With Colin Calderwood having left Newcastle United to pursue his managing career at Hibernian in Scotland, the question remains, was Calderwood more than just an assistant coach? He must have had inherent within him certain leadership qualities, having managed in the lower leagues previous to becoming a coach at Newcastle. This coaching role was then superseded by becoming Chris Hughton’s right hand man, Hughton must have seen something in the character of Calderwood to suggest he would make an ideal number two. Or another possibility is that Hughton and Calderwood, having both been involved at Tottenham Hotspur, could form a strong bond and relate to each other easily.
Having regained promotion from the Championship last season with a formidable points tally of 102, having only lost four games and remained undefeated at St. James’ Park, it is fair to say that defensively Newcastle were on the whole impenetrable. Do we owe this record to Calderwood’s position as assistant manager? Having been a defender himself, as well as Hughton, and playing at the highest level for a number of years; it may be argued that he implemented the foundations that would secure Newcastle automatic promotion with ease and little discomfort.
Having never been renowned for defensive proficiency, this being ingrained upon the memory with some truly comical moments by previous Newcastle defenders with the main culprits being Titus Bramble and Jean-Alain Boumsong, it was compulsory to ensure that the defence was rectified after being relegated in such a manner. The players brought into by the club reflected what was being addressed, with a number of notable defenders being signed in January; these were Danny Simpson, Mike Williamson, Fitz Hall and Patrick van Aanholt. With Hughton manning the vessel and Calderwood his shipmate, the defensive dilemma dissipated into thin air and they delivered the cargo safely back to the Premiership. Although with the defensive line-up Newcastle had in the Championship anything less would have been a catastrophe and resulted in a mutiny from the fans.
All of the people involved at Newcastle have wished their best and been quoted as singing the praises of the former Magpie assistant. He was only present for a season and a half, but it can be seen that Hughton and Calderwood had a good understanding, having built up a firm rapport. The only tarnish on Calderwood’s white garments appears in the guise of the poor home form that Newcastle have portrayed. Conceding goals when at home, against teams we should be victorious against when wishing to consolidate our Premiership status.
Existing now is an empty chasm in which Calderwood used to reside; the matter at hand in which to respond is who shall be his successor? Hopefully a more offensive minded coach that can create a sense of equilibrium to compliment the defensive work previously employed. Hughton would also benefit from an experienced head that would be able to advise him accordingly, being relatively inexperienced and having only ever been an assistant himself in the top flight.
To read more articles of mine follow me on Twitter.