Saturday, 15 August 2009

Groundwork completed

One of the key themes of the ADUG/Cook/Hughes era thus far has been investment - not just in the playing staff - but in the club's infrastructure. Medical and training facilities have received long overdue improvements, as Hughes' experience and ambition have met with the ADUG cash to allow us, finally, to move beyond the old Wardle/Bernstein/Lee club groundwork.

This is something that Hughes talked about a lot last season - that our failure to make swift progress was, in part, down to these necessary, but unsettling changes in both players and infrastructure. Now, of course there is a strategic element here - we did underachieve last season, and of course the manager will use an excuse where possible to explain that. But in two very revealing profiles of the club by Martin Samuel and Ian Herbert in today's papers, it has emerged that this work is done and the club is now ready to turn it to our advantage.

From Ian Herbert:

A medical facility approaching the size of a cottage hospital is another addition to a complex which the England team doctor, Ian Beasley, esteems the best in the country, and its 10 beds and massage facilities are an accoutrement the City manager Mark Hughes has found more valuable than he would have hoped with his signings going down like flies.

That's as maybe. The significance of the training facility, part of an £8m investment in the infrastructure of Manchester City by Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed al-Nahyan in the close season, is the signal it provides that the club – derided, loathed and ridiculed by so many – are actually at the start of something refreshingly new and not abominably nouveau as so many want to have it.

And see Hughes' reaction in the Martin Samuel article:

City, at that time, had four treatment tables in the medical centre serving every player at the club, from the first team to the academies. It meant that after training sessions there could be a queue to rival an NHS waiting room; and last season City had plenty of injuries.

‘When we get down sometimes, if results are not going our way and things are not progressing as quickly as we would like, we look around here and realise how far we’ve come,’ said Hughes.

‘This place was not fit for purpose. There was no care here, no pride, it was not a building in which a professional could do his best work. When I compared it to what I had at Blackburn Rovers, for instance, it felt like stepping back in time. Since we walked through the door it has changed beyond all recognition.’

As a fan, we can only take the management on their word on this sort of thing. But it does sound like good news.


Elby the Beserk said...

Tip of the hat to Martin Samuel, for a long time the only journo to say hurrah that City have so much dosh. Also, he has never been afraid to take the piss out of Ferguson, bless him.

tommytheblue said...

it's the some of the best news we've had. Our medical team needed updating and our facilities were poor.

We are sure to make good use of it. Roque and johnno will be spending alot of time together