Date:Monday April 6 2009
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Vital Manchester City regular, derry sent us the following article.
A 2-0 defeat away to Arsenal is not necessarily a calamitous result, but in the Emirates Stadium on Saturday, we saw a microcosm of everything wrong with Manchester City FC.
In addition, everything wrong with Manchester City FC, in my view, is Mark Hughes.
Arsenal is the team Hughes claims he admires and hopes to emulate with City. However, the slack defending that has troubled us so much throughout the season, bizarre tactics and odd substitutions continued. All of which mark City out still as the psychotic X Factor wannabe rather than the Premier League's rough diamonds undergoing the polishing process.
Against Arsenal, City was robbed of Wayne Bridge's services early on through injury. What happened next triggered another question of Hughes' suitability as a manager.
With Javier Garrido - not necessarily the greatest left back on the planet, but a naturally left footed, left back nonetheless - on the bench, Hughes opted to put Pablo Zabaletta at left back instead. Zabaletta is a right footed, right back/right midfielder and that, for our American friends, is as bizarre a decision as playing your Quarterback as your Kicker!
Now, this begs the question 'why'? Why was Garrido taking up a valuable place in the squad if there is no intention to play him in such a scenario - by not bringing him on, Hughes clearly displays he does not think Garrido is up to the job?
You may well get away with such a tactic against a 10-man Sunderland side, but against Arsenal?
Zabaletta suffered a somewhat difficult afternoon - and I in no way denigrate Zabaletta's ability as I think he has been an outstanding performer and an astute buy but all that will have happened on Saturday is he will have had his confidence knocked.
Is it any wonder he is overlooked for the Argentina national squad if he is played hopelessly out of position?
And where does the blame for this ineptitude lie? At the door of the manager.
Fortunately for Hughes, it appears the Emirati owners know more about business than football as reports indicate his job is safe.
If the Emirati knew their football from their Ferrari, Hughes would have been long gone.
Many thanks derry
Date:Monday April 6 2009
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