Sunday, April 01, 2007

Would Mark Hughes 'the quiet man' be right to replace Ferguson?

Who will replace Fergie when he retires? This is a topic which United fans have mused upon for some considerable time and no doubting the topic will resurface again in the not too distant future. I wouldn't bet against Fergie going this summer, especially as it looks increasingly likely that he could go out as a winner.

One potential candidate to replace Fergie is former player and still fans favourite, Mark 'Sparky' Hughes. Everyone remembers him from his United playing days with a great deal of fondness, because, not least, he would run through brick walls for the club, the phrase 'as hard as nails' springs to mind. Hughes was one of United's greatest ever strikers. Fans go on about Cantona, but for many Reds, Hughes is right up there with Eric and is definitely in the clubs all time list of heroes and he'd be surely listed in the clubs hall of fame, if they had one that is.

But what do we, the fans, make of Hughes the manager? A few seasons ago not that many might have fancied giving Sparky the job, because he lacked experience. Sure he managed the Welsh national team and he did that with a fair degree of success. Next he took the job at Blackburn Rovers, where he is today, this was a good move for the Welshman as it gave him the experience he didn't acquire at International level. Most managers first take the club route before going on to manage their country, but such is the stature of Hughes within Welsh football that he did it the other way around.

During his spell at Blackburn, Hughes and his team have been the subject of scrutiny because of their tactics, which has to a degree been built on making themselves difficult to beat by working damn hard for each other and the team. There's nothing wrong with that, throughout the 70s the Italian's did this to perfection, the golden rule back then was 'thou shall not pass' meaning opponents would not get beyond their marker. This current Rover's side isn't cynical like the Italian's often were. But what does this say about Hughes and his style of management, does it say anything at all? Well to me it says that Hughes can organise a team, he has also proven to have an eye for a player - which is something all managers need. Three players spring to mind in the current side Pedersen, Bentley and McCarthy.

United apparently turned down the chance to sign Pedersen, but he looks like a good signing, under the guidance of Hughes, Bentley has improved a lot and McCarthy was a good signing. Those three signings show that Hughes has an eye for a player and he can improve them too.

So what about the man and his personality? He's very different from Ferguson because for a start, he's known to be quiet, but I cannot imagine anyone taking liberties with the man of iron that is Sparky Hughes. If you want my opinion, I for one would give him the job once Fergie sacks it.

1 comment:

  1. I'd welcome Hughes as manager. He is doing a good job. Plus, he is Legend.

    Although the rumours are that Chelsea are after him.


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