Why Chris Hughton Is Birmingham City's New Messiah

Following his recent appointment at St Andrews Chris Hughton is expected once again to calm stormy waters. His impressive managerial stats show that he's the right man to get Birmingham City bouncing...
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Following his recent appointment at St Andrews Chris Hughton is expected once again to calm stormy waters. His impressive managerial stats show that he's the right man to get Birmingham City bouncing...

Following his recent appointment at St Andrews Chris Hughton is expected once again to calm stormy waters. His impressive managerial stats show that he's the right man to get Birmingham City bouncing...

So the Blues have got their man! Chris Hughton was unveiled last week and immediately impressed the Birmingham City supporters by saying how delighted he was to join a "proper football club”. He went on to say that jobs like these don't come along very often and there would be a lot of managers who would jump at the opportunity….jump FROM if your name is McLeish! Anyway - it's a good start from the Ex-Newcastle manager.

He of course isn't that experienced, but let’s look at the raw facts of his management career.

Spurs Sep – Oct 1998. He was in charge for 6 games. He won 3, drew 2 and lost 1. A 50% win rate, but an 83% unbeaten record.

His start at Newcastle wasn’t good. He lost his first four games in 2008. However in June 2009 he was manager again, and this time fared much better. In his following 70 games, he won 39, drew 17 and lost 14. That is a win rate of 55% and an unbeaten rate of 80%.

This is a pretty decent performance. His Newcastle team stormed the Championship playing the sort of football most Blues fans would love to see. They scored 90 goals and conceded 35, so a near 3-1 ratio, they only lost 2 games on the trot once and actually only lost four games in total. They won the league with 102 points.

The following season in the Premier League was more difficult as expected. However when he was sacked Newcastle were 11th with 19 points – already half way to safety. His sacking seemed utterly bizarre! His stats were P16 W5 D4 and L7. To be fair a pretty respectable return for a newly promoted side.

Out of all the potential candidates it seems that Hughton impressed the Blues the most during his interview.

When you look at those stats a bit closer, the wins included a 6-0 thumping of Villa, a 5-1 massacre over rivals Sunderland, and 1-0 wins at Arsenal and Everton. They also drew against Chelsea.

This seems a really good return; so why is Chris Hughton not in work now? Some say a part of his success was down to what he inherited at the club – this may well be true - and it is fair to say that they were a strong side in the Championship. BUT they still had to win those games.

Yes he inherited a good Newcastle side. However he added players of his own to that squad and got get them playing terrific football.

I am really pleased with this appointment, partly because he was my first choice, but secondly because the board haven’t waited; they have got on with it. A big up to Peter Pannu and Carson Yeung.

Out of all the potential candidates it seems that Hughton impressed Birmingham City the most during his interview. He apparently turned up with a dossier on all the players at the club with a lot of details therein and had clearly taken a lot of time to prepare. I like that - and kids take notice for your interviews! If he is going to be that diligent in his role I will be very impressed.

This appointment should please most Blues fans if the recent poll on Joys and Sorrows is anything to go by. Chris Hughton was the clear winner with 44% of the overall votes. Second incidentally was Alan Curbishley.

So the king is dead, long live the king! Let’s hope for some new players in midfield with pace and skill and storm the Championship!

Kevin Ball is the Owner and Editor of Birmingham City FC Blog Joys and Sorrows. Follow him on Twitter here

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