Then Saturday Comes… the half decent football blog


Hughes gets sparked out
December 21, 2009, 10:46 pm
Filed under: Mat Reville's Football Blog | Tags: ,

Santa Claus had something in his sack for Mark Hughes… and sadly for the Welsh gaffer, it was the sack.

Yes, it’s terrible that a manager who has got a team to the semi finals of the Carling Cup and only bean beaten twice in the league has been sacked. But in reality, Hughes is leaving with an improved reputation, public persona and bank balance.

And Manchester City have got a better manager.

But in doing so, they performed a public relations nightmare.

Hughes did a good job at Manchester City. Not a great job – but then he didn’t really have time to.

He had planted the seeds for a team that would move on, within the next couple of seasons, to challenging at the top.

If he had stayed throughout the season they would have ended up in Europe. Maybe not in the Champion’s League, but they’d have one a cup or two and finished around seventh.

But the fact is he was not good enough for what Manchester City’s owners.

And in all honesty, who can really blame them? After pumping in the GDP of a decent sized country, Champion’s League qualification really is the bare minimum.

Executive Chairman Gary Cook (left) will be lambasted, but we should judge this decision in five years. And he will be right.

So although it’s sad that Hughes – a good manager who was making good headway – was sacked, it really was quite inevitable.

He was not appointed by the billionaire regime and, although doing a good job, did not do a job worthy of a billionaire owner.

The analogy I would give would be this – if Hughes feels hard done for being ousted due to unrealistically high expectations, how must Nedhum Onouha feel?

Like Hughes, Onouha was making nice progress at Manchester City. Both are good, 7.5/10 performers.

However, much like Hughes kicked Onouha to the curb once he got to play with Kolo Toure… Sparky himself got ditched when the owners got the chance to play with Mancini.

Mancini is thus far unparalleled. He has won Italian cups with a banrupt Fiorentina and Lazio, he snared the Seria A title with Inter twice out of two attempts and, most importantly, he had an unforgettable glory period as a player for European stalwarts Leicester City Football Club.

He is, on paper, a better manager than Mark Hughes.

Therefore, although Hughes deserved better as a man, one can reason with his sacking and, ultimately, accept it as reasonable.

He will end up at a club that recognise his ample skills, but don’t expect too much. He’ll end up at a Sunderland, or an Everton.

Consistently 6th-8th, no more is expected, yet it is still celebrated as a great triumph.

Meanwhile Manchester City will push on, and they will break into that top four and eventually win a championship.

They will probably not get top spot with Mancini, but once he has served his function Jose Mourinho or Guus Hiddink will sweep in and take the glory.

Mark Hughes can moan all he wants to, but he really did take Man City as far as he could – even though that was much further than you would have expected when he took over 18 months ago.

Much like when Jeremy got punched at the end of that episode of Peep Show, he doesn’t deserve it on what he has done. But in the grand scheme of things… fair doos.

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