Hughes & City: Two Sides Of The Debate
Bluewolfie sent us the following.
When discussing amongst ourselves whether Hughes and City are doing well this season, there are two main groups: We are not doing well and Hughes needs to go, and Hughes and City need time and we are actually doing okay, thank you very much.
In the 'for camp', we can say this - this is a new team that needs to find its footing, and is beginning to do so. In the twelve games thus far, City have only lost once (best in the Premier League), and in sixth place, are keeping chase with those at the top (Chelsea, aside). There is also a game in hand which, although accounts for nothing if that game is not won, still gives us an edge over those around us. We are extremely difficult to beat, even if the opposition goes in front - something that has not been seen for a while, and amongst the 'big boys' we can comfortably hold our own.
In addition, the players in the squad are very strong and have plenty of experience which will carry us through the season. We are scoring goals and conceding less. Plus, ADUG have categorically stated that a finish of sixth place or higher is the aim for this season. City have had way too many managers and stability is the key.
Meanwhile, in the 'against camp', we can say this - Hughes' tactics are sometimes classed as bizarre. His formations leave a lot to be desired and as for his substitutions, well, they can be at times completely baffling. There is also the case of some players not getting enough playing time (or indeed at all), when it is believed they should. The defence is quite simply awful and if it wasn't for Given, it would be even worse. The only reason why we're in our current position is because more teams are dropping points this year.
The squad is seen as far stronger than the performances and results would indicate, and it is because of that the blame falls at the feet of Hughes as it is him that dictates everything.
I would put it to both camps that they are both right, as none of the aforementioned reasons can be disputed. So where does that leave Hughes?
Would we be performing better if there were a world - class manager at the helm, someone who has proven himself to the footballing world? Naturally, the names of Mourinho and Hiddink get floated around a lot. However, this is Hughes' team, one he has personally built, and so any new manager would undoubtedly want to make changes, which may (or may not) upset the players.
The next transfer window is seen as a 'top-up' window; a player or two brought in to readdress an issue. Any new manager would therefore have to make do with the squad he has, waiting until the summer to make big changes. But then, would ADUG bankroll it? Doubtful.
See that fence over there? I'm sitting on it, because I really do not know whether Hughes should stay or go. If he remains, then I'm okay with it (for now), but if he goes, then I'll also be okay with it, because undoubtedly he would be replaced by a massive name. It really is a strange, strange season.
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