Sunday, 21 December 2008

West Brom 2:1 Manchester City. The Biggest Losers!

The game: Well we lost, although it wasn't the abject displays we have been used to in the past few weeks, there was some degree of work ethic today. An industrious effort from City, but city still lament the lack of ability upfront.

WBA are very much a long ball side that should of been dealt with, we defender fairly well for most of the game. Decent chances came few are far between for city, Benjani effort and gusto showed promise, but his strike partner lacks ability, confidence and despite Vassell efforts he simply adds no threat whatsoever. Plenty of industry, little flair or skills, for me this is a sign of whats to come in the Hughes era (more on this later).

Error prone city once again turned up, poor positioning and lack communication meant we gave away two silly goals. Our combative midfield wasn't effective, if gelson is a defensive midfielder then why is he so poor at it, he's decent going forward and can pass fairly well. Kompany is generally very good but can't do it all on his own.

Attacking wise, Ireland is less effective when played out wide, he came of this game with great respect for his work rate and effort, but perhaps lacked composure in the final third. SWP again has great ability to skip through challenges, had one decent effort but crossing wise is fairly poor. The introduction of the Adrianoesq Felipe Caicedo showed the lad does have great promise, he's more skill full and a better shot than Vassell. His back heel was a good effort, but probably showing too much flare for Hughes liking.

Here is an article on tldorc a very good read, I'm not sure i agree with his conclusion but the article is extremely interesting.

I don’t believe Mark Hughes will be sacked as he says so himself, although I am pretty confident now that I don’t want him at the club. Hughes came to city and has implemented a regime that would have Nazi Germany green with envy!

Small club mentality doesn’t suite city and has clearly pissed off the players. on TLDORC, the writer has highlighted Hughes almost arrogant dismissal of Svens era at the club. His insistence to distance himself from the previous regime and implement a new programme of discipline and extreme fitness has taken it's toll on the players morale and commitment to the club. The demise of player of the season Richard Dunne and Elano who last season, the top scorer and had one of the top assist and pass completion rates in the premier league.

He's taken all that was good from last season, flair, skill and cultured football, ripped it apart to implement mind set of fast paced bully tactics and industrious attacking with little or no flair. Unfortunately for Hughes our players are simply better than that. This team enjoys skillful passing, patient attacks and explosive breaks, the remnants of that ended with our 6-0 thrashing of pompey, it was never to be seen again. Hughes favours the likes of gelson, vassell because of their work rate and effort that they give to the team. This goes someway to explaining his mild success at Blackburn. He got an average side very fit, with low expectations, they came out shocked opposing teams confidence with aggressive tackling and plenty of set pieces to the big men in the box, it was never pretty and very similar to style of current Blackburn manager Sam Allerdyce.

Today performance I saw this as a step towards that tactic, a very workman like performance lacked all the flair and entertainment that got us to 4th this time last season.

I don’t like Hughes, I don’t like what he did at Blackburn, I believe his work was blown way out of proportion. The press often like over inflate British players and managers because of their nationality, I’m rarely surprised when it ends in disappointment. Hughes great in the transfer market? As I covered in the Santa Cruz article, most of his greatest signings have only sustained one season form and flopped. The likes of Samba and Warnock were vastly over-rated at the time and have proven to at the low end of premier league quality. They generally over achieved at a small club with low expectations. Bolton were very similar under Big Sam. He has actually achieved very little, he organised Wales to get a couple of decent results, well Lawrie Sanchez managed Northern Ireland from 124th to 27th in the world rankings, why not get him in aswell. We have all seen how Blackburn played under hughes, what he achieved at Blackburn that much different to what Big sam achieved at Botlon, both qualified for europe once and both had a decent domestic cup run, both played similar football. So what makes him the right man? His obvious great ability to manage a harmonious squad? his tactical nous? or his natural love of skillful, classy attacking football?

A proven British manager would be Martin O'Neil who did great at Leicester than Celtic, winning titles at both before turning Villa into a skilful good footballing side, who have progressed every season. Are we really going to sell the likes of Elano to a big Italian side and then buy Santa Cruz and Bellamy, if that is so, then I’m not sure I want to watch our team become blackburn.

Again I don’t believe Hughes will be sacked, Garry Cook was behind the hiring of the Welshman during the old regime, he has an invested interest that Hughes does well to assure his position with the new owners. This is a terrible situation to be in, Hughes has simply failed, in any other field of management he would be culled I wouldn’t be sorry if he was gone in the morning, but he won’t and there is nothing I can do about it.

For an extra christmas treat Real madrid have signed one of our targets Lassana Diarra, along with Huntelaar they are well ahead of the game in terms of transfer dealings.


GAGA said...

well hughes has to go i hate sayin that but the team is lackin belief and basic football skill we cant keep our shape find a pass and our defenders dont know what goal side is, and when you look to hughes on the touchline he hasnt got a clue and you can tell. Just to add for a while now i have been fightin the corner of caicedo bcoz of how good he looks when i see him for his country and the guy hasnt let me down last 2 games he played he gave the ball away once and that was a header and scored 2 goals so let the lad start now he deserves it. I would love to know why hughes keeps playin ppl who r injured too eg benjani , robinho, i mean either they are playin injured or our medical team r that bad they dont know what they r sayin, from wat iv been told by ppl at the club they r always injectin players so they can play.

tommytheblue said...


I agree caicedo is a very promising youngster, he is still very young and needs to adapt to the premier league. He has already shown in two short appearaces that he is more skillful and able han benjnai and vassell together.

I dont know why hughes keeps playing injured players! it was odd to me that robinho featured in a none game at santander if he wasnt fully fit! Benjani was supposidly on deaths door but made a miracle recovery only to be short lived.

i'm not fond of the injection, masking a problem does knowbody any favours!

I am really unhappy that hughes will be licensed to spend what he wants in january, i dont trust him. I would like to see him go before elano!

Anonymous said...

Mark Hughes is absolutely correct to leave Elano at home.
With the skill & ability of Elano he should put in the effort of Stephen Ireland or Shaun Wright-Phillips. Jo has also been unbelievably poor too...he can't run, shoot, dribble or head...& only cost £19 million...NOT HUGHES BUY THOUGH.
I'm backing Mark to come good. City have lost games in the last minute to Liverpool, Everton & WBA...the last 2 games due to Richards & Dunne going to sleep!
The early matches saw CITY playing wonderful attacking football.
Once Johnson, Petrov & Bojinov return....

tommytheblue said...

elano was made thescapegoat early on this season! when he was playing well, he droppedhim without warning,..thats not good man managment.

is it a coicidence that our defence as turned from one of the best to the worst under hughes?

everton was awful display from city, you couldnt of been happy with the football.

liverpool we lost because of hughes poor decision to bring on the haples gelson into the defence, which made no sense becuase he can't defend and just works hard, both his errors led to goals.

once johnson returns? it's clear hughes already dislikes jonno, who clearly failed to motivate back into fitness.

Petrov is out for the season!

Anonymous said...

What kind of a cynical little mess wrote this article? Also having watched WBA games on a number of occasions last season and this season I can safely say they are not a "long-ball side".

tommytheblue said...

well now that you are at the bottom of the table...most of your attack came from lobbing the ball up to bedner and moore... i dont care if you dont was obvious yesterday!

i dont care how wba played, sorry, all i can say is your team looked like they wanted it, the 1st was well worked the secnd was very much of our own making.

tommytheblue said...

hardly cynical calling wba long ball side...

Ian James said...

Nope, just staggeringly ill-informed. We rarely rely on long-ball tactics, so it was a bit of a curio seeing quite a few more than anticipated. We may underachieve like there's no tomorrow, but we don't exactly resort to that all the time.

But then, on the evidence, we, as a 'long-ball' team faced a team with no balls at all by the looks of it.

tommytheblue said...

ian your quite right, we were shite.. lacked guts, belief and aany sence of order!

listen i know wba actually play football and the likes of robinson are actually quite good at it, plus his determination and effort, i have watched wba a few times last season becasue of the moston menace big ish!

i was happy to see a team like wba in the premier league rather than side slike bolton..

but i stand by my comments.. alot of balls came straight up from the back bypassing the midifeld last match...and it worked...very direct...dont take offence

Ian James said...

None taken, Tommy, and full marks for honesty, but when all is said and done, you've got (or will have) the money and players to get out of it. Your strike force is there, but on the sidelines currently and I'm aware there could have been a difference were they there on Sunday.

Our task is a bit harder, but, right now, we'll grab any win.

Here's hoping both clubs get out of the mire, and a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and all Man City fans.