More baffling still is the idea of Newcastle replacing Hughton with Alan Pardew, a manager who has achieved little that the previous incumbant hasn’t.
Pardew took West Ham into the top flight, via the play-offs. Hughton led Newcastle back into the Premier League at the first time of asking with a record points total.
The club had to have a really good explanation for getting rid of Hughton and, besides a conspiracy theory involving owner Mike Ashley taking the flak for the sacking before selling to a buyer waiting in the wings, I find it impossible to identify one.
The players won’t be behind Pardew, if he is the new man. They liked Hughton and will be shaken by his exit. They need someone with wow factor to lift them again; I don’t see Pardew as that manager.
Gerard Houllier, at Aston Villa, has found how difficult it is to take over at a club when the season is well underway and with a team used to a certain way of doing things, established by the previous manager. Pardew faces the same arduous task.