
To me Pardew is better than Hughton. We have a more dynamic team now with more ideas. We look more organised and professional both on the pitch and off it and Pardew must take at least some credit for it all.
The benefit of hindsight is a wonderful thing, so with that do you think that ultimately it was the right call to fire Hughton and hire Pardew?