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From Moron To Messiah

It's taken the best part of a season but at last Manchester City fans are beginning to warm to Mark Hughes.

The following article is from one of our North American forum regulars, americancitynut.

To read more on the very subject and to see what others are saying, click here.

I don't know how seriously speculation over Mark Hughes' future should be taken, considering our recent form and the seeming confidence in his leadership shown by the ownership group, but I really hope for the sake of the club he stays on.

After watching him reject yet another transfer rumour, I can see clearly now that he is the right man for the job. I know we have 'unlimited' money, but keeping a squad together, in the face of season-long speculation about every single player's future next year, seems to me no mean feat.

We have talent, no doubt, and quite a bit of it, but the fact that we are top half, challenging for Europe, and playing attractive football I think is largely because of Hughes.

His transfer guile brought in Vincent Kompany, a real gem, and Pablo Zabaleta has responded well to his coaching. As for the other signings, I think De Jong will become a first-class holding midfielder, a la Mascherano or Marcos Senna, Robinho is challenging for top scorer, Given has lived up to his high standards, and Bellamy has not flipped out as in the past. I think we can count on him for solid improvement in our squad (most pressingly, our generally execrable defensive play}.

Some in the press have linked us with a 'world-class' manager like Mourinho, Roberto Mancini, and others. First of all, Mourinho wouldn't come here, nor would Carlo Ancelotti, and I have no respect for Mancini and Frank Rijkaard, the most prominent of the currently unemployed big-name managers.

Mancini has won the Scudetto in down years, with help from the Calciopoli rulings. This is fairly meaningless, and it would have taken Koeman-like managerial incompetence to not do so. Frank Rijkaard is demonstrably incompetent. He won two league titles with Barca featuring Ronaldinho winning games single-handedly by playing some of the best football ever played, ever. He didn't know when to offload players or how to discipline big-time stars when they acted out or were clearly unfit, he didn't understand tactics (seriously, I watched approximately 40 Barcelona games in 07 and 08 where his only tactical adjustment was, striker off, defender on, and defender off, striker on), and he didn't make his voice heard, all skills needed by coaches of big-budget teams.

Because of our massive cash advantage, we have been compared to Chelsea. However, I do not hope to follow the Chelsea mould - two league titles, no champs league wins, and a bunch of overpaid sulks. I would prefer to have a team of real stars with a solid coach. I am referring to the Galactico-era Madrid team.

Before you start to guffaw and call the galacticos a failure, may I remind you of Vicente del Bosque's tenure as manager. He won two league titles, two Champs league titles, as well as several other trophies. He was seen as too pedestrian, like Hughes, for his team of superstars, but it turned out that this non-marquee manager was perfect for that team. He was the non-superstar, and his man management and tactical prowess, allowed him to keep a firm hand at the wheel, guiding Real Madrid to it's greatest success in recent times, a spell that only ended upon his firing.

Mark Hughes could be our Vicente del Bosque, a calming and confident force, bowing to no players, and bringing out the best in high-priced players. Let it be so.

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The journalist

Writer: americancitynut Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Saturday May 9 2009

Time: 3:50PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
"Moron"-s aren't generally regarded as people who achieve a lot in life. To qualify as "Messiah" perhaps some achievements would be in order. Unfortunately Hughes is almost completely at the lower end of the achievement scale just yet. I want him to do well. But to be honest he is a lot closer to Moron than Messiah. The odd trophy would address the balance, somewhat, but this City fan isn't about to start a hero-worship cult like they have at Manyoo for their Glaswegian hairdryer.
Report Abuse
09/05/2009 20:16:00

Nobody is asking the fans to worship at Mark Hughe's feet. All we're asking is that he be given a chance to show what he can do given a bit of stability and a decent run at a transfer window. Root and branch changes are afoot at our club, and not before time. It is incredibly important that we do not rid ourselves of the man behind those changes before we reap the rewards, otherwise the entire club will be set back by years. In 10 or 12 years, if Hughes has brought success, trophies and glory to the club, then I might consider hailing him as the messiah.
Report Abuse
09/05/2009 20:47:00

Football fans are going to have to start thinking more long term if they want what is best for the team.....this game to game mentality has to change if teams are to be built. You cannot expect success unless you put in the ground work.
Report Abuse
09/05/2009 21:04:00

Royle, Keegan, Pearce, Eriksson, all have had a say in dragging City back from the depths. Hughes has a lot to live up to, that's all. He inherited a team secure-ish in the Premiership, but financially insecure because of Thaksin's Thai problems. We are still secure in the Premiership. I'm not thinking game by game... Hughes needs to achieve seventh or just where have we climbed to?
Report Abuse
09/05/2009 21:16:00

Hughes is certified moron with the charisma of an gold fish... Great article above, I dissagree with barca being a one man team. I wouldnt say r man utd r a one man team with christiano ronaldo or lampard at chelsea. Or kaka at milan or messi at barca.Every team has a star player. Eto and guily both terrorised defences, with ronaldiho when rijkaard was at the helm. Mourinho didnt win the league in his last 2 season at chelsea, like rijkaard at barca. This doesnt suggest they are bad coaches. La liga always works in 2years cycles with real and barca swaping. If Rijkaard is poor tactically (2league titles and champions league) id hate to think what to call master mind mark hughes. Barca didnt sell ronaldinho for commercial reasons and the current "excellent" barca team is the indentical team barca had three years ago - apart from dani alves. I agree with mancini argument- without the italian scandal, inter would never win serie-a. Mourinho would win the premiership for city. Im certain of this. ADUG will appoint their own man and give him 3-5yrs to build a dynasty. Makes logical sense to me, our current form has papered over the cracks this season. Hughes has done well recently, well enough to keep his job IF city achieve 7th place. But id rather get proven league winning manager, than "hope" hughes may it right in 5yrs with billions to spend. I honestly dont think kompany, zab, bellamy, brigde etc have improved the team greatly. Apart from some good indivisual performances. Neither of theese have impacted city the way elano and petrov did their first signed.
enzo city
Report Abuse
10/05/2009 13:24:00


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