Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Let's All Go To The Bar

Bugger me. It looks like yesterdays blog needs updating already. There were reports last night that Chris Hughton had gone to Norwich, whereas it seems that all that has happened is that the club has agreed that he can talk to them, which, in reality, means he will be orf.

I will have to avoid Blues message boards for the rest of the day, at least. They have gone a bit hysterical. It's like "The Second Coming".
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
I wonder what rough beast will be slouching towards us?

There are those who find Hughton's action (I'm being presumptuous here) dismal and despicable; I'm not one of those people. It is ludicrous to expect any manager to show loyalty; it doesn't happen, and one of the reasons it doesn't happen is becauses clubs, and fans, rarely show loyalty to any manager. Hughton is not in a position to strengthen Blues squad, and the likelihood is that by the time next season kicks off, the squad will be significantly weakened. There are two issues here, one is that as a matter of professional pride, why would Hughton want to stay working with such restrictions when there is no need, if he can go somewhere else and put himself to the test against better opposition with better players and without having to run for dear life to cling on to a non existent precipice, like some cartoon cat? The other issue is his reputation, which can be lost overnight in football. Look at Phil Brown, Roy Keane, Steve McLaren et al. Hughton might perceive that in our current state, his hard won reputation is at too great a risk, and that would be a perfectly rational perception.

There are those that proclaim that Hughton knew what he was getting into when he joined us, so he has no right to squeal like a girl and go scampering off now. They say that he was quoted often enough last season to the effect that he had a good relationship with Pannu and was being kept fully informed. I don't believe that he did know the full extent of the shit we were in when he joined, and I don't think Pannu did either. It is one thing to be told that because we had been relegated the squad would have to be trimmed and there would not be much money available for replacements, quite another to find the owner arrested and charged with money laundering 6,000 miles away, have a transfer embargo slapped on the club, and have to sit by and spout bullshit as the club repeatedly fails to publish the accounts. Hughton was just being a savvy media operator with his pronouncements.

Now, there are those who have already come to hate the man, and liken him to Big Eck, and say that they hope he goes on to massive failure. I don't understand this stance. As I said yesterday, last season was the most enjoyable for bloody decades. It was tremendous fun being a Blues fan again. If he goes, it will be a perfectly rational, understandable decision, and I will be watching Norwich with interest, because I like the man, and  I like his style, I am keen to see how well he does at the higher level, presumably with players that he wants, rather than who he can afford. Obviously, he still won't be shopping in Harrods, or even Marks and Sparks, but you get my point. I don't have much interest in the prem even when we are in it, so he has at least given me a reason to keep an eye on it.

It's strange the way that we football fans respond to abandonment and desertion. Some go with our blessing and remain revered forever, or until they insult us, and some are immediately despised. Eck hasn't got many well wishers amongst the faithful and nor has Robbie Savage, despite making massive contributions, in their own ways, to periods of relative success; yet TF remains loved despite leaving us for money all those years ago, then failing to get us promoted as a manager. I don't love or revere Hughton, but I respect him, and as brief as the relationship has proved to be, it was fucking fun while it lasted.

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