The man I always referred to as 'Nasty Hughes' as he roughed up the City defence time and again in the Derby is now our manager...
On the back of an agonising few months which came out of nowhere and which most Blues just couldn't understand, Dr. Thaksin and his people unveiled a rag, so many times our nemesis, as City's gaffer.
I admit I felt absolutely no enthusiasm whatsoever when the text came in from Mcr telling me that Mark Hughes was in. Perhaps I was so demoralised at the way our season and reputation had nosedived. In truth, I would have thought similarly about any other appointment having watched the toe curling developments of recent weeks that did so much damage to the clubs image.
But this is Manchester City we are talking about, and whether Toxin,(who has work to do to win back his Frank status) his advisors and the super agents like it or not, it's our club and we are the people who keep it going. Most Blues would give almost anything to see us successful but many of us have become deeply concerned for the club's future following the torture of Svengate.
One of my biggest criticism's throughout these past weeks has been the lack of statement, clear Sky Blue water and leadership from the top, regardless of what Sven's people were saying. There was a total lack of updates or information sent out to the fans. In my opinion, Thaksin left too much of the old set up in place and it stagnated without hands on club leadership. I urge the board to review absolutely the whole way that the club is represented to the media and make ruthless changes where neccessary.
City fans were forced to endure a turgid few weeks without any news knowing a disinterested skeleton of the side were engaged in a pointless end of season Far Eastern travelling football circus. That situation should never be allowed to happen again. It could just be the case that the appointment of Nike/Jordan's Garry Cook, who looks as if he means business could be the answer to that issue. He will get my backing if he continues to proceed with the dignity he has shown us thus far.
Back to Mark Hughes. As a player, he dished it out to us time and again and for me, many times over epitomised everything the rags were about. But taking a big step back, we all know he was a winner. He's gone on to build a reputation as a no nonsense manager who commands respect throughout the game. So much so, that the weasels running Chelski wanted him there against their Oligarch's wishes. Their loss could be MCFC's gain.
We have to admit that a Hughes appointment is a far safer bet than bringing in the likes of a Phil Scolari. Hughes knows the day to day Premier League well, better than Sven would have known when he took over, having done such a solid job at Blackburn. He will know of City's players and will be familiar with the wasters and chancers that we need to offload. His appointment could see City hold on to a number of our prized assets, if some of them are prepared to put a shift in and give up the clubbing in town. It won't be an easy task, as Svengate has left a lot of bridges to rebuild and agents have had a field day.
Hughes has already stated his intention on MCFCTV.COM to support City's brilliant Academy. Like Cook, he comes across as a man on a mission. I remain concerned over what the future retirement of Taggart could bring at the swamp, but right now our club needs to rediscover stability and that has to be everyone connected with the club's first target.
And what of Sven? He was backed to the rafters by the vast majority of Blues and certainly did not deserve to go the way he did. He gave us a magnificent Derby double and via his players not fully getting stuck in, got us into Europe.
I sincerely hope that a line will now be drawn under the saga and no dirty washing is set to come out from either side involved. Sven brought great dignity and respect to City and I wish him well.
However, a few weeks reflection has led me to question whether or not he was a big enough disciplinarian for what is required in the Premier League. No side should ship 8 goals at Middlesborough. The players gave up far too easily that day, whatever their agendas were and I cannot see that ever happening under Mark Hughes.
My message to Dr. Thaksin Shinawatra is that it isn't just you who expects results now, it's the fans. You owe us, big time. And time is something you must give Mark Hughes.
And my message to Planet Blue is once more with feeling, let's aim to forget these past few months but note the lessons learned. Come together, get right behind Sparky Hughes and give it a go. There is work to be done.
Come On City.
Get yourselves over to the Vital MCFC forums from your deckchair this summer! Signings, Taxi for's and much much more!!