Hughes, We Have A Problem (Birmingham v Man City)
Is anyone else starting to get a little nervous for the Man City “project”?
I was thrilled by the way the team were playing for the first two months of the season. They were incisive, dashing, and had a swagger about them that said “we can do this”. As sure as one swallow doesn’t make a summer, a handful of early victories doesn’t define a season.
Managers get a lot of stick for events that are far beyond their control, but in this situation, I’m going to point the finger at Mark Hughes – and here’s why:
To me, the manager’s job is to prepare their team to give them the best possible chance to win. He can’t be held responsible for missed penalties, idiotic red cards, or heroics from the opponent’s goalie. But when I see a team that doesn’t seem motivated and that doesn’t seem to have a plan of attack, I’m holding the manager responsible.
The four consecutive winnable games that Man City have let pass them by goes beyond bad luck or coincidence. They’re in a rut, and it’s up to Sparky to break them out of it. He needs to figure out who is going to drive their team to victory, and how to go about doing it.
The league table pays a false compliment to City at the moment. I’m happy that they’re in the top-four, but they’ve lost all momentum and they won’t by worrying the likes of Man Utd or Chelsea. Hopefully they can regain their mojo and give the old guard a serious run for their money.
Sort it out, Hughesy!
Phil McThomas runs the one-of-a-kind football news site over at CleverFootball.com – a bit like NewsNow, but with a giant computer brain that figures out what the hot stories of the day are. Check out the dedicated team pages – for example, all the Man City news is here. Phil also does Twitter as @soccershout – give him a follow!