March 15 2014 Latest news:
Thursday, June 7, 2012
Chris Hughton has been confirmed as Norwich City’s choice to fill the sizeable hole left by Paul Lambert – and his record backs him to make a good fist of it.
Hughton will bring with him assistant manager Colin Calderwood, first team coach Paul Trollope and chief scout Ewan Chester.
Birmingham’s acting chairman Peter Pannu said; “We would like to thank Chris and his team for their efforts over the past 12 months. They leave with our best wishes. Chris is a great man and a proven manager and we didn’t want to stand in his way when Norwich made an approach with the offer of a top-flight managerial position.”
The 53-year-old Hughton is a long-time coach, short-time manager. It wasn’t until the summer of 2009 the Londoner was finally given his first permanent managerial position – and he made it a success.
Having been appointed as first team coach a year earlier at Newcastle United by director of football Dennis Wise and manager Kevin Keegan, Hughton’s two caretaker spells in charge – either side of Joe Kinnear – were difficult affairs.
But after Alan Shearer failed to keep United in the top flight, owner Mike Ashley turned to Hughton – if unconvincingly – to lead their immediate return.
And Hughton delivered, battling the loss of key players and tough financial requirements to propel the Magpies back to England’s top table with the Championship title in the bag.
Hughton subsequently took the LMA Championship manager of the year award – as Lambert left with the League One accolade.
It got better too, with Hughton seeing Newcastle to midtable safety in the Premier League in the pre-Christmas skirmishes of 2010-11 – only for Ashley’s doubts over Hughton’s “profile” to finally get the better of him.
Alan Pardew was drafted in and Hughton was cast aside – much to the annoyance of the Newcastle support. For some the decision still rankles, even given Pardew’s subsequent success at St James’ Park.
Hughton left with 39 wins from 70 games as permanent Newcastle boss.
His stock remained high, and in the end Alex McLeish’s summer departure from Birmingham City to Aston Villa last summer prompted Hughton’s arrival at St Andrew’s, where the Blues competed in the group stages of the Europa League and reached the Championship play-offs.
Both are decent feats by their very nature. Factor in the crippling financial uncertainty and controversy over Blues owner Carson Yeung, the huge turnover of players since Premier League relegation under McLeish and working under a transfer embargo, and the job Hughton did impresses more so.
A man in demand from West Bromwich Albion this summer – and a man with unfinished business in the Premier League.
Before Hughton had taken to management, he had more than earned his stripes in coaching.
Having made almost 300 appearances as a full-back for Tottenham Hotspur before shorter spells at West Ham and Brentford, Hughton returned to White Hart Lane as a coach in 1993.
By that time, he also had 53 Republic of Ireland caps under his belt – appearing at Euro 1998 and earning his own international testimonial.
Working under a host of Spurs managers including Ossie Ardiles, Gerry Francis, Glenn Hoddle and David Pleat, Hughton rose from Under-21 manager to first team coach and eventually assistant manager, before Martin Jol’s dismissal saw Hughton’s time at Spurs end in the 2007-08 campaign.
Success as a player came with a Uefa Cup victory and two FA Cup winners’ medals, but Hughton’s name is now being made as a manager – and Norwich City fans will hope that continues at Carrow Road.