I like Chris Hughton. This is the first thing that I can think of to say about him and it’s important. So many of the managers that were linked with Norwich I don’t like. I’m not saying that they wouldn’t have done a good job, more that I’d have found it slightly harder to wish them success and welcome them into the Norwich City family, that’s not a problem I feel like I’m going to have with Chris Hughton.
Hughton feels like the right choice, the best fit, and of all the candidates out there and available to us, the best manager. He seems like the sort of character that would very much buy into the work that has been done here already. He seems like the kind of man who would work well at this club. He’s not a young man, but he’s still got a lot to prove and he has much of the drive and desire to do so that everyone saw and admired in Lambert. He doesn’t strike me as a man with an ego, which is good because Norwich City is not, nor do I think it will ever be, a flash club. We’re a nice club, a family club, a club that people like, in Hughton I think we’ve found our man.
The process has been swift, consider the candidates, approach the top target, get permission to speak to him, appoint him. The smoothness of this process is a comfort to fans. Having had Lambert unceremoniously lured away from us and with all panic and hysteria that followed, the arrival of Hughton should prove to be a calming measure for both players and supporters, especially at a time when other clubs are struggling to find their next boss.
Grant Holt has done his best to add to the woes, contract negotiations or the lack of them caused him to rock the boat, demanding a transfer and generally behaving in a manner ill-fitting someone of his character and stature within the club. Hughton’s first task will be to sort out the Holt saga. He always comes across as a calm man, as a patient man. Considering the amount of turmoil he had to cope with at Newcastle he did a remarkable job. With all the goings on at Birmingham he perhaps did an even better job there, getting them into the play-offs. I don’t expect the Holt situation to get the better of him, I think he’s the kind of guy I’d want to come in and resolve it.
I feel confident about the appointment of Chris Hughton. I think I can trust him to look after my beloved football club. I think he’ll act in the best interests of the club and I think he’s the type of manager who can keep us in the Premier League next season. He’s not a short-term stop gap loan merchant. He’s not a well meaning assistant manager who can’t cope with the demands of the top job. He’s a Premier League manager. I hope the players share my opinion of the man. We’ve a tight-knit group of players, many of whom were very much Lambert’s men, but if they give Hughton a chance, if they let him get to work and they trust him, I think he’ll do well for them and for the Norwich City.