The past week has been dominated by talks over who becomes Ghana’s new head coach. The top job became vacant following the sacking of Milovan Rajevac last Tuesday.
The Serbian coach led the Black Stars to the FIFA World Cup play-offs but supervised one of the country’s worst-ever campaigns during the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).
A largely disorganised Ghanaian team finished bottom of Group C after drawing with Gabon and losing to Morocco and Comoros.
Two names have so far been mooted as the possible replacements for Rajevac. Chris Hughton is believed to be the government’s choice for the role, but the Ghana Football Association (GFA) is also believed to favour Borussia Dortmund’s trainer scout Otto Addo.
But who is Hughton?
Hughton the footballer
Hughton started as a footballer after coming through the ranks at Tottenham. He was born in Forest Gate, Essex, England to a Ghanaian father, Willie, and an Irish mother, Christine.
At 13, he joined Tottenham’s academy where he rose to become a first-team player. He eventually made his debut for Spurs in the 1977 season. Despite being born in England, Hughton represented the country of his mother, the Republic of Ireland, at international level.
With that, he became the first mixed-race player to represent the Republic of Ireland and went on to play 53 times for the country.
As a full-back, he played for 13 years at Tottenham where he attained cult status, making 297 appearances and scoring 12 goals.
In 1990, Hughton swapped Spurs for fellow London club West Ham United and spent two years with the Hammers before crossing carpets to another London-based club, Brentford.
Hughton the manager
For a man whose playing career revolved around London, he became the caretaker manager of Tottenham after hanging his boots. It was his first managerial job but he showed signs of promise and was kept on for a year.
Hughton went on to serve under different managers at Tottenham and combined his role with being an assistant coach of the Republic of Ireland.
In 2008, Hughton was announced as the first-team coach of Newcastle United under Kevin Keegan. By September that year, he was made caretaker manager following Keegan’s exit.
He was later appointed as Newcastle’s permanent manager after their relegation to the Championship and he guided them to gain promotion back to the Premier League at the first attempt.
The highs and lows
Hughton has since managed Birmingham City, Norwich City, Brighton and Hove Albion and Nottingham Forest, in what has been a great managerial career thus far.
And winning Premier League promotion with Newcastle ranks among his best achievements. At Birmingham City, he led the team to the group stages of the Europa League, and guided Norwich City to an 11th-place finish in the 2012/13 Premier League season.
Hughton was also the manager who led Brighton to gain Premier League promotion for the first time in the club’s history and reached the FA Cup semi-final with the Seagulls.
But just like any other manager, the 63-year-old has had his lows. He left Norwich with the club sitting just one place above the relegation zone.
He also left Nottingham Forest in September 2021 after gaining just one point from their opening seven matches in the Championship – the club’s worst start to a season since 1913.
Hughton has been without a club since then and it remains to be seen if he’ll be appointed as the next Ghana coach.
We Will Love You To Join Our Over 190k Members Instagram Family With Just One Click @gharticles