Writer: Johnny Baguette
Date:Sunday August 10 2008
Mark Hughes is doing a fine job instilling some steel into his City squad. But his hard work is in danger of being undermined...
A degree of confusion has continued to surround Hughes' steady preparations for the new Premier League season and longed for european campaign.
The team are undeniably coming together and again showed against an albeit laboured AC Milan that they are enjoying their football under Bluesy's leadership.
But off the park, leadership is clearly all but non existent at the club. On a daily basis, we are swamped with lack of finance driven rumours stacked against a backdrop of absolute uncertainty over the future of Thaksin Shinawatra.
It's as if a chasm exists at City whereby the club under Thaksin fails to keep fans reassured about future developments or to meet serious speculation head on by keeping the fans in the know and calming fears.
Football agent parasites and hacks regularly leap into the void at the club, creating mayhem. Occasionally we get Club 'spokesmen' desperately playing catch up sending out confusing, non commital signals.
I would go so far as to suggest 'fifth columnists' are at work within the club, considering the developments involving Stephen Ireland before the AC Milan friendly yesterday.
Ireland was contacted at home by an as yet 'unnamed third party' according to the Manchester Evening News, and told to stay at home because he was to be transferred to Sunderland. Mark Hughes is said to have reacted furiously to the situation and recalled Ireland himself to play a part in the Thomas Cook Trophy win.
Hughes' growing discontent over matters surrounding his squad being taken out of his hands was evident as he refused to meet the press after the game. Like ourselves, he is experiencing the 'mushroom syndrome' meted out by Thaksin's City hierarchy whereby we are all fed on sh*t and kept in the dark.
Who is running transfer policy for City right now? Agent provocateurs?
The embarrassing smoke and mirrors courtship of Ronaldhino was a case in point. The City board openly told anyone within shouting distance about their big plans for the future of the club built around the former world player of the year.
Goofy's decision to snub City and the complicated sponsor based wages on offer, has since led to City buying CSKA Moscow striker Jo, yet another foreign import coming in on an initial small down payment. The staged payments for the raft of signings Sven-Goran Eriksson made one year ago continue, and this has co-incided with the will he, won't he, is he, isn't he unchecked transfer speculation surrounding our technically most accomplished and versatile player Vedran Corluka.
Hughes has been forced to fend off questions about a deal with Spurs and the Euro 2008 star that he obviously knows little about. Little wonder he appears to be becoming increasingly frustrated. He declined to give a wave to a section of the Eastlands crowd yesterday who responded with cries of Sven-Goran Eriksson. That cannot have helped his state of mind as he tries to prepare a squad who ended last season with such a fragile mentality for a potentially long, hard season.
We cannot afford to risk further upheaval by our new manager becoming alienated.
From the outside looking in, Manchester City look rudderless.
So this one is going out to Manchester City Executive Chairman Garry Cook, believed to be in Beijing with Thaksin Shinawatra helping him to 'phone a friend,' and new Chief Operating Officer Paul Aldridge.
Mark Hughes is attempting to build a team that can challenge for major honours. He needs your support. Rumoured sell offs of important squad members to rival teams need to be dealt with and the manager and his backroom staff supported.
City fans in turn have been through enough and we need you to get a grip, stamp out external interference, lead from the front and give us a direction NOW.
Date:Sunday August 10 2008
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