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Meet Chris Houghton; the man set to lift the Black Stars out of its Misery

His stint with Newcastle was quite topsy-turvy but not without a few high moments, notable among them was his 1 nil win against Arsene Wenger at the Emirates, which ultimately commenced the end of his career at Newcastle.

Born Christopher William Gerard Hughton to Ghanaian postman Willie Houghton and Irish wife Christine Nee Bourke. A trained lift engineer turned professional footballer and manager, Houghton was the first person of colour to play for the Irish National team in 1979.

Between 1977 and 1990, he spent the majority of his career playing for Tottenham Hotspur. He played a total of 398 games for Tottenham in all competitions, scoring 19 goals. He was a member of the Tottenham side that won both the 1981 and the 1982 FA Cups, the 1984 UEFA Cup, and finished runners-up in the 1982 League Cup.

He later played two seasons at West Ham United between 1990 and 1992, before finishing his playing career with the Brentford club in 1993, where he helped Brentford win the Third Division title in the 1991–92 season.

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Coaching Career
In 1997, four years after Houghton had retired from playing professional football, his coaching career began. Serving as a youth coach at Tottenham Hotspur for several years, Hughton joined Spurs as an assistant coach in 2001, served as an interim manager on two occasions and stayed in that position until October 2007, when he and head coach Martin Jol were sacked. He moved to the Newcastle United coaching team in early 2008 and was the interim head coach for a period.

In the 2009/10 season campaign, he officially became the head coach of Newcastle. His first match in charge of the team was the opener of the Championship against West Bromwich Albion, which ended in a 1-1 draw.

Houghton clinched his first win as Newcastle coach a week later, in a league game against Reading FC 3-0. For the next four league matches, Newcastle and Hughton managed success in all of their games, scoring a total of 8 goals without conceding none.

The first defeat of the season for Chris Hughton came on 16 September 2009, when they lost 2-1 against Ian Holloway’s Blackpool FC. Between 24 October 2009 and 5 February 2010, Newcastle United enjoyed an unbeaten run under Chris Hughton in the league.

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At the end of the 2009-10 season, Chris Hughton and his team won the championship in the second division of English football with 102 points in a total of 46 matches, achieving a direct promotion to the Premier League, winning the coach of the month four times.

His stint with Newcastle was quite topsy-turvy but not without a few high moments, notable among them was his 1 nil win against Arsene Wenger at the Emirates, which ultimately commenced the end of his career at Newcastle.

But shortly after, he found solace with Birmingham Forest, where he won the league cup on the 2010/11 campaign and ultimately qualified to play in the 2011/12 Europa League campaign subsequently placing third behind FC Brugge and Sporting Braga.

In 2012, he resigned from Birmingham to become manager of Premier League side Norwich City, finishing eleventh in the 2012/13 season.

He accepted his next coaching job at the end of December 2014, on this occasion at relegation-threatened second division side

Having secured salvation in his first year, he guided Brighton into the 2015/16 Football League Championship play-offs in third place but was eliminated by Sheffield Wednesday in the semi-finals.

In the 2016/17 EFL Championship, he and his team improved on that performance and secured promotion to the Premier League by finishing second in the table. That was followed by a season in the bottom third of the Premier League table in 2017/18, which resulted in the club staying in England’s top flight. The board found his performance discouraging in the subsequent and relieved him of his duties.

After nearly a year and a half on sabbatical, Chris Hughton officially announced his new club, on 6 October 2020. That same day, the ambitious second division club had parted company with their coach Sabri Lamouchi following a poor start with five defeats from their first five games.

On 16 September 20201, he was sacked by club management after failing to win a single match in the first six league games of the new season.

In 2022, after a woeful tournament encounter by Milovan Rajevac and the Black Stars of Ghana, Chris Houghton is rumoured to be the next in line for the job. If true, he would be tasked to assemble a team to square off with their Nigerian rivals in a bid to qualify for Qatar 2022.

Style of play
Houghton is known to be very defensive, probably influenced by the position he occupied as a footballer. In the past, he used a very defensive playing system, while their two primary tactics to score goals were to use set pieces and also counter-attacks. At Brighton for instance, he played with 4-5-1. With this system, the two wingers of the team were tasked to drop deep back while defending to prevent opponents from launching good counter-attacks.

Chris Houghton, the man set to manage the Black Stars of Ghana

Twitter Reacts to Hougton’s Unofficial Appointment.

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