clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Leave Hughton be because we crave stability

Getty Images

That a manager can be unjustly sacked is quite the common occurrence in today's game of football. Our previous manager, Mark Hughes, befell such a fate at the hands of Manchester City, our current boss Martin Jol was on the receiving end whilst at White Hart Lane and even Roy Hodgson could argue his case to the Liverpool board. Chris Hughton, the potential assistant to Martin Jol at the Cottage, is also well aware of the merciless and malevolent end of the chairman-manager relationship.

And, with such a past to put behind him, the former Newcastle boss has struggled to find work since, despite a predominantly prosperous stint at St. James' Park. Martin Jol's move to South West London, though, has sparked rumours of a reunion of the former battle partners of such astute acumen. 

However, while Hughton brings palpable experience, wisdom and fortitude to the table, his undoubted quest to prove to the world that he is better than Newcastle labelled him is likely to cause us much worriment in the not-so-distant future. 

There is a great case to put forward as to why Hughton would be great for the role; not least his time in charge in the North East. It's rare these days that a manager that achieved quite so much in a relatively short Championship and Premiership term can find himself delving back into the depths of playing second fiddle to elite managers. That we have been offered, as number two, a man who was in the running for manager's spot barely days ago, shows just how prosperous an opportunity this could prove to be. It also goes to show just how ruthless and brutal the beautiful game can be.

The former Republic of Ireland and Spurs assistant clearly knows how to work with, and how to complement, Martin Jol. The two worked with admirable consistency at White Hart Lane and his role in leading Tottenham to two consecutive 5th placed finishes should not be undermined or discounted. Add to that his job at Newcastle and you have a man who knows the Premier League well, knows Martin Jol well, and most importantly, knows football well.

He has a Championship title to his name, even though he had only been in charge, permanently, for one year, and Hughton oversaw fantastic Premier League victories, such as the 6-0 humiliation of Aston Villa. His dismissal was unfounded and his departure saddening, and unfortunately for the ex-Brentford player, it has affected his standing in the managerial carousel that is the English league system.

Yet, that hasn't halted surreptitious courting from other sides such as Cardiff City and, Hughton's proposal to wait until the Welsh job has gone before accepting Al Fayed's kindly offer shows where his intentions really lie. Of course, this is no detriment to the man and who could blame him? He deserves such opportunities and he has earned them. A step down to monotonous coaching for Hughton is the same as a step down in class for Jack Wilshere; from international stalwart to Under-21 starlet.

Of course, though, Jack Wilshere's demise never materialised and neither should Chris Hughton's. If he does arrive at the Cottage, he is sure to offer plenty. He will aid Jol like no other and his presence in and around the team will be invaluable. The idea that he would hold out in such a role for long, though, is a frivolous one. As soon as any club comes knocking on the door, he'll be long gone.

While the departure of any number two is hardly too destabilising (ignore Ray Wilkins at Chelsea), the portrayal of Craven Cottage as some sort of breeding ground for future managers is hardly going to be shrugged off with the employment of staff who clearly feel they are worth more than their duty offers. It would make far more sense to promote within the club or at a minimum, bring in someone who is prepared to stay in the dugout for as long as Jol is.

There is one quite blatant choice, and it comes in the form of a man who has been begging to be heard since Mark Hughes appointment last season. Ever since the Welshman came in, Ray Lewington has been slowly and begrudgingly demoted until he found himself within the midst of youth team coaching. Hodgson was well aware of the man's capabilities, and more aptly, his abundant knowledge of the club. Lewington is entitled to another chance and as fans, we all know what he can offer.

So, in a word, Hughton's sheer ability is what should actually ward us off this potential acquisition, as in the near future, once again, we'll be left bundling around for someone new.