Chris Quinn writes for us from time to time and here is another article, this time he looks at the appointment of our new manager but with a different perspective. Although I personally don’t agree with everything Chris says, he does make some valid points and there are some people I have spoken to who would agree with him. Do you?
So, we have our man. Christopher William Gerard Hughton has been appointed Birmingham City manager, reportedly beating Roberto Di Matteo to the post.
The general reaction to the 52 year-olds appointment has been that of elation from the fans. He seems to have been the resounding choice to succeed Alex McLeish, but really, what competition has he had to face?
Billy Davies, along with Dave Jones, have both been given rafts of cash by Forest and Cardiff respectively and both have failed to deliver promotion – something the board have stated needs to happen immediately.
Alan Curbishley, despite being a former player, has been out of the game for too long now since restricting himself to Premier League jobs only. Gianfranco Zola was mentioned fleetingly, but it seems Massimo Moratti and Inter Milan are fluttering their European-heavyweight eyelashes in his direction. (No, I don’t know why either).
But as we know, relegation has taken its toll on our finances and it is safe to say we are skint, meaning we can’t afford to pay compensation for a manager. This left us with two choices; Di Matteo or Hughton.
Di Matteo would not have worked for the simple reason that the club structure at Blues isn’t right for him. At West Bromwich Albion, he had a Sporting Technical Director (similar to a Director of Football) called Dan Ashworth and Di Matteo relied heavily on him with regards to player recruitment and how the club was run.
So that left Hughton as our only option. Not a bad option to have, but not the most exciting either.
Immediately, people point to the job he did at Newcastle United. Fair play to him, he got them promoted, but let’s be honest, in the style of Harry Redknapp: “My missus could have done that”.
Yes, they were a sinking ship, but what do you expect when you employ a drone from Match of the Day to try and save you from relegation? They lost 6-1 in a friendly to Leyton Orient and were roundly laughed at. But who do you think steadied that ship? Mild-mannered Chris Hughton or embarrassed professionals like Joey Barton and Kevin Nolan?
That Newcastle team contained a left-back pocketing around £55k each week, the two aforementioned centre-midfielders who were seeing the best part of £60k p/w and a striker who has since been sold for £35m. It would have been near impossible for them not to win the league.
This job is a lot harder than the task he was given at Newcastle, so forgive me if I’m not feeling as optimistic as everyone else seems to be.
I’d have preferred Blues to have taken a gamble on someone and given them the chance to build a legacy at the club. For too long now we’ve watched the boring football and lived in hope, before ultimately being shot down.
Bruce built us a team that was tight at the back, McLeish took that to a new level, is Hughton going to look to get the ball down and play it? I guess we’ll see as the first ball is lumped up to our makeshift Andy Carroll.
My preference would have been someone like Lee Clark at Huddersfield. A young, hungry manager who likes to play good football, I think we deserve to see some passes knocked about down St. Andrew’s for once. Clark has blooded youngsters as well whilst at The Galpharm Stadium and also seems to have an eye for a player. Their players talk of him in glowing terms and they finished the league campaign with a 27-game unbeaten run.
Clark seems keen to move up the ladder and I felt Blues could have been the place for him to build a dynasty.
So, whilst I don’t believe Hughton is a poor appointment, I don’t think he is as an amazing appointment as I’ve seen people say.
The fact that the board have reportedly only given him a 12-month rolling contract also says to me that they see him more of a stop-gap appointment and gives them a get-out clause if we don’t go up; which I would think is the objective for Hughton.
Yes, it could have been a lot worse for Blues, but I feel underwhelmed and cautious (like one of his team talks?)
I really do hope he proves me wrong and we go back up straight away, but at the minute, I’d be happy to finish in the play-offs.