Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Mark Hughes set to 'shake hands with the devil'?

Manchester United legend Mark Hughes has apparently asked for permission to speak to Manchester City about the vacant manager's position following the bizarre and totally unjustified sacking of Sven-Goran Eriksson.

The Welshman is also being linked with the Chelsea job, but it's thought that Milan manager Carlo Ancelotti could be in the frame for that position, so City seems the more likely destination.

If Hughes accepts either job, you do wonder how long his next term of employment will last, because City owner Thaksin Shinawatra managed to bemuse just about everyone when firing Sven. The Blues had a decent season which culminated in them getting into Europe, albeit through the back door. City played some of the best football seen by their long suffering fans for many a year. The Swede had brought in some fabulous players' like Elano and Petrov, added to which there was the emergence of Michael Johnson and the blossoming of Michah Richards, things weren't that bad.

So why exactly did Thaksin Shinawatra fire Sven? No one knows for sure, but what we do know is in doing so he's become a hire-'em fire-'em owner in short order.

As if being a former United player won't bad enough for many City fans, Hughes will have to overcome the fans hatred of all things connected to the Red Devils. There will always be some who will call him a Munich Red bastard whenever the slightest thing goes wrong.

Marks Hughes teams' do not always play football in a manner that is easy on the eye; first and foremost, they make themselves hard to beat. If Hughes is offered and accepts the job, there's likely to be a marked change from what we saw at Eastlands last season when the Citizens were at their very best. From day one Hughes will have a battle on his hands trying to overcome the deep-rooted insecurities of the City fans, but all the while he will know that the club owner could pull the trigger at any time.

Football has long been a profession where few get time to prove their worth, but with so much more money sloshing around, patience where the manager is concerned is almost unheard these days, in this respect Thaksin Shinawatra has a lot in common with other owners. Nonetheless, you won't find many people agreeing that Sven deserved to go and the decision to fire him was without doubt one of the worst decisions in recent memory - which will no doubt only serve to make the job even harder for Hughes or whoever comes in.

Maybe Hughes has come to the conclusion that wherever he goes, he will be in more or less the same situation, the Blackburn manager may well feel the City job is as good as any that he's likely to be offered in the next few years.

There will always be pros and cons about any new job. At least he will be nearer to home; the drive to work will be shorter. In accepting this job, Hughes will be reducing his carbon footprint.

On transfers, he's likely to be afforded more freedom to buy. However, it's an interesting fact that Hughes has only spent just over £5m net on transfer fees in his four years at Blackburn, given how relatively well Rovers have done this fact alone is a massive plus point on his CV and it's likely to mean that if things go wrong should he "shake hands with the devil" then there's always likely to be another job, but maybe it wont be just around the corner.

1 comment:

  1. He already has.

    It will be a hard task for him to make City play the Blackburn way, Erikkson simply created an entirely different setup.

    The depth of Erikkson's changes to the City side meant that he was evidently expecting to stay for the long haul, as most of his recruits were young and he was intending to create a confident attacking side.

    I suppose Shinawatra wanted to join the Abrahamovich club in ending Erikkson's reign, however, that is football in the end.

    It will need another complete overhaul for Hughes to lose the attacking flair and blandly fight out results. Let us hope it takes place so we can pick up promising attacking talents like Elano, among others.

    These are intriguing circumstances for City, I am interested in what Hughes does with the team.

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