Manchester City - City - Change The Record
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City - Change The Record

Seven draws on the trot is not what people had in mind when City talked about achieving new things this year and if they aren't careful the Premier League record books look slightly bluer come next week.

As good a record as Mark Hughes has this season, he finds himself in a precarious situation of having to do anything but draw.

With only one defeat all season and a place in the quarter-finals of the Carling Cup, it looks to the casual football fan that Hughes' position is one of the safest jobs in the division.

Anybody who has been watching City knows that they provide good value for money, score goals in virtually every game and play some mesmerising stuff while they`re at it.

They concede as many as they score and therein lies the problem, as it doesn't seem to matter what score the Sky Blues are up at the moment as the defence will throw a lead away at the drop of a hat.

If someone had told you we'd be two-nil up against Fulham, three-two with Burnley and one up against Hull at home, you would expect a side as experienced as City's to see out the nine points. Instead we have gifted goals away in all of the aforementioned to the surprise of the manager and the disgust of the fans.

It doesn't matter who is to blame be it Bridge, Lescott, Richards or Toure; the fact is that results matter and we have now thrown away 14 points from a possible 21.

Hughes will know the score as the team has hardly had a dip in form, with impressive attacking performances in most games giving us a cushion before 'The Keystone Cops' gifting a point back to the grateful opposition.

What happens when we have a goal drought or that inevitable loss of confidence that almost every team experiences once a season?

Some fans will look elsewhere for culprits and perhaps mention Tevez, Robinho and Adebayor today for not being clinical enough in front of goal.

After all with so many chances created we could of been five-nil up before they actually scored. Tevez will be the fans main scapegoat, but for me it was Adebayor who gave the poorest performance.

After a bright start, and after a few decisions went against the big man from Togo, he faded out of the game. Of course he was roughed about by Gardner and stamped on by Zarate at one point, but you didn't see Tevez and SWP complaining at the rough treatment they received and they aren't built like a proverbial brick house.

Another problem Hughes has to sort out is how to get Adebayor to stay up front and not drift wide at every opportunity. With Robinho, Tevez and SWP on the flanks, supported by both full backs it is up to Ireland and Ade to be there at the end to convert chances.

Others will point to Hughes himself and his ability to make sometimes mindboggling changes during games. Today, instead of closing out the game by bringing on Vincent Kompany for the yellow carded Nigel De Jong and Craig Bellamy for the tiring Robinho, Hughes brought on Santa Cruz for Adebayor.

How Roque Santa Cruz has proved his match fitness is a mystery to almost everyone bar the manager and his backroom staff. The Paraguayan has looked hopelessly off the pace in every league performance this year and needs to ask the real Santa for a miracle to save his career later this month.

But then again what has Hughes done so differently that we would not have? Many fans were calling for Ireland to come in for the jaded Barry, others for Robinho to be brought back in, regardless of Bellamy's form, others were calling for Tevez to be restored to the starting lineup after making such an impact from the bench against Liverpool.

Well the manager did all of those things and guess what happened? The real problem came right back and slapped him in the face like a 10 kilo trout.

The defence needs to be sorted out and a solution must be found as soon as possible, preferably before we face Champions to be Chelsea early next month.

If we don't then by January, a new manager could be the one scratching his head at how to get this defensive unit to look anything other than calamitous.

ZABALETA KOMPANY LESCOTT BRIDGE anyone or does it not matter who plays at the minute? Should we just sack the defensive coach!

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

The journalist

Writer: GloucBlade Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Saturday November 28 2009

Time: 8:05PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

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All of these players joined for one reason, ***** loads of money, there is your problem. Plus the manager is a half wit.
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28/11/2009 20:36:00

this week can be a huge week, if the players want it to be they can change the season
Report Abuse
28/11/2009 20:46:00

Teddylyon, Please name me one professional footballer who isn't at his club for the money? The clue is in the job title. It's the same for them all. If MH is a half-wit, please can you back up your opinion with reasoned examples where he has behaved like one? I have certainly never seen him behave anything other than professionally and intelligently when being interviewed by the media, he has never lost his cool in this aspect of his job. If MH turns into a gibbering imbecile behind closed doors, then fair enough, but show me the proof please - there are no stories coming out of City of discontent like last season - the players seem to be behind him and his staff, surely they are a better judge of the manager than we fans? I'm not exactly ecstatic by recent performances, but snide jiibes at the players and staff can only make the atmosphere around the club more tense, is that what you want? By all means set out your plans on how to take the club forward, but leave out the abuse, show some class.
It's Grim Oop North
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28/11/2009 22:34:00

It's Grim Oop North - Don't get wound up by TeddyLyon mate, he isn't even a City fan.
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29/11/2009 00:06:00

Great post, It's Grim Oop North. Hughes has been nothing but class since he came to the club. He has the most stressful position in the premiership and is in the first year of trying to bring all of these players together. Everyone is calling for his head, but there are no replacements out there who haven't gone through similar dry spells. The big names like Hiddink, Mourinho, and the purple one were all given the chance to ride out the storm.
Report Abuse
29/11/2009 00:17:00

personally, i think mark hughes isn't good enough...his subs aren't convincing, he concentrated on signing mainly strikers and as a result has 7 of them with very few world class midfielders and no world class defender{except maybe wayne bridge)...i also think he plays players based on reputation rather than on form and actual ability. Sheikh mansour can afford better.
Report Abuse
29/11/2009 00:27:00

Hughes does have his integrity.... for now. A win against the young Arsenal on Wednesday would pep everyone up for the Chelsea game. Lets see how we react.
Report Abuse
29/11/2009 01:18:00

Wowzers. He's doing a good job this season? When did that happen? 7 draws in a row with the most expensive squad and the highest wage bill in the league. *****, I cant wait until he starts doing badly!!!
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29/11/2009 02:22:00

Superhans, guess you're not a Blue then!!?? Have we got the most expensive squad and highest wage bill in the Prem? I do genuinely want to know! Pretty sure Manu and Chelsea both have spent more. Maybe Spuds not far behind? I don't want to see us doing badly, good job we've only been beaten once this season, and that was a nailed on cheat. If draws turn to defeats we're in trouble, if draws turn to victories we're heroes, how exciting is that???
It's Grim Oop North
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29/11/2009 14:53:00

The way I see it MH has about 4 weeks to turn things around and if he can't I have a feeling the owners may look at other options in January.
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30/11/2009 08:52:00


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