I wrote a couple of days ago about Thaksin Shinawatra, the Man City owner and how he had skipped bail in Thailand and and was effectively “on the run” in London. I speculated on what Mark Hughes must have been thinking with the whole situation after only being in charge at Eastlands for three months and not having actually managed the club in a proper competitive game. There were reports in the press suggesting that he was about to walk out and others that he was committing himself to the club for the long term.
Well Mark Hughes has now managed the club in a competitive game and he’s probably wondering what he has done and wishing he could leave after Manchester City slumped to an absolutely awful defeat at home in the UEFA Cup to the unheard Danish team FC Midtjylland. I have no idea if I spelt that right, by the way. Well, have you heard of them before? No, thought not! I would imagine Man City fans will be wishing they still hadn’t heard of them!
City had a disastrous start and it only took the Danes 15 minutes to put a dampener on Hughes first home game in charge. Ok, it wasn