Tags: birmingham city, Brian Clough, Chris Hughton, football, manager, soccer
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Is Chris Hughton the next Brian Clough in the sense that he can do wonders with a very unfashionable team? It is clear as day that they are not similar in the sense of physical looks and build, communication techniques and general psychological make up. Somehow you could not see Chris Hughton going on a television chat show and mess about chatting nonsense to the enjoyment and general merryment of the nation. He will have a sensible conversation and maybe the odd joke here, funny incident there, all good fun but nothing of the standard that Brian Clough could easily do.
Both Chris Hughton and Brian Clough took teams that were ordinary or failing and turned them around making them great and entertaining. Brian Clough took both Derby County and Nottingham Forest to great heights. Chris Hughton so far has rescued 2 clubs from complete meltdown and had instant success with Newcastle United and nearly a magnificent return to the top flight with Birmingham City.
Birmingham City had previously in 6 months won the Carling Cup, got relegated, the manager runs off to Birmingham City biggest rival Aston Villa, the chairman gets arrested and charged with money laundering, 17 of the best players leave and the English Football Association put a ban on Birmingham City buying new players to replace the ones that have left! Do want a job Mr Hughton?
Luckily for Birmingham City Chris Hughton said yes he would take the job on and thank god he did.
Birmingham City needed to get into the top flight because it was one of the surest way of keeping Chris Hughton at Birmingham City as Chris Hughton comes across as a man of integrity and professional loyalism. However, Birmingham City did not get promotion after playing 66 games in one season, and now the vultures are circling, looking to see if he wants a new job somewhere else.
The one team that looked a perfect fit for Chris Hughton would have been Tottenham Hotspur as at the time Harry Redknapp looked to be going into the England job, but, the England job went to Roy Hodgson and Harry stayed at ‘Spurs’. Chris Hughton would have been a great recruitment for Tottenham Hotspur as he was a former player and assistant manager/coach for many years at Spurs, the fans would have loved him.
Unbelievable he was not even considered for the Liverpool job and talking to a load of Liverpool fans who actually live and work in Liverpool, some were saying he is the sort of Bill Shankly type figure that Liverpool need. They need to stabilise, get Andy Carroll sorted, and, take Liverpool forward after Kenny Dalgleish managed to stabilise Liverpool once again!
Could you imagine what Chris Hughton at Birmingham City, could have done with £35 million that it cost Liverpool to buy Andy Carroll? Birmingham City would have been promoted as champions and well placed for a top 5 finish in the English Premier League. The fact that Andy Carroll played for Chris Hughton while he was manager of Newcastle United would have been a major bonus for Liverpool because Chris Hughton would have got the absolute best out of Andy Carroll. Andy Carroll will still be a big player at Liverpool but it would have been a lot quicker and a lot stronger under Hughton. He would have been more Alan Sherear than Peter Crouch if Chris Hughton was managing Andy Carroll.
Now teams like Norwich City, West Bromwich Albion and others are looking at Chris Hughton to see if he can work his magic (running a club with no money and do great things) on their team now that they have lost their manager. In these days of austerity brought on by the bankers and others who went mental for derivative trading even though they were not sure how it worked, having a manager who can motivate a team to play to the best of their ability for 64 games in a season and only failed in the last two because the team was physically knackered, but they still gave 100% (….and no one could say they didn’t) would be a major asset.
Birmingham City lost in the play offs because of a lucky goal by Blackpool, which sometimes happen in football. Just like when you are in a poker ‘all-in’ race and your opponent has only a 5% of hitting one of his card on the ‘river’, and he gets that card, thats how close it was for Birmingham City. It left the impression that if Birmingham City did not play so brilliantly in the Europa League that they may have won promotion automatically. This may seem ludicrous but seriously with a team of ‘out of contract’ footballers, loaned players and youngsters, Birmingham City always looked like contenders. It was only at the end with the super charged run in from Reading that finished off Birmingham City’s attempt of automatic promotion.
As most Birmingham City supporters pray that he stays at the club, many are resigned that some cheap skate low ranking club which will talk a big fight put produce nothing , will come along and steal Chris Hughton, because, it is no fun constantly crisis managing with no resources. Most footballing people want to win stuff, that’s why they do it. It is the prospect of doing something wonderful that motivates people to be footballing administrators. Clubs like Everton are lucky that they have loyal managers, and, Chris Hughton is one of those good people. It would not be great if Chris Hughton went to a small club, he needs the big one or he must be kept at Birmingham City.
Here is a video showing how each manager exude a sense of greatness in their own different ways.