09 February, 2011

Ireland's Chris Hughton poised for Premier League return:

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Chris celebrates Coca-Cola Championship Champion 2010
Former Republic of Ireland international (1979-'91) Chris Hughton is poised to be named as West Bromwich Albion’s manager after holding talks with Jeremy Peace, the club’s chairman, yesterday. 
Chris was the first black man to play for Ireland and has deservedly returned to the Premier League after outrageously being sacked by Newcastle United back in December. Chris led Newcastle to the Coca-Cola Championship title last season in his first season in charge and half the Toon Army sitting comfortably in 11th position in the Premier League table at the half-way point.
Former West Brom manager: Robert Di Matteo
Roberto Di Matteo had led West Brom into the top flight last year behind Newcastle and his side started this campaign in fine form, but he was dismissed on Sunday after a 3-0 defeat by Manchester City left the team on the edge of the relegation zone. The board was believed to be concerned about the Italian’s ability to arrest the slide.
Chris Hughton could be confirmed as Di Matteo’s successor today. He is believed to be negotiating terms on a contract worth £1 million per year. Like Di Matteo, Hughton is a quiet, undemonstrative and measured character who has quickly built a good reputation despite relatively little managerial experience. He was popular with the players on Tyneside and Andy Carroll, the striker sold to Liverpool last week for £35 million, blossomed during his tenure as he brought stability and sanity to a club who have habitually appeared trapped in a soap opera. 
Chris as Ireland assistant manager
Before he moved to the North East, taking permanent charge of Newcastle in 2009, Hughton was a coach at Tottenham Hotspur and an assistant with Ireland. The decision to remove him when Newcastle had recently beaten Arsenal and thrashed Sunderland, their local rivals, prompted widespread sympathy.
Hughton is tasked with reversing West Brom’s sharp decline and keeping them in the division, although Peace will no doubt have considered that if they do go down, the 52-year-old’s experience in bouncing straight back with Newcastle will be a valuable asset for English football’s most famous “yo-yo club”. I have an abundance of faith that Chris Hughton will not need to test his "bounce-back-ability" strengths, in that I fully believe he'll oversee West Brom to survival in the Premier League this season. I for one, sincerely hope he does because Chris Hughton is a good guy in a football world gone mad.
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