Writer: Johnny Baguette
Date:Thursday August 14 2008
Manchester City must have generated more sportspage copy than any other football club this summer and the buzzing activity shows no signs of stopping as we brace ourselves for the visit of a not to be underestimated FC Midtjylland tonight.
Mark Hughes is in defiant form and his latest press conference will have generated nothing but confidence around SportCity and for Blues the world over.
He exudes authority and comes across as smart, quick witted and determined. I suggest he's certainly not someone you would want to cross and his standing within the game will have sky rocketed as he almost single handedly dealt with the media throughout a turbulent week. Many Blues are suggesting that it is Bluesy himself who is running the club!
In the build up to tonight's match he gathered his entire backroom staff and playing squad together to tell it like it is and underline who is the boss. If he can get the players to respond to his seige mentality battle cry tonight and at Villa on sunday, then Blues, we could well be on to a winner.
The bolstering of Hughes' backroom staff has continued with the appointment of Glyn Hodges as City's reserve team coach. His management team is now completed with Hodges joining Mark Bowen, Eddie Niedzwiecki and Kevin Hitchcock.
'El Toro' said: I`m delighted to welcome Glyn here. He has a great pedigree, has been a manager himself and did a great job at Blackburn. He will be a good link for the guys coming from the Academy and them being well prepared enough to join the first team. He is great in that role and will bring a lot to us. Glyn is a pro licensed coach, as all my senior coaching staff are and that is important, because it means the players are getting the right quality of work. He will be a great asset for us.'
And the Blackburn supply line shows no signs of stopping there. Last night, Rovers revealed that they had turned down a bid from City for their striker Roque Santa Cruz.
For starters, this bid flies in the face of the relentless stories swamping the media that City are broke.
That said, this correspondent does not see the need to bring in yet another striker at this stage. I believe that the reported 12 million quid offered for RSC could go towards bolstering our right wing and left back options.
Accepting that Jo is in China and Vassell and Benjani are both currently injured, we still have Bianchi, Bojinov, Caicedo, Sturridge and Evans to call upon. Sure, RSC would fill an immediate senior striking hole up front, but his long term inclusion would mean somebody has to go and surely the hungry young likes of Bojinov, Sturridge and Evans must remain Blues.
If City go back to Blackburn with a second successful bid, then it could well be that an up front offload is on the cards. Already, the disappointing Castillo looks to be on his way out and it could well be that Bianchi and Caicedo will follow him.
Now for those Danes. Enjoy the game.
Date:Thursday August 14 2008
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