One point off the relegation zone is the last place Sheikh Mansour would have expected Manchester City to be when he took over at Eastlands in September. Now with the club verging on a relegation battle rather than one for a Champions League place must have the ADUG questioning whether Mark Hughes is the right man for Man City.
Hughes is apparently flying to Abu Dhabi on Tuesday to discuss potential transfer targets for January but with the club languishing at the wrong end of the table who do they think they will attract? The Arab owners may believe that the only thing that will attract the big names they want to Eastlands will be a renown manager in charge at the club.
Rumors have been rife that the likes of Jose Mourinho or Roberto Mancini could be in line to takeover on the touch line and with the start City have made to the season Hughes is doing himself no favours in establishing himself as the man to take the club forward.
The football odds where against City to make a European place this season and I hope that the ADUG realised that before taking over the club. The January transfer window would always be the period when City were expected to drop the big bucks on some big names. The likes of Lionel Messi, Fernando Torres and David Villa have all been banded around as possible targets.
Now there is no doubt Hughes is a good manager, the job he did with Blackburn was a brilliant one and many had expected him to do the same with City under then owner Thaksin Shinawatra, but his aims where a little lower than Premier League winners in two years.
City have a tough month to come as well with unpredictable Hull away next week followed by games with Arsenal and then Manchester United in the league. The football odds would suggest that Hughes’ men would be lucky to take between four and five points from those games.
Sheikh Mansour will have to make a tough call because if he does want to appoint a new manager then he will have to do it quickly so he can assess the squad before deciding who they believe the team needs. After so many years of instability at the club though it would seem a silly move to unsettle the squad halfway through the season. My hope is that ADUG give Hughes until the end of the season before deciding the former Manchester United forwards fate.
However if they do take the sensible option of keeping on Hughes until the summer it remains to be seen if he will last any longer than that. Sparky just doesn’t seem to suit the look and style ADUG are going for and I would very much doubt that he will enjoy a reign as long as Sir Alex Ferguson at City’s deadliest rivals. So even if Hughes turns things around I would expect to see him at another club in the not so distant future with City appointing a European manager, the likes of which have brought so much success to the likes of Arsenal, Liverpool and Chelsea.