Sol Campbell hits out at Chris Hughton dismissal

Sol Campbell tonight condemned Newcastle's sacking of manager Chris Hughton and claimed the players will be asking: "What the hell is going on?"

The Magpies terminated Hughton's contract, saying they needed "someone with more experience", and reserve-team coach Peter Beardsley has been put in charge of the team on a temporary basis.

United are 11th in the Premier League and have achieved some notable wins under the guidance of Hughton, who had taken the club back into the top flight at the first attempt.

The announcement was met with bafflement by veteran Newcastle defender Campbell, who told ESPN Soccernet: "This will hit the players hard. The players admired him and liked him and won't be happy now he's gone like this.

"It makes no sense. Here is a guy who has done an unbelievable job. He got the club back into the Premier League and any manager would have been rewarded for that with a new contract, but Chris wasn't.

"The players are sure to be asking themselves, 'What the hell is going on?', that is only natural.

"When we left training this morning none of the players had a clue this was coming. Yes, it has come as a shock, and it will affect the dressing room there is no doubt about that."

The manner of yesterday's limp 3-1 defeat to West Brom, after which Hughton berated the players for an hour, looked to have been the final straw however.

Newcastle said in a statement: "The board would like to place on record their thanks to Chris for his considerable efforts during the club's transition from Championship to Premier League football.

"Chris has shown exceptional character and commitment since being appointed manager in October 2009.

"The club wishes him well for the future. Regrettably the board now feels that an individual with more managerial experience is needed to take the club forward.

"The task of appointing a new manager now begins. An announcement will be made shortly regarding transitional arrangements pending the appointment of a successor."

Beardsley, the former Newcastle and England striker, will be assisted by Steve Stone.

Martin O'Neill plus three Alans - Curbishley, Pardew and Shearer - are among the bookies' favourites along with Bolton boss Owen Coyle.

At around the time of Hughton's dismissal coming to light this afternoon, Shearer told FourFourTwo he would consider another job in management, after his short stint as Newcastle boss last year ended in relegation.

Shearer told the magazine: "Despite what happened [at Newcastle] I loved it and if something was to arise again I would seriously look at it."

The sacking of Hughton comes little more than a month since Newcastle beat bitter rivals Sunderland 5-1, a result they followed up by winning 1-0 at Arsenal.

Hughton was named as the club's permanent manager in October 2009 after a number of caretaker stints in charge, and the club said in October 2010 that they would be looking to renegotiate his deal in the new year after speculation he was about to be sacked.

Hughton had been working without an assistant manager since Colin Calderwood joined Hibernian in October, and is followed out of the door by goalkeeping coach Paul Barron.

The 51-year-old Hughton arrived at Newcastle in February 2008 following a 20-year association with Tottenham.

He was appointed as coach to Kevin Keegan by director of football Dennis Wise, and then served as caretaker manager when Keegan left and was replaced by Joe Kinnear.

When Kinnear fell ill the following February, Hughton again stepped in, before assisting Shearer and Iain Dowie as Newcastle were relegated.

He was placed in caretaker charge in the summer of 2009, with owner Mike Ashley not willing to appoint a permanent boss while he looked to sell the club.

After taking over on a permanent basis he went on to guide the club to the Championship title, with the prize wrapped up with two games to spare.

So far this season Newcastle have won five of their 16 games, with other notable victories including a 6-0 thrashing of Aston Villa.

More recently, a 5-1 humbling at Bolton was followed by yesterday's loss to Albion.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee