There are clubs that people love, and some that people love to hate. And with the sacking of Chris Hughton, Newcastle United have cemented their place in the second category.
The treatment of Hughton is another chapter in the sad history of a club that has consistently “underachieved” in the eyes of both the fans and the management.
The last time the Toon managed to engender any feelings of warmth was in the mid nineties, when Kevin Keegan’s hugely attacking side swaggered their way into the Premiership, narrowly missing out on the title in 1995/96, blowing a 12 point lead on the way.
Since Keegan’s resignation, the fans, and the management of the club – even after changing hands – have hopelessly overestimated their worth.
No clubs, even giants of English football like Liverpool and Manchester United, have a divine right to win trophies. The frustration of Newcastle United fans is even more baffling considering they have only won four league titles, the last coming in 1927. Liverpool and United have 18 each.
Maybe 1996 ruined Newcastle in the long-term. Since then they have developed a disturbing habit of ditching managers in the pursuit of trophies, rarely giving anyone enough room to deliver the success they crave.
Ruud Gullit, FA Cup winning boss with Chelsea, was given very little time once Alan Shearer started a dressing room mutiny and Bobby Robson was given the boot despite consistent top six finishes and a run in the Champions League.
Sam Allardyce, while not a popular manager, was only given months at the helm with fans demanding attractive football. The same fans would probably settle for winning football today.
Even Glenn Roeder and Kenny Daglish would have reason to grumble over their treatment.
But, as with many other former managers, illusions of grandeur made sealed Hughton’s fate. Despite bringing them back to the Premier League last season he was always doomed. The fans would have always wanted a bigger name. Even if it was Mike Ashley who pulled the trigger on Hughton.
No doubt that Kevin Keegan and Alan Shearer will be the first names called for by the fans. Even Paul Gascoingne wouldn’t be a suprise. After all they understand the Geordie nation. They have the passion