Often Partisan

The Cost of Success

It appears the managerial merry go round is just starting up with Mick McCarthy getting the push at Wolves – and to a lesser degree as a result of the FA calling Fabio Capello’s bluff and accepting his resignation. The talk on the Birmingham City messageboards has been that of Chris Hughton being enticed away from the St Andrews hotseat for a bigger, plusher and better paying job elsewhere.

There’s been some talk in the local press of Hughton going to Molineux. The last time I looked he was one of the more outsider bets, with odds of between 16-1 and 25-1 to get the job (although Boylesports have him as close in as tens). The Wolves fans seem impressed with what he’s done at St Andrews, and having seen the turgid mess that was their team against West Bromwich Albion on Sunday I can believe he’d make a difference there.

Then there is the slightly more tenuous connection to the Spurs hotseat should (as it seems likely) ‘Arry Redknapp take on the poisoned chalice that is the England job. Hughton has been caretaker boss at White Hart Lane twice before during his ten year stint there as a coach and in all likelihood has an affection for the team he spent twenty three years of his playing and coaching career at.

Before I go any further I guess I should make people aware I’m in no way an oracle on these things – I thought it was more likely that I’d get struck by lightning than Alex McLeish would cross the expressway to Four Sheds but we all know how that turned out. That being said, I can’t believe Hughton would leave Blues for Wolves. It’s not so much the moving to a rivals thing – I don’t regard Wolves as a rival, more as a sort of minor irritation like a mosquito bite – but the fact I don’t think it would be right for Hughton’s career to move to a team like that. The transfer window is shut so he’d be forced to work with what they have; the weight of expectation there is massive and thus I think the honeymoon period would be short.

Birmingham City is like a “project” – it’s not like we’re awash with cash and we can spend freely but the expectation levels are lower because of that. It’s almost a win-win situation for Hughton – if things go pear-shaped, well, he was financially hamstrung, what do you expect? However, if things continue to go right for Hughton he’s going to be the man with the Golden Touch. It’s pretty much his team, playing his way – if he moves elsewhere it’ll be a while before he’ll be able to say that again.

I can’t believe Spurs would be interested in him either. Spurs are now a Champions-League chasing side; one almost with an eye on the title. Their next manager is going to be someone big I should imagine – maybe someone like Mourinho or with a similar reputation. Whilst some of us Brummies might think Hughton walks on water he’s not going to be a big enough draw for them I would think.

A former US president by the name of Andrew Jackson once said “Never take counsel of your fears.” In other words, don’t worry about something before it’s happened – because it might not happen. I think that’s the best advice I could offer to people worried that Hughton might move on, and to say that we must accept Hughton being wanted elsewhere is the cost of his success with us.

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14 Responses to “The Cost of Success”

  • almajir says:

    Spot on Thongsy

  • almajir says:

    you’ll have to ask the editors pal, I don’t get to make that kind of decision

  • Bombay Blue says:

    Unfortunately, football fans being football fans! It is only a matter of time until Hughton is being massacred by supporters and inevitably sacked. Yet today he is the messiah (quite right too in my opinion). So will it be a surprise if CH did walk to a more attractive opportunity? (WWFC is definitely not a more attractive opportunity!!!) It’s not as if this has not happened before. Is there any room for loyalty in football? KRO

    • NooBloo says:

      CH is one of the most loyal men in football but loyalty needs to cut both ways and his salary does not reflect the work he puts in at Birmingham. he coaches and manages and that is not that common in football nowadays.

      I get the impression he is quite happy at Birmingham where expectancy is not heaped upon him but ultimately, if they dont increase his salary then b/ham would have no right to expect loyalty from him.

      So the first signing shoul be CH himself on an inproved contract. Then a little bit of investment in the team wouldnt go amiss, although I have a feeling CH can get b/ham promoted with even the current squad

  • parkp says:

    Its all about the board matching the ambitions of the manager. If Birmingham cannot match the ambitions of CH and another club can then its highly likely we lose the manager. The chinese need to pull their fingers out and make some kind of statement, having said that, its highly unlikely.

