08 December 2010: Sacked in the Morning!
As Albion fans, we've certainly chanted that one many times over the years when our opponents have been on a bad run or there have been dodgy rumours flying around regarding new owners or unhappy Chairmen - and we've probably aimed it our our own Managers once or twice too. But I don't think anyone had the slightest suspicion that it would happen to Chris Hughton after our 3-1 win over Newcastle. Hughton took a side in chaos, worked for an owner who didn't seem to know what he was doing from one day to the next, and tolerated a completely uncertain contract situation for ages - but still managed to win the Championship in style and, barring the odd blip in form, looked to have been establishing his side in the Premiership again. Given the resources at his disposal it's hard to see how anyone could have done much better.
Anyway, it prompted BOING reader Kevin Withers to ask whether any other manager has lost his job immediately after the (presumed) disgrace of losing to Albion - and whether their owner expected us to just roll over and give his club the points? We can only speculate on the latter part, but Neil Reynolds remembers at least one other sacking following a defeat by Albion:
"I'm sure it's happened several times but the one I remember most clearly was 7th May 1977 when the magnificent Laurie Cunninghan orchestrated a 5-0 win over Leicester City at Filbert Street. I was sitting in the upper tier behind the goal but my mate was on the side with the Leicester fans. That's why I remember it so clearly - it was him who started the "Bloomfield Out" chant! He was gone the next morning (Jimmy Bloomfield I mean, not my mate).
And Steve Gray remembers taunting John Gregory when he was managing QPR and lost 5-1 at the Hawthorns back in September 2007 - Gregory was sacked the next day.
Julian Rowe remembers Albion fans singing "Dicks out" against Alan Dicks of Bristol City, but admits that it may have been because they thought it was a funny chant, rather than really expecting him to get the sack. Andrew Freeborn remembered a similar situation whe Arthur Cox was manager of Derby (or maybe Newcastle) and hopes that German legend Stefan Kuntz never decides to go into management...
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