Missing That Cutting Edge
Once A Blue sent Vital Manchester City the following.
Recent form suggests everything isn't in place yet at Eastlands. Mark Hughes has come under continuous criticism since taken over the job in July 2008. Personally I come under the 'Hughes in' camp, however, I agree with all the doubters that something isn't quite right, whether that is Hughes's methods, tactics, team talks or overall lack of managerial expertise is debatable.
In the first place I look is the team, the squad, the starting 11. Right through the team from defence to attack there is a vast amount of strength in depth. This begins at Shay and ends with Adebayor, class players in every position and more than adequate backing in those positions. Hughes has bought well, technically gifted and mentally strong. It's the latter that's being tested and up for debate now. The mentality of these fine athletes is being put to the test, crumbling under little pressure from small teams, home and away.
One player doesn't go from extraordinary to plain ordinary in a couple of games, something is missing from the players and I believe it's mentally. I'm not picking on Adebayor but I will use him as an example. On signing fellow blues were delighted with the acquisition, built like a man mountain and more gifted than most. The striker started unbelievably netting four in as many games. Since then, Ade has scored 1 goal in 6 games, still 5 in 10 is better than were used to. However, after the Arsenal ban Ade hasn't looked the same and I'm not blaming this on the ban as that would be ridiculous. I believe after 4 in 4 Ade thought he had done it, made the cut, and was irremovable from the starting 11. He had proved his point when it mattered, scored in vital games and had already become a fan favourite. I am a firm believer that now he thinks he doesn't have to put anything in and therefore he isn't repeating the early season form.
I think this trend has now escalated through the current crop of players. A sense of bewilderment that were not happy with current form even though it is much better than previous seasons.
What we are lacking are the players who wear their heart on their sleeve. Players, who continue to strive to be better, continue to progress and are doing so consistently. This wasn't a stab at Ade as I am a great fan of the striker and believe he is one of, if not the most gifted target man I have seen at the club. What we need to do is inform the current crop of players how much the club means to the fans, show them the history and show them the dedication the fans have shown the team.
I believe our squad and starting 11 are twice as good as previous City teams if not even better. On paper our squad is better than most in the league. I believe Chelsea are the only team who could win an argument and a fair argument that their better than us.
It is just not happening on the pitch, I think Hughes needs to look at the effort levels of players and if there not putting it in let them know, let them know what it means to us.
We need ambassadors at the club who love playing for us, not just playing for the money or the fact we are a strongly documented team.
Richard Dunne was a fine server of the club; this isn't a petition of get Dunne back as both the club and he have moved on. We need someone who will put the blood, sweat and tears that man put in for us. This isn't anything to do with how much Dunne was a significant figure on the back of my shirt, it's the fact we need our set of players to learn his values and to mentally improve. Players who will dive 6 yards to block a shot, track a player the length of the pitch, show us how much the club means to them and most importantly run their socks off.
I think if this improves and the players learn the values, then the form will vastly improve. Give the players a City history lesson maybe, anything to show them what it means playing for us. If this happens then hopefully over time the fans will transfer to the 'Hughes in' camp.