Man City Sack Mark Hughes

Monday, 21 December 2009 ·

Poor Mark Hughes. Sacked after inheriting an inept side under the guidance of Sven Goran Eriksson, a side that couldn’t win or draw for love-nor-money, he steadied a sinking ship and made them a team that could compete with the big-four and, indeed, look like a side that would break into that coveted top-four spot. Yes, he’s spent a ridiculous amount of money but you cannot hope to build a side and make that side one of the best in the land overnight. Especially considering that he took over a side that was not far away from relegation places and not a
side challenging for Europe. With this in mind, it is staggering the overhaul he has seen at the club with a remarkable number of players leaving and entering the club to turn them into genuine challengers for a top-six place at the least. It takes patience and time especially when the top four have been more-or-less the top-four since the Premier League started.
But, this is the price in this day and age where vast sums of money are spent and chairmen demand an immediate return on their investment. Here, the problem of two competing philosophies (that of businessmen and football men) not being able to find any middle ground. If we accept this as a given in football now, then we have to accept that Mark Hughes’ time at Manchester City was always borrowed but it is, in my opinion, the manner of his sacking that must be looked at. Guus Hiddink was first approached to take over the reins and, whilst there is no surprise a brilliant coach like Hiddink would be approached, it is the manner in which he was that is wholly unacceptable. Recent reports, according to quotes from his agent, state that Man City had approached Hiddink about the possibility of taking over next summer.
Rumours abound that Mancini was approached a fortnight ago to give him time to assess the squad. Mancini was spotted in the stands to watch the recent 4-3 win over Sunderland and reports have suggested that he has already targeted Giorgio Chiellini to partner Kolo Toure in central defence, leaving Joleon Lescott out in the cold in a World Cup year as he has already played for two clubs this year. Once again, Hughes, who has guided Man City to sixth in the table and the semi-finals of the Carling Cup, will be left feeling betrayed at the apparent lack of confidence in the project he has overseen for the last eighteen months and, most importantly, angry at the manner in which he has been given the sack. This is a team that is only six points off fourth position with a game in hand and who are now very difficult to beat, barring a terrible performance against Tottenham. The big question now is: will Roberto Mancini be any better?


Graham Matheson

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