‘Once A Blue’ sent us the following.
Mark Hughes has been given a reputation of somewhat a sly fox in the transfer market, a manager who spots the bargain, a manager who resurrects several footballers’ careers. A managers transfer dealings can be the difference between a good manager and a great manager.
Hughes built his reputation at Blackburn Rovers, a team with a small budget and a small squad. However, the turnaround brought about by Hughes was remarkable. Transfer Coups such as; Christopher Samba and Morten Gamst Pederson were all down to Hughes. As well as these talented finds, the manager was also resurrecting several key careers, players such as David Bentley were going downhill, however, Hughes turned Bentley into an England hopeful, something even the wizard Harry Redknapp can’t seem to produce. Another player who Hughes picked up in his Blackburn career is Roque Santa Cruz, Mark has been a keen admirer of Santa Cruz, this was evident when Hughes pursued him for 12 months and finally signed him as a fellow Blue.
When coming to City, Hughesy was dealt a similar deal, a thinning squad, needing quality and quantity. After signing for City, Hughes was left dealing with JO, a Thaksin Shinawatra signing, a signing not fondly remembered by the blues. Hughes then began his own spending spree, picking up coups such as Vincent Kompany, Pablo Zabaleta and the forgettable Tal Ben Haim. As well as signing Vinny and Zab, Hughes sealed the perfect comeback deal with Shauny Wright.
City’s squad was starting to gain some real shape. Hughes was doing his usual business, finding brilliant signings with a not so inflated price. However, transfer deadline day loomed and Hughes hadn’t finished. A remarkable take-over from Arabic Billionaire Sheikh Mansour gave Hughes a dream job, or was it? Hughes was left with less than 24 hours to make a signing. Robinho was the man, Robinho of all people, a Brazilian superstar signing for City, it was truly remarkable and this whirlwind has continued.
Hughes was dealt a dilemma, the man known as a sly fox, now had unlimited cash to burn with expectations matching the biggest clubs in the world. Hughes knew he had the money but is it really that easy. Surely it’s no Football Manager. January came about, Hughes knew he still had to spend, and he sure did. Shay Given, one of the worlds best if not the best keeper then signed for City. England understudy left back Wayne Bridge also signed as well as combative Dutch midfielder Nigel De Jong from our feeder club Hamburg and the colourful striker Craig Bellamy. All of these Hughes signings were proven quality, he knew what he was doing, adding strength and depth and quality where it was needed.
Hughes got his first real transfer window time this summer. (We all know you can’t sign players in January). Hughes decided to splash the cash on superstars, superstars who would take City to the top.
Emmanuel Adebayor a proven PL goal scorer signed, Kolo Toure a defensive rock, Joleon Lescott a good defender and England hopeful, Gareth Barry signed the coolest calmest central midfielder, Roque Santa Cruz another proven PL striker signed and finally Carlos Tevez. The coup signing of the summer from deadly rivals United.
Surely if you are judging a manager, a lot of that judgment must be done on transfer policy. Hughes has proved time and time again he is one of the best managers at signing players, whether this is a big money signing or a bargain buy.