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.