Who was right, who was wrong? This time last year that was the question. Many wondered at the sheer brutality with which Mark Hughes was shown the door, others pondered on what might lie ahead and exactly how the next chapter at the Temple of Football Farce would read.
Well it reads that City are second in the league on equal point with the league leaders from Stretford, have some world class footballers proudly parading in the sky blue shirt and are doing much better in footballing terms than they were twelve months ago.
For Mark Hughes part his career at Fulham is now under threat as he sees his side staring Albert Pierrepoint in the face at the relegation trapdoor.
Mark Hughes was in his time a quality world class footballer who played for the best teams at the time, United, Barcelona and Bayern Munich. His early management career went well and his early days at City likewise. So what’s gone wrong?
Essentially nothing, but football is an evolving business and an evolving game. You have to move along with it.
My theory is that when managing Wales and Blackburn, Mark surrounded himself with the comfort of Mark Bowen, Kevin Hitchcock and Eddie Niedzwicki and it worked for him. Men he knew, men he trusted.
When he came to City, it was bound to be a bigger job and it was a Club with different ambitions and goals. But still he persisted with this entourage and it wasn’t until Brian Kidd came in that it stepped up a gear.
Without being unkind to the triumvirate, they were not exactly world beaters in what they did and where they played. If you are a well paid international footballer and have a stinker, you can accept a ticking-off from Hughes or Kidd – they done that, been there, worn the T-shirt – but would you accept it from a Norwich City full-back or Chelsea’s second and third goalies? It’s not likely is it?
During that period I saw a lot of players come and go and some are still there who basically extracted the Miguelito out of Mark’s men. Mark himself started to rid the club of them, Mancini has done so with the exception of one whose behaviour has changed dramatically since the start of this season.
But is not Mark still not encountering similar problems at Fulham. They may not be world beaters but they got to a major European Club Final last season, they have some respected professionals and good players who might too be reasonably well paid.
City has moved on with Kidd and (love him or hate him) Platt. Maybe it’s time for Hughes to do the same.
The Temple of Football Farce has gone out of existence, typical City is starting to become a thing of the past. The future is brighter than orange, it is onwards and upwards.
Conclusion: The Club was right.
NEW YEARS DAY ON VMC:
Head for the VMC Match Day Experience Forum for the build up and beyond to the third part of City’s festive trilogy when Blackpool come to town.
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Vital Man City on: