September 2010 Archives
A few weeks ago, to mark the second anniversary of him taking the reins at St James' Park, I asked Chris Hughton whether he had enjoyed his time managing Newcastle.
He paused for what seemed like an eternity before finally replying that enjoyment was probably the wrong word. He enjoyed the challenge - but conceded that the cut and thrust nature of management meant that you never got long enough to enjoy a good result before a fresh set of problems come rushing over the horizon.
And so, just eight days after his managerial masterplan was being lauded following defeat of Everton, Hughton finds a new set of questions surrounding his approach after a dispiriting loss to long ball Stoke.
PREMIER League managers that anticipate their team being engaged in the battle at the wrong end of the table often talk of winning their own 'mini-league'.
Aware that a moneyed elite have annexed the top ten for themselves, the challenge for the likes of Newcastle and Sunderland is to best Bolton, Fulham, Wigan et al and clamber to the top of the bottom half of the league.
Humbling for a club that was taking on Europe's elite a decade ago? Certainly. But let's be realistic - the rebuilding job is in it's formative years and United need to flex their muscles against the middleweights before stepping up their ambitions.
CHRIS Hughton is known as Barack Obama by Newcastle United's dressing room wags - at least when his back is turned.
The nickname has something to do with a supposed resemblance of the 44th US president but the truth is that Hughton is one of the few in the managerial fraternity who doesn't play the politician when it suits him.
SUCCESS in mixed martial arts is all about experience, talent and hard work. You need a combination of all three to get to the top and, as a relative newcomer to the UFC, I'm concentrating on building up my experience right now. I'm competing against different types of fighters, with different styles and threats, and am gradually becoming more and more comfortable inside the Octagon.
We all saw how James Toney's lack of experience cost him against Randy Couture at the weekend. No matter how talented you may have been in another sport, the cross over to mixed martial arts won't work if you don't have experience in wrestling, grappling and various other disciplines that don't come naturally to a boxer.
RYUICHI Kiyonari and Tommy Hill will this weekend lead the title fighters into Croft Circuit as the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship enters The Showdown.
The pair are the joint leaders in the series now, but are only one point clear of Josh Brookes, who will be looking to dominate this weekend as the series roars into Burning Rubber's local track for Round 10.
The action in the country's premier series is now entering the "Showdown" phase, with six riders - "the title-fighters" - all in close contention going into the final seven races and three rounds.