  • Spotlight Kid says:

    Hughton was also the messiah on Tyneside after his NUFC eventially stormed to over 100 points in the Champioship with a team that had been trashed 6-1 by Leyton Orient in a pre-seaon friendly. He was similarly feted in the Prem after NUFC demolished Villa 6-0, Sunderland 5-1 and beat Arsenal (Prem) and Chelsea (League Cup) on their own turf with basically the same Championship squad, after the owner failed to back him in the transfer market or appoint a new No2 after Calderwood left. Hughton’s acceptance of these onerous conditions and continuing hard work did nothing to prevent him being sacked long before Xmas 2010 despite being comfortably mid-table.

    My point is ‘once bitten…’ and all that. I suspect if BCFC play fair with Chris, he will remain at the club – but I can see him walking if they take him for a soft touch and expect miracles on the pitch as an everyday substitute for strategic forward planning and sensible squad signings. So If Chris leaves the Blues it will be precisely because no-one arrived in January, and he refuses to carry the can again for another short sighted execuitive strangling the sterling work he has put in to date to get this far.

    The game against Hull is a case in point, due to injuries BCFC currently have no genuine physical threat up front and the midfield can get overrun without N’Daw, such is the meaning of the word contingency. They say promotion is worth £96m to any club, so the failure of BCFC to invest even 10% of that to steady the ship when the second automatic promotion spot is now in sight simply beggars belief (finances notwithstanding).

    And yes, Chris would do a superb job at Spurs, as I think he is probably a better all round coach and manager than even ‘Arry!

  • skareggae72 says:

    I cant see Chris H upping sticks and leaving mid-season,especially to a team whose owner gives the manager a “dressing down” in front of the players after the game & to a club that has far too high an expectation level for what they are.
    Our expectation levels are realistic,Hopefully our owners wont be tempted if a hefty compensation package comes in.

  • The Captain says:

    I think it also comes down to CH relationship with Pannu and the impression I get is that they seem to get on whereas with McCleish it was obvious there was a clash

  • Spotlight Kid says:

    “My thoughts haven’t changed in that we’re still looking for the two or three we need to help guide us through the rest of the season.”

    This, coupled with the rest of CH’s conversation with the Birmingham Mail earlier today, is tantamount to a shot across the bows of the boardroom…. Chris is a mild mannered gent, this is the equivalent of Alex Ferguson breathing fire. He’s serving long overdue notice the he will be no-one’s scapegoat if the club doesn’t get its act together with squad strengthening! A Pied Piper can only do so much…

  • jazzzy786 says:

    Moxey says the wolves job is not for a novice. He wants to bring in an experienced manager. Bruce, Curbs or Warnock will get the job. Also wolves would have to pay blues compo of 1.5 years.

  • Geoff says:

    In keeping with your American political quotes, another famous US politico, Henry Clay, observed that the Vice-Presidency of that country “wasn’t worth a bucket of warm spit”. In Woves’ current position, I think much could be said of the manager’s role at Molineux. No offence meant to Wolves fans out there, but I can’t believe CH would leave a long-term project like Blues for a relegation battle with a team he didn’t pick and an owner who butts into the dressing room when things aren’t going his way. And if they are relegated, he’d just be back where he is now, only without Europe and a year older…

  • Tom_nufc says:

    I have never had any special feelings towards birmingham city, either good or bad. But now i really hope that you will be promoted to PL. Chris Hughton is a fantastic coach, manager and most of all a really great person. Truly one of footballs nice guys. Not since great Sir Bobby (rip) have we seen such a dignified man at our club. What he did for my beloved Newcastle United will never be forgotten. He should never have been sacked, he did not deserve that. He kept his head held high through all the shambles.
    I can guarantee you that he will not jump ship in the middle of the season. Fingers crossed he will guide you to the promised land again. What a tremendous welcome he would get if he returned to St’James with your team.
    Best of luck to you with a great captain leading your ship.

    • Bluenosejohn says:

      Thank you for that. Thats the kind of endorsement that seems common for him when I was looking at the Newcastle and Spurs message boards when he was appointed here. Getting a tribute like yours from a true fan says all you need to know about Chris Hughton.

  • […] of course, Hughton has done really well and people are worried about him taking another job, which is understandable. People have slowly got it into their minds that even a year’s […]


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