Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Big City day in the press

Tuesday is a big City day in the press, with a lengthy Ian Herbert piece, a rare Daily Mirror article, and two big ones in the Daily Mail: Lee Clayton on Hughes' view of the squad, and Lee Clayton and Simon Jones on Hughes' transfer plans. There's also stuff in The Sun and even The Star.

The most important articles are those written by Herbert and Clayon. They both give insights into Hughes' criticisms of the squad - much like Ian Herbert's piece on Saturday. The central points:
  • Elano is finished. His dropping against WBA was due to a poor performance against Racing combined with lazy training on Saturday. He and Hughes had words and he was out of the match day 18. It is unlikely he will play for City again.
  • Elano has a willing accomplice in Jô. The £19million man surprised Hughes in calling in sick on Sunday morning, before driving to the ground anyway. He could well follow Elano out in January. Tal Ben Haim is unpopular and could well also leave (as part of the RSC deal surely?)
  • One of the divisive issues is Hughes' tough fitness training. Some of the players (seen by Hughes as too comfortable under Sven) have not reacted well to it - and are falling ill under its strain. I imagine this means some of the older players: Hamann, Vassell and Dunne.
  • There exists a group of pro-Hughes players, with no emotional attachment to Eriksson: Kompany, SWP, Zabaleta and Ireland. The first three were bought by Hughes, whereas Stevie spent last year drifting in and out of games from the right wing. I guess whoever we buy in January will fit into this group.
  • Hughes has not given up on Micah Richards yet.
There is also a Daily Mail piece on transfers. It looks pretty authoritative, and provides a transfer list of four likely targets: Wayne Bridge, Roque Santa Cruz, Craig Bellamy and Marcos Senna (replacing Lassana Diarra on what was otherwise quite a common list). I'd love Bridge, RSC and Senna. And seeing how he and we played last weekend, I think Bellamy could improve our squad significantly. He's no David Villa, but he's also no Darius Vassell. The Sun thinks we're going for Kolo Toure, and has quotes from a City source, which is unusual. I'd take him.


Peter said...

There is definitely a faction of the team who are having difficulty adjusting to Hughes' regime. The team we saw on Sunday is Hughes' team, with a few additions I think we can fight our way back up the table. I'm backing Hughes to do it.

jon said...

im hoping for a push up the table after christmas - Elano seems to have the classic antisocial personality with evidence from Shaktar's boss saying he did a similar thing with them. Probably best moving him on in the window - There's also been a lot chatter on internet forums about villa being a done deal. (how many of those has there been) Some bloke on the citymancs forum seems almost too clued on the logistics of the transfer - stating his cousin is on te valencia staff - 30M up front with add ons for apps and goals etc. He even states he'll sign in te second week in Jan. So i guess we'll see.

Football 足球 The language of the beautiful game said...

No apparently Dunne is one of the best trainers at the club and its Micah Richards who surprisingly (given his physique and pace)who is a poor trainer but not when you consider his terrible form this season.

We desperately need an experienced keeper. Hart has somehow attracted little criticism this season when if you analyse most goals he could have done better with most of them. Even on Sunday when you look at the first goal from behind the net you can see that he was poor, he didn't make himself big and he made the useless Moore's decision easy for him by going down early - it wasn't even a good finish.

And the second goal even though 70%the fault of the sleeping Richards, why on earth Hart didn't come when he saw the ball was clearly going over Richards is baffling. Again the header was a terrible attempt by Bednar and had no class or direction to fool any top keeper.

He is very young for a keeper and most don't peak until their late twenties and so he could very well be a briliant keeper in years to come, but not now, a top class keeper is one of the top 4/5 priorities for January.

BluePeter said...

Just for a moment let us give 'Sparky' the benefit of the doubt.
It is no coincidence that the second half of last season and the first half of this season have been disappointing; it is also no coincidence that the standout players so far have been the ones Hughes has brought in and the positive effect he has had on Superman SI.
Perhaps we have too many players who are still playing in their 'Sven comfort zone'.
Perhaps the likes of Richards have had it far too easy for far too long and are a little bit miffed at being forced to work for their overinflated salaries - Micah mate, pay less attention to how you look on the MEN Diary page and more attention to how you play, especially your positional sense.
Perhaps they are not quite as good as they think they are - that certainly appears to be the case with 'me, me, me' Elano.
Yes Hughes has made some 'interesting' team selections and yes, he may still be thinking of how he can build a successful Premiership squad, but let's not forget we are not playing in La Liga or Serie A; we are playing in the Premiership and Hughes showed at Blackburn that he knows how to build a strong, fit team capable of not only surviving but also flourishing in - the Premiership.
We are in a vital transitional phase and it takes strong willed people to work their way through it. In the interim it may not be pretty, but we have to just back the guy's calls.
Rome wasn't built in a day, neither was Stretford Athletic's long run of success, so let's give the man some time.
Let's get behind him, even if we don't always agree with his team selection or tactics.
Let's not forget we are Blues brothers and sisters, renowned for our sense of humour and patience.
Don't forget, he is being told by his bosses how to do things; he is being told by the press how to do things; he is also being told by the fans how to do things.
The only problem is none of them, I suspect, has ever managed a Premiership football team.
Don't get me wrong, I would love to see the likes of Kaka, Messi et al strutting the Eastlands' turf; but if it takes the likes of Bellamy to turn around this season an get us going in the right direction, then so be it.
We are talking about the best football club in the world - bar non - so lets start thinking positive, just like Robinho is urging his teammates