• Chris Hughton's Premier League Record

    With the players reporting back for pre-season testing last Friday, the excitement levels start to tingle that tiny bit more as the countdown to the Manchester City game continues.

    Only time will tell how the Albion will do in their first 'Premier League' season, with a tough ten months ahead looking likely, but in Tony Bloom we thankfully have a patient Chairman who, to date, has only fired one manager for footballing reasons (Russell Slade), so Chris Hughton should be feeling confident that he will be allowed more time than he was given after winning promotion with Newcastle in 09/10.

    Hughton was fired 16 games into the 2010/11 season with Newcastle sitting in 11th place (W5 D4 L7), four points clear of the relegation zone, having dropped from 5th following a run of five games without a win (3 defeats). Newcastle replaced Hughton just three days later with Alan Pardew. This decision turned out to be a far from inspired, with Newcastle finishing the season in 12th place after winning just 6 of their remaining 22 games, with Pardew matching Hughton's 1.18 points per game record.

    Hughton's first season with Norwich (12/13), coming via a successful spell in the Championship with Birmingham, did not start well. Norwich fans didn't see their team win any of their first seven games, before going on a ten-game unbeaten run that included home wins against Arsenal and Manchester United. The Canneries flew up the table, going from 19th to a season high 8th in the League. Things then took a turn for the worse, with Norwich picking up just one win from their next sixteen games, leaving them in 14th place with just a four-point cushion over the relegation zone, but with a run of three wins in the final five games, Norwich rose to a very respectable 11th at the season’s end.

    Thankfully for Brighton, Hughton's second and final season with Norwich (13/14) did not go so well, with three wins and two draws in seven games (Nov/Dec) their most successful period. Prior to being fired at the beginning of April, Hughton had seen just two wins from eleven games, however Norwich were still five points clear of the relegation zone. Following the appointment of Neil Adams Norwich picked up just one point from their remaining five games, failing to score in four of those do or die matches, which left the Canneries in the final relegation place, three points adrift of West Brom, the victors at Carrow Road in Hughton's last game in charge.

    Hughton's points per game as a permanent manager in the Premier league is 1.09 (26.43% win ratio), which is a sharp drop from the 1.96 points per game (55.43% wins) he won during the four full seasons he has spent in the championship and further adds weight to stark reality of the challenge that lies ahead.



    Before Hughton landed the full-time gaffer’s job at Newcastle, he gained experience in the hot seat via five brief spells as caretaker manager, starting with one game verse Crystal Palace in November ‘97 at White Hart Lane. Christian Gross had just been appointed, however he was watching from the stands as he didn’t officially take over until the following day. Hughton then replaced Gross for six games (two cup) ten months later, when he stepped in, working with David Pleat, to steady the ship while Gross' successor (George Graham) was appointed.

    Our Chris then served two temporary spells in charge at St. James' Park in the 08/09 season. First of all, standing in for four games (one cup) after Kevin Keegan sensationally quit just three games into the season as he was unhappy with the level of control he had at the club. "Hapless Hughton" (The Guardian) should have only had three games in charge, with Dennis Wise appointing Joe Kinnear as a replacement caretaker manager. However, the joke of opposition fans for that season had to belatedly complete a two-match ban he had incurred four years earlier from his time at Nottingham Forest before he was able to take control of the team.

    Hughton was again called upon to cover for six matches later in the season when Joe Kinnear was admitted to hospital, before Alan Shearer was then trusted with the responsibility of saving the Toon Army with five games of the season remaining. Unsurprisingly, considering all of the disruption and strange managerial appointments, Newcastle were relegated, missing out on survival by one point.

    Hughton was again appointed caretaker at Newcastle during the close season, eventually being confirmed as the permanent manager after leading the Magpies to the top of the Championship at the end of October. Newcastle went on to storm to the title with 102 points, eleven clear of second place West Brom.



    None of these brief stints as a Premier League manager could be classed as successful from a results point of view (two wins in fourteen), but they would have, along with the years of coaching and assisting, helped give Hughton an insight and a great deal of experience of being head honcho, without the pressure of being expected to succeed, ahead of getting that chance to shine in his own right, something we are all very happy to say he’s continuing to do.


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