Thursday, 19 March 2009

Herbert confident of Hughes stay

From his Aalborg preview piece:
There is an increasing sense, both from the chief executive, Garry Cook, and from Hughes himself, that he will be in place to build his own side this summer. Jose Mourinho is chief among those names thrown up as successors, but Cook's announcement to a fans' forum last week that Hughes was here to build the club seems like an honest one. Hughes' side has lacked balance and, again at Stamford Bridge on Sunday, lacked the most fundamental defensive ability at times, but the late summer takeover by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al-Nahyan's Abu Dhabi United Group has provided Hughes with little chance to build the side he wants with players of his own. There seems to be an acceptance that Hughes should be given more time for the fabled City "project" to develop. The difference in City's league position would be considerable had Hughes simply been able to sign a striker of his own choice in the summer – but his club have still managed 45 goals from 28 games.
This is all good stuff. I hope it's true, and while for now we have to make do with the ever-so-slightly equivocal 'there seems to be an acceptance' I'm sure we'll hear from the board one way or the other next month. All it will take is an unambiguous 'Mark Hughes will be our manager for the 2009/10 season' statement and then we can just relax. I know the board shouldn't really have to go out of their way to appease their neurotic fans, but April-June 2008 was one of the most traumatic periods of supporting City I can remember, certainly the worst end to a season in which we hadn't been relegated. Anything but that.

PS I know this is an anti-Hughes point but I'm not sure how true it is to say that the September 1 takeover "has provided Hughes with little chance to build the side he wants with players of his own". We now have seven first team players bought by Hughes with no outside input : Given, Bridge, Zabaleta, de Jong, Kompany, Bellamy and SWP. The only time they've all started together was the Middlesbrough win, but most of them play most of the time. This isn't a team made in Hughes' image quite yet, but the dominant influence is certainly his now.

1 comment:

Jack said...

I quite agree. Just wish the whole thing could be put to bed. I too am tired of all the negative speculation especially by fellow blues. Who, imho, should back the club, team and management no matter who is in charge. That is what SUPPORTERS should do. Support.