Friday, December 6, 2019

Chris Hughton’s sacking is understandable

David Nugent in Editorial, English Premier League 14 May 2019

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On Monday, Brighton dispensed with the services of boss Chris Hughton, who had managed the Seagulls for four-and-half years. The club from the south coast took the decision after finishing just two points above the Premier League relegation zone.

Just three wins from his final 23 league games in charge, including a nine-match winless in his final games, saw Brighton owner Tony Bloom wield the axe.

Hughton should be proud of his accomplishments

Chris Hughton should be proud of his accomplishments at Brighton. There were doubts about his ability to be a first-team boss after he came into management relatively late following a long coaching career.

However, he blew any doubts anyway with his performance in the hot seat on the south coast. Hughton saved Brighton from relegation to League One, before guiding the Seagulls to promotion and helping them maintain their top-flight status for two seasons.

Not only did he achieve relative success with the Seagulls during his tenure at the club, but he also came across as a genuinely nice guy too. In fact, there seem to be very few people that have anything negative to say about the former Newcastle boss. For so long, Hughton proved that the idea of the nice guy finishing last can be a complete fallacy.

Maybe the right time to part ways

In Tony Bloom’s statement confirming Hughton’s sacking, the Brighton thanked the club’s former boss and talked about the right time to part ways. For all of Hughton’s achievements and his good character, the team’s results for much of the campaign led to the decision to sack him.

The fact that the club invested quite a bit of money in the summer by their standards, yet went backwards will have been a big factor.

Some have criticised the decision. However, had Hughton been at another top-flight club, they may not have given him as much time as Brighton have done. At least the Tony Bloom waited until the end of the campaign.

If another result had gone against them, then the Seagulls would have been playing Championship football next season. Luckily for them, 18th place Cardiff also struggled for results in the final few months of the campaign but finished just two points adrift of the south coast club. It is these fine margins that can make a big difference in the top-flight.

When it comes to bosses, the Premier League is more cutthroat than ever. Clubs can no longer give a boss much time to turn things around for fear of failure.

One of the favourites for relegation next season

Due to their poor form towards the end of the campaign, Brighton are already one of the favourites to suffer relegation next season at odds of 2/ 1. Only the two promoted teams Norwich and Sheffield United and Burnley are shorter odds for the drop in season 2019/20.

The reality is that Brighton are now a Premier League club and are looking to progress in the future. This season the team has regressed and not progressed. There was very little sign of Hughton turning things around.

Hughton is a decent man and a decent coach and I am sure he will return to the game very soon. I cannot help thinking that the decision to sack him was a logical one and Brighton owner Bloom was only doing what was the best for the club.

A new boss usually brings fresh impetus to a club and looking at the team’s results towards the end of the campaign they badly need it. The Seagulls will be looking to progress next season. For me, the club’s decision was understandable, if harsh on Hughton.

Did Chris Hughton deserve more time at Brighton?


David Nugent

David is a freelance football writer with nearly a decade of experience writing about the beautiful game. The experienced writer has written for over a dozen websites and also an international soccer magazine offline.
Arguably his best work has come as an editorial writer for Soccernews, sharing his good, bad and ugly opinions on the world’s favourite sport. During David’s writing career he has written editorials, betting previews, match previews, banter, news and opinion pieces.



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