Is Chris Hughton the nicest man in football?
Over my time as a journalist, I have spoken to all sorts of managers. This week I think we've seen two very different sides to the men in charge of some of the clubs in the top flight. Chelsea supremo Jose Mourinho certainly adds some colour to the Premier League, but can also irritate and frustrate. Conversely, in the immediate aftermath of two debatable decisions that went against him, Bournemouth idol Eddie Howe showed huge restraint and dignity replying to questions to the media - questions sometimes designed to provoke controversy. I'm sure he was angry inside but certainly failed to show it.
The leagues stipulate that the managers must reply to questions within a certain timeframe and - although this does not always happen - the scars of adverse decisions or incidents are still raw soon after the final whistle. A cooling-off period is something that has been suggested, but the media's voracious appetite for immediate response and reaction is constant.
Over my time in this job I have interviewed, chatted to, laughed with, and been dressed down by a whole host of managers.
Steve Coppell - closed. Harry Redknapp - unpredictable. Gus Poyet - Irascible. George Burley - Glum. Tony Adams - Vague. Oscar Garcia - Minimalist.
I've also interviewed Howe many times. Like Hughton, he shows dignity, but a fierce determination to win, learn, and better himself, his team, and his club.
Ultimately, managers are judged by the results the team achieve. But the way in which they conduct themselves is often a reflection of the club they represent - and also an aid for future employment.
Some chairs of clubs tolerate the outspoken; some certainly do not. Maybe in football, as in life, there are people who are nice and those who are not.
Maybe managers, like us all, have burdens, concerns, and insecurities that make us who we are.
I must ring that colleague and tell him I don't know Hughton well, but one thing I do know is that he is a class act.
For that, I'm sure Albion fans will be grateful.