Tuesday, 13 January 2009

MEN gets it right

Very good piece by Chris Bailey in the Manchester Evening News today. I think he gets everything right, particularly this.
If any serial doubters want an example of how the correct buys made at the right time, allied to patience with a new manager, can reap dividends then all concerned should look no further than Aston Villa and Martin O'Neill. Many City fans point to Villa Park and what O'Neill is now achieving in the Midlands with some envy and a `that should be us' mentality.
That may well be the case next season but it has to be remembered O'Neill had a terrible time in the middle of his first season at the Midlands club, and by the criteria being currently used to judge Hughes by the less patient City fans the Irishman would have been sacked before the transformation got properly under way.


tommytheblue said...
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tommytheblue said...

This is a tired argument used time and time again on city forums, Either Martin O’neil or taggart. They both had less successful starts to their club carers at united and Villa. But so what. Frank Clarke didnt have the best start to his city career, should be have kept him on.

taggart has won trophy after trophy including the European cup at Aberdeen, whilst O’neil got Leicester into Europe twice and was extremely successful with Celtic including a UEFA cup final. Mark Hughes has a similar history to.....Sam allerdyce. They both played a certain brand of football..regarded by Wenger as violent. Hughes based his team on being fitter than the opposition and working them down for 90 mins, through low grade fouls and sticking the ball in the corner and running it down. Not only was this unpleasant to watch, it appears Hughes is trying to emulate the same plan at city with his dogmatic approach. This isn’t suiting the player we have.

Martin O’neil took over villa, he took the team on a winning streak of 9 games, and only lost 16 all season, which isn’t so dreadful, considering Hughes has already lost 10 before January. He didnt have the luxury of having a multi million pound side to play with ...He managed to get the team on his side, Hughes hasn’t, he hasn’t improved on what Sven started, having had more than and money, we haven’t shown signs of improvement. O’neil achievement has nothing to do with what Hughes is doing at city.

roy harper said...

All managers, all humans, have faults. For instance, I used to like Martin O'Neil because I thought that he was a good and fairly humble person who could man-manage. Lately I've been seeing through some of that perceived humility. It often seems false in the cold light of media scrutiny, but I don't want to get into character assassination here. That's subjective and serves no purpose. It's enough to say that I have my own faults.

It would be fair to say that neither Hughes nor Allerdyce have ever had the cash to do anything other than prepare a team of big, strong, fit men to go into battle on Saturday afternoon. They have both employed players with suitable physical attributes to accomplish tasks that would be beyond them without the right mindset and preparation.

Bully though he may be, the failure at Newcastle United wasn't particularly Allerdyce, it was ignorance, impatience, Mike Ashley's bottle and then his wallet, probably in that order.

Hughes is under the same scrutiny but doesn't have the same kind of master. The master Hughes has is seemingly a digified and patient master, not one likely to be ruled by the lynch mob. He has the opportunity to do what he's probably always wanted to do, to develop and manage a team of talents. So far, he's had 2 Brazilians, Jo and Robinho, foisted on him and he's bought three other players, SWP, Bridge and Kompany. Those are not buys that you would immediately associate with 'violent' tactics.

The worst of his tactics so far has been to lose a game at West Brom by trying to win it! And yes, Micah should be used at right back, because the experiments with him have so far failed. His form has probably suffered because of trying to use him to fill the glaring holes in the team that Sven left. The 2 goals conceded against West Brom and Everton in the dying seconds have cost us a place in the top half of the table. 2 goals! Both in the last minute!

Hughes has never had a team with this potential to manage. He's a good manager and potentially a great one in the making. Regardless of what anyone thinks, he has proved that his approach is thorough rather than dogmatic, and for his organizational skills and work ethic alone, he should be given the chance. It's enough to read the 'Manchester-City-spending-spree-heading-for-anti-climax.' article in today's Telegraph to know what Hughes is up against.

As I've said before, it's not going to work immediately, regardless of cash, and Hughes should be given time to steady the 'Sinatra' ship, and do it 'his way'. To say that a man cannot adapt to new circumstances is to deny the whole of human evolution. It's possible for the Sergeant Major to become the Major. As Napoleon said "The Marshall's baton is in every soldiers' backpack".

If, in a years' time, City are not in the top half of the league with the likelihood of European football on the horizon, I'll eat my underpants, in public, and apologize to all those who were against his appointment.