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The Manager's Programme Notes For WBA



Comments courtesy of Manchester City Football Club

A warm welcome to everyone today, and especially to the players, staff and fans of West Brom who have made the journey up the M6 today.
I have to begin by reflecting on what was a night to remember last Thursday. The atmosphere at kick-off was just what we wanted, and I am sorry that we could not quite pull off the result that the support our wonderful fans gave us so deserved. It was a huge effort from everybody - on the pitch, behind the scenes at the Club and most importantly in the stands. Not too many people gave us a chance of turning the tie around, but we came very close and we can be very proud of the performance.

Our run in Europe, and nights like the one we had on Thursday, has shown us where we want to go and we want to bring more nights like that to the City of Manchester Stadium. I know that our Chairman, Khaldoon Al Mubarak, was thrilled with the atmosphere against Hamburg and was as disappointed as anyone that we did not quite make it into the semi-finals. We met before the game and had a very productive meeting on our plans for the future and where the Club needs to go, our owners have been excited by our run in Europe and will support us in our efforts to give it another go.

A special word must also go to our away support, who have given us such fantastic backing all over the continent since last July. I know they have enjoyed our European odyssey as much as we have and I still cast my mind back to the game in the Faroes, when so many made an awkward trip over to get behind their team. Following us overseas in these difficult economic times has been a big ask, but everyone in and around the playing staff thanks everyone who made such sacrifices over the last nine months.

After our good run at home in the League, last Sunday`s result was a huge disappointment, and I can assure you that the players, my staff and myself all understood how you, the fans, were feeling by full time. We are all working hard to bring the success to Manchester City that you deserve, and results like the defeat to Fulham hit us hard. In fact, coach Eddie Niedzwiecki summed it up perfectly on our web site last week when he said, "when we lose there is no worse feeling for us." Our European exertions caught up with us a little bit last weekend and made qualifying for the Europa League next season via our final position in the table difficult, but if we can string together a good run in the closing stretches of the season we could still pull it off.

West Brom come to us today bottom of the table and fighting for their lives. They still have a chance of staying up and will be looking at today`s game as an opportunity to kick-start a move out of the relegation zone. Tony Mowbray instilled an attacking approach in his side that deservedly won the Championship last season and he deserves a lot of credit for sticking to his guns in the Barclays Premier League. West Brom have won a lot of friends with the way they have gone about things during this campaign, and they have certainly posed problems for everyone they have faced along the way - including us. They battled for their victory over us at the Hawthorns in December, but we have not forgotten the late drama there and this is a chance for us to make amends.

Tony has not been helped by a long-term injury to a graduate of our Academy, Ishmael Miller, who would have loved the chance to go up against his old club today. He made a real impact in West Brom`s title drive last season, but they will pose us threats from several quarters. As we know from the our previous meeting this season, they are an athletic side who can break at speed and hit you hard from deep in their own half, so we will have to be on our mettle today.

Thank you once again for tremendous support, and enjoy today`s game.

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The journalist

Writer: Johnny Baguette Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday April 17 2009

Time: 8:11PM

Your Comments

The way I see it, it is now clear there is no way that Hughes will be sacked at the end of this season unless City capitulate completely in the league in these last six games. Love him or loathe him, the fact he is here to stay for the forseeable future will have to be accepted by fans, hacks and anybody else connected with City. We're going to have to move on and see where it takes us.
Johnny Baguette
The way I see it, it is now clear there is no way that Hughes will be sacked at the end of this season unless City capitulate completely in the league in these last six games. Love him or loathe him, the fact he is here to stay for the forseeable future will have to be accepted by fans, hacks and anybody else connected with City. We're going to have to move on and see where it takes us.
Johnny Baguette
With the usual City optimism .....onward and upward
Doody
With the usual City optimism .....onward and upward
Doody
I dissagree completely. No one should be blinded by our heroic defeat on thursday. City players only played with their hearts out because khaldoon was present. The remains - city have got worse since last season in every aspect. Hughes has wasted 130 million on midtable safety. He basks in the alex ferguson cliche "he won the league in five years" - mourinho would win the leauge at city in two years in my opinion. Times have changed. Billions can make time move alot quicker, if the right manager is in place. 12points worse of then svens city this time last year and a inability to manage and attract big name players. The two things khaldoon craves... If anyone doesnt think city would make giant leaps under the leadership of rykard, van gaal, mourinho, lippi etc is deluded. ADUG as owners are entitled to appoint their own manager and implement their own plans for city. As a fan, i could respect and understand that. If mark hughes requires another summer to spend ANOTHER 100 million and "build his own team" (hes already built an unsuccesful one) then that is proof that he isnt the right man. How much more millions most he waste till he gets it right??? If tony pullis at stoke was given 130miilion - they would be challenging top 8. Hughes out - rykard in
enzo city
I dissagree completely. No one should be blinded by our heroic defeat on thursday. City players only played with their hearts out because khaldoon was present. The remains - city have got worse since last season in every aspect. Hughes has wasted 130 million on midtable safety. He basks in the alex ferguson cliche "he won the league in five years" - mourinho would win the leauge at city in two years in my opinion. Times have changed. Billions can make time move alot quicker, if the right manager is in place. 12points worse of then svens city this time last year and a inability to manage and attract big name players. The two things khaldoon craves... If anyone doesnt think city would make giant leaps under the leadership of rykard, van gaal, mourinho, lippi etc is deluded. ADUG as owners are entitled to appoint their own manager and implement their own plans for city. As a fan, i could respect and understand that. If mark hughes requires another summer to spend ANOTHER 100 million and "build his own team" (hes already built an unsuccesful one) then that is proof that he isnt the right man. How much more millions most he waste till he gets it right??? If tony pullis at stoke was given 130miilion - they would be challenging top 8. Hughes out - rykard in
enzo city
I see Barcelona are playing like a great team again now that Rijkaard has gone :-) I take it you meant Rijkaard and not rickard?
jackblue
I see Barcelona are playing like a great team again now that Rijkaard has gone :-) I take it you meant Rijkaard and not rickard?
jackblue
The only benefit a big name manager will bring is big name players. That doesnt mean they will achieve anything. Real Madrid are full of superstars but were completely outclassed by Liverpool... who have some incredibly average players- lucas, dossena, kuyt, Babel, Degen, El Zhar etc... The fact is, Benitez has set up a system and it works. Hughes hasnt had time to do anything except patch up a badly woven City side with some solid players- Bellamy, Given, Kompany, Zabaleta, SWP etc. I dont really know a manager who could come in and give us the instant success we want, if there is one then by all means bring him to City. I personally just cant see it.
eighthsin
The only benefit a big name manager will bring is big name players. That doesnt mean they will achieve anything. Real Madrid are full of superstars but were completely outclassed by Liverpool... who have some incredibly average players- lucas, dossena, kuyt, Babel, Degen, El Zhar etc... The fact is, Benitez has set up a system and it works. Hughes hasnt had time to do anything except patch up a badly woven City side with some solid players- Bellamy, Given, Kompany, Zabaleta, SWP etc. I dont really know a manager who could come in and give us the instant success we want, if there is one then by all means bring him to City. I personally just cant see it.
eighthsin
Enzo, totally agree re Hughes record. I think it's appalling and wrote to that effect in this week's Vital City Zen. But it looks to me as if he'll be kept on.
Johnny Baguette
Enzo, totally agree re Hughes record. I think it's appalling and wrote to that effect in this week's Vital City Zen. But it looks to me as if he'll be kept on.
Johnny Baguette
sadly your right JB mate it does indeed look like hughes will be kept on and he better bloody turn this mess around as he has been given the same amount of time as most managers would have had with less money than us.
bluemooner_mcfc
sadly your right JB mate it does indeed look like hughes will be kept on and he better bloody turn this mess around as he has been given the same amount of time as most managers would have had with less money than us.
bluemooner_mcfc
If Rykards record (2 league titles and champions league) isnt good enough for city then il eat my hat. Finishing 8th every saeson with blackburn isnt a good enough for city. Remember chelsea didnt win the league in mourinhos last 2 seasons. No would consider him a poor manager, or he isnt good enough for city or he wouldnt do a better than mark hughes. I dont buy the argument that hughes has struggled with a patched up squad. This is the best city squad in many a years. Hughes had a full preseason and the same amount of time as sven and has still cocked up the season. He did a average job at blackburn, nothing he has achieved there suggests thropies for city in the future. Bellamy, dejong, zab, kompany, bridge and given all perform well now and again... but have these players improved city greatly? Some good indivisual performances but nothing special. Infact city have taken less points since the winter transfer window. Petrov and elano made an dramatic impact instantly. Its common sense - if u want a fast car. U dont buy a sokda. U buy a ferrari (mourinho) porsche (rykard) ashton (liipi) As for the big player debate - ADUG want big players for self promotion, kudos and commercial reasons. City from now on will always be challenging for the best. The more big names u have, the better chance of success ul have. MAN UTD (big name buys) = ferdinand, rooney, tevez, ronaldo, carrick, berbatov. CHELSEA (bnb) = cole,robben, duff, joe cole, crespo, drogba, lampard, ballack. BARCA (bnb) = eto, ronaldinho, henry,deco. MILAN (bnb) = kaka, inzaghi, seedorf, shevencko, nesta. Big names, win big things!!!!!! Everyone is quick to point out real madrids failures - but one of the most successful sides ever was the galacticos- figo, ronaldo, raul, zidane. If liverpool had ronaldo or kaka, they would be top of the league and not second. It seems unlikely hughes will go now. I wish the owners were more pro-active and more ambitious in moving city forward. I fear for city next season under hughes. More millions wasted, more failures.
enzo city
If Rykards record (2 league titles and champions league) isnt good enough for city then il eat my hat. Finishing 8th every saeson with blackburn isnt a good enough for city. Remember chelsea didnt win the league in mourinhos last 2 seasons. No would consider him a poor manager, or he isnt good enough for city or he wouldnt do a better than mark hughes. I dont buy the argument that hughes has struggled with a patched up squad. This is the best city squad in many a years. Hughes had a full preseason and the same amount of time as sven and has still cocked up the season. He did a average job at blackburn, nothing he has achieved there suggests thropies for city in the future. Bellamy, dejong, zab, kompany, bridge and given all perform well now and again... but have these players improved city greatly? Some good indivisual performances but nothing special. Infact city have taken less points since the winter transfer window. Petrov and elano made an dramatic impact instantly. Its common sense - if u want a fast car. U dont buy a sokda. U buy a ferrari (mourinho) porsche (rykard) ashton (liipi) As for the big player debate - ADUG want big players for self promotion, kudos and commercial reasons. City from now on will always be challenging for the best. The more big names u have, the better chance of success ul have. MAN UTD (big name buys) = ferdinand, rooney, tevez, ronaldo, carrick, berbatov. CHELSEA (bnb) = cole,robben, duff, joe cole, crespo, drogba, lampard, ballack. BARCA (bnb) = eto, ronaldinho, henry,deco. MILAN (bnb) = kaka, inzaghi, seedorf, shevencko, nesta. Big names, win big things!!!!!! Everyone is quick to point out real madrids failures - but one of the most successful sides ever was the galacticos- figo, ronaldo, raul, zidane. If liverpool had ronaldo or kaka, they would be top of the league and not second. It seems unlikely hughes will go now. I wish the owners were more pro-active and more ambitious in moving city forward. I fear for city next season under hughes. More millions wasted, more failures.
enzo city
 

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