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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 – 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!

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  1. Gaz

    November 2, 2009 at 12:05 pm

    “The main problem is that heinsists on playing both De Jong & Barry – both holding midfield players neither of which is very creative.”

    Er… the main problem is that the team has been thrown together without much thought put to tactics or formation. It seems to have been, “who are the best players (1) willing to come to a club with no winning history and (2) available to purchase.

    That said, I think they’ll work it out in the end. It’ll be a long-term goal, though.

  2. El Capitano

    November 2, 2009 at 3:14 am

    The main problem is that heinsists on playing both De Jong & Barry – both holding midfield players neither of which is very creative. Opposing teams know that and know that any threat therefore has to come from out wide. They sit a 5th midfielder in there and we (still) can’t break teams down. In effect we are playing the same tactics as last season but with more expensive footballers. Ireland offers the alternative of the “straight” ball into the channels, and Adebayor and others have reaped rewards from that. (viz Aston Villa away). When Ireland came on yesterday the game was played over his head. Did he actually see the ball? Santa Cruz was static and clearly not fit enough – he wouldn’t even move a couple of feet to hunt for the ball and whatever movement he did make was behind a defender, giving him no chance of getting the ball and no chance of compromising his injury situation. Why are we laying Bridge, Tevez & Santa Cruz with knee strappings, when there are other players who are fit and raring to go . I share the view about Weiss. He would be an unknown quantity to opponents.

    • Agree

      November 3, 2009 at 3:20 pm

      I agree that Ireland’s creativity was lacking against Birmingham. He was the POTY for Man City last year but can’t get a run this year. Sometimes your best players are already on your roster.

  3. Gary

    November 2, 2009 at 2:59 am

    I watched the Birmingham game, City were completely lost.
    Why we don’t play Wiess, give him a chance.
    Barry gave the ball away to many times, he has to be more aware of what is going on around him.
    Tevez runs around like a headless chicken. Wright-Philips should be dropped until he gets some form.
    The defence should talk to each other (at least do the basics)
    I have supported

  4. Tyson

    November 2, 2009 at 12:47 am

    I think Manchester City is just feeling growing pains and it’ll take them a while to settle down.

    You have to remember this club hasn’t had a player worth a penny playing for it before the rich guys came along so all these guys are going to be sitting around thinking their the big men at a small club and can have their way with it.

    When your only motivation for joining a club is money though things can take a change for the worse at any time. You only have to look at the Robinho – Barcelona situation to see he regrets taking the money and wants to move from Manchester City.

  5. California_Gooner

    November 1, 2009 at 10:35 pm

    I never took Man City as a serious threat nor will I this season….

    Head Case Adebayor, Tevez, Robinho and Bellamy — all a bit crazy is your ask me …… All the money has gone to the team’s head …. all the money in the world won’t buy team chemistry … which city does not have…

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