Oct 30, 2010

Things they said..and probably shouldn’t have #9

Brian Woolnough

"It's not a waffle, it's my head"

Brian Woolnough

30 October 2010

In his latest article for the Daily Star: ‘Newcastle must axe Hughton if they want Prem glory‘, Sports Journalist and ‘football expert’ Brian Woolnough ignores fact and logic in an attempt to start a witch-hunt against Newcastle manager Chris Hughton.

At the time of writing Newcastle are 9th in the Premier league and following the defeat against Arsenal in the Carling Cup, the club were forced to release a statement backing their manager amid speculation largely started by Southern hacks and know-it-alls such as Woolnough.

Here are some ‘highlight’s of his latest piece:

‘Do they (Newcastle) want to be a middle-of-the-road club? One constantly battling to stay up? Or a power in English football? If the Toon stick with Hughton, they are probably settling for something somewhere between the first two options.’

Ever heard of one step at a time Brian? The club have just been promoted back to the Premier league and already the talk is about Newcastle becoming a power in English football. Before the season started the manager, board and players openly stated that survival was the aim, 17th place would be a success and this is a belief that the majority of Newcastle fans also subscribe to. Take note we are not the demanding, expectant and unrealistic bunch that the media make us out to be. A top half finish is something to aim for but survival would be considered a job well done.

‘Hughton is a good Championship manager – as he proved last season – but is not up there when it comes to the Premier League. He is a safe pair of hands. Perhaps that is what owner Mike Ashley has settled for. If so, it shows a real lack of ambition.’

It’s amazing that Hughton is already being written off as not being up to managing in the Premier League after only 9 games and when Newcastle sit 9th in the table. Again Woolnough completely ignores fact and reason instead relying on his hopelessly one-sided opinion.

‘We don’t know whether Ashley is happy with the way Newcastle have started in the Premier League. If he is, then he has settled for mediocrity.’

We might not know whether Ashley is happy but  describing 9th place in ‘The Best League In The World ©‘, including a 6-0 win over Aston Villa and away wins over Everton and West Ham as mediocrity is simply baffling. And to think they call Newcastle fans unrealistic and impatient…

Newcastle have one or two good players, but too many ordinary ones. Who are their top players? Andy Carroll is the future, Kevin Nolan an inspiration and Joey Barton an outstanding midfield player if he can keep his temper. After that, I’m struggling’

Suggesting Newcastle have 1 or 2 good players and then naming 3 is another point in itself, but to say that it’s a struggle to name some of Newcastle’s good players shows an astonishing level of ignorance. Fabricio Coloccini, Mike Williamson and Jonas Gutierrez are in arguably the best form of their Newcastle careers and are proving to be solid Premier League players, Cheick Tiote has been a sensation in midfield and in Jose Enrique, Newcastle have one of the best left backs in the League. That wasn’t too difficult was it?

‘Hughton is a nice guy but not a top manager. That is not a criticism, it’s a fact.’

It is a criticism and it’s not a fact.

I suspect they have settled for life as a club that treats winning something such as the FA Cup as a bonus.’

And the problem with that is? The top 7 is a stretch too far currently for Newcastle and apart from 3 or 4 clubs who have realistic title ambitions, the rest of the Premier League would treat ‘winning something such as the FA Cup as a bonus’. Let’s not forget Newcastle haven’t won a major trophy (I’ve been told the Intertoto cup doesn’t count) since 1969 as the media are often so keen to point out. Of course the FA Cup would be a bonus.

Woolnough’s article is an unashamed and blatant attempt to get Chris Hughton the sack. Hughton has done a fantastic job since becoming permanent manager at Newcastle. Revitalising the dressing room, making some shrewd signings and instilling a winning feeling and never-say-die attitude in a team that was woefully short of confidence or belief. After winning the league at the first attempt and being named Championship Manager of the Year, Hughton has already exceeded expectations and continues to do so guiding a newly promoted club to the top half of the Premier League. Yes the home form has been poor so far but to suggest Hughton should be given the sack is laughable and certainly not the answer.

If Hughton were to be sacked then of course it would be the ‘unrealistic, impatient and expectant’ Newcastle fans that drove him out, a la Sam Allardyce, and the hacks would be licking their lips at the prospect of writing about the latest managerial crisis at Newcastle United. Pathetic really.


  • […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Leazes Terrace, Ryan Davison. Ryan Davison said: My thoughts on Brian Woolnough's article: 'Newcastle must axe Hughton if they want Prem glory': http://bit.ly/bKk74x #NUFC […]

  • Spot on mate!

    There isn’t a single NUFC fan who wanted Hughton to go, it was a shock to every Toon supporter when someone down south decided we needed to get rid of the man who got us promoted in his first season at the helm and has guided us into the top half of the league when we are one of the favourites to go down.

    The whole story came from Woolnough’s ridiculous report, which has no base in fact what-so-ever. How does he expect any new managers to make it through the ranks if they are replaced whenever they take a team into the top tier by a ‘bigger name’ and never given a chance to manage in the top flight.

    For the record, I’d love us to be a ‘middle-of-the road club’ making headlines for the right reasons, continuing to create stability at a football club that has badly needed it and earning our place in the best league in the world.

  • […] current standing. Talk this week about him being axed is nothing short of a disgrace and the Southern based journalists leading the charge should be […]

  • […] To those in the Media who have helped cost a good man to lose his job – Malcolm Macdonald, Brian Woolnough and several others – you should be […]


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