Monday, 23 February 2009


Henry Winter writes about the steady progress City have been making recently:
City deserved their point. Slowly but surely, City are demonstrating signs of real growth under Hughes. This will come as no surprise to Hughes’ many admirers in the game, but this improvement in form and position is a well-timed reminder to City’s Abu Dhabi owners of their manager’s quality before Thursday’s board meeting.

City failed with their transfer-window pursuit of Kaka but their executive chairman, Garry Cook, did bring in Bellamy, Nigel de Jong and Shay Given, all excellent yesterday. The disastrous Kaka flirtation over, evolution not revolution now appears the City way.

This is a very important point. Taking a long term view, there has been a real improvement in the team's attitude in the last six to eight weeks. This is rather obscured by the very short term and reactive way that people talk and write about football. Not all change is smooth, not all progress is linear. Just because we played badly at Stoke and Portsmouth it doesn't wipe out the gains demonstrated in the Wigan and Newcastle wins, and the Copenhagen and Anfield trips this week. If we lose at the Boleyn Ground next Sunday it doesn't render today's 1-1 draw meaningless.

I'm currently working on a mini-essay for the blog, 'On Sparkyisation', about the process of change we've undergone this season. But it's ballooning in length and time-consuming. I'll try to get it out some time this week.


tommytheblue said...

Hughes changes

succinct answer.
Work rate
Close door attitude, cut our svens slack approach
signed his own players, premier proven players.
allowed our attacking players freedom though 60/40 defensive sided squad.

everything we could of predicted when he joined. He likes his sides to be extremely fit and out be fitter than the opposition. hence wy he likes player like bellamy who will run all day and cause problem because of work rate.

Not sure wht your point is on progress, surely your jumping the gun a bit? We are still inconsistant, some poor defending meant we still couldnt kill off liverpool when we had the chance.
Surely progress has to be sustained and we can only tell after severall games. Raising the game for a big team is one thing, but beating the lesser teams is where progress will be marked.

JPB said...

My point is that recent performances - the ground-out Wigan, Newcastle and Middlesbrough home wins - and away performances in Copenhagen and Liverpool suggest that we are steadily improving along the lines of the Mark Hughes plan. While poor performances at Stoke and Portsmouth show that we are still inconsistent, there are hints that we have improved from the first half of the season.