Belfast Telegraph

The Punter: Hughton sacking sees Newcastle United on the slippery slope

Newcastle United’s odds on dropping back into the Championship have been cut from 7-1 to 11-2 after the unbelievable sacking of Chris Hughton.



In view of his treatment, the club deserve nothing less than a kick where it hurts and relegation would be just what owner Mike Ashley deserves as he continues to thrash around when he should be giving some worthwhile direction at St James’ Park.

The likeable Hughton gave everything to the Magpies and saved a Tyneside sinking ship which could now face a Titanic end as far as the Premier League is concerned.

A superb 5-1 win over rivals Sunderland, victory at Arsenal and a draw with Chelsea helped lift United to their current mid-table position but it seems the 3-1 defeat away at West Brom on Sunday prompted Ashley to push the panic button.

Admittedly Newcastle were poor but they had six first-team players missing and to treat Hughton, who has been operating under a limited budget, as a failure when he has been anything but, is nothing short of a disgrace.

Few saw it coming, not even the layers who had him at 9-1 on Sunday to be the next Premier League manager to lose his position.

But clearly inside sources were on the ball as that price was quickly snapped up and one firm was forced to suspend betting after a deluge of wagers subsequently saw the price reduced to 1-2 by which time the writing was effectively on the wall.

And now we have the usual names being put forward to replace him on a permanent basis, with Paddy Power making former West Ham and Southampton manager Alan Pardew (pictured) odds-on favourite with Martin Jol second best at 6-4 now that he has departed from Ajax.

Peter Beardsley, temporarily in charge, is an outsider at 25-1 while Alan Shearer, another Toon legend, gets a 40-1 quote and Kevin Keegan 50-1.

Paddy Power betting: 10-11 A Pardew; 6-4 M Jol; 8-1 M O’Neilll; 11-1 A Curbishley; 16-1 J Kinnear, G Hoddle; 20-1 F Rijkaard; 25-1 P Beardsley; 28-1 W Smith; 33-1 R Wilkins; 40-1 A Shearer, S Bilic, T Venables, P Lambert, R Koeman, D Moyes, SG Eriksson; 50-1 G Hiddink, K Keegan, O Hitzfeld, G Poyet, R Di Matteo, M Hughes, S Bruce, S McClaren, L Clark, G Zola.

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