Downfall: For Hughes, The Bell Tolls
In a stunning development which is sending shockwaves throughout English football, Manchester City have sacked Mark Hughes and replaced him immediately with Roberto Mancini...
The recently recruited Youth coach Brian Kidd has stepped up to become Mancini's Number 2.
From rumblings around Europe this past week, it's clear that City's hierarchy had seen enough to warrant the sounding out of new managers in advance of January's transfer window. One can only assume that the board had become uncomfortable at the likelihood of giving Sparky more money to spend.
It's undeniable that some of The Blues defending this season has been atrocious and it looks like the radical reshaping of the heart of that defence has led to Hughes' downfall. The abject surrender at Spurs and almost total absence of tactics other than 'we'll score more than you' against Sunderland have sealed his departure.
City Chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak released an official statement during which he said:
"...A return of two wins in 11 Premier League games is clearly not in line with the targets that were agreed and set. Sheikh Mansour and the Board felt that there was no evidence that the situation would fundamentally change. This is a particularly difficult announcement given the personal investment over the past 15 months on all sides and we would like to put on record our respect for and thanks to Mark Hughes and we wish him the best in his future career.
"...Roberto is a hugely experienced manager with a proven track record of winning trophies and championships. His experience and track record speak for themselves. What is absolutely clear is that Roberto believes in Manchester City's potential to achieve at the highest level and importantly in his own ability to make this happen. My hope is that our incredible fans will join us in welcoming Roberto to the football club."
City have also confirmed that all of Hughes' backroom staff, Mark Bowen, Eddie Niedzwiecki, Kevin Hitchcock and Glyn Hodges have been fired.
And what now? Hughes has surrounded himself, his team and Carrington more than any other previous gaffer with Mark Hughes men. Many of the players that have given a shit recently are fiercely loyal to Hughes. How will they react?
Tonight, City are 6th in the league with a game in hand having lost 2 league games. The rags, ever a barometer in these situations down the years have lost 5.
Defeated Sunderland boss and by no means a fan of Sparky, Steve Bruce said:
"You can't build clubs in 18 months or one transfer window, you need a bit of time. It is ridiculous. You are not going to encourage any young person to try and take this up. What is the point? What are the stats? Managers last about 18 months in the Championship. It is longer in the Premier League but that is because of the amount of time Sir Alex Ferguson, Arsene Wenger and David Moyes have been in their jobs. I am disappointed for Mark Hughes. Really disappointed."
More on this developing story as we get it...
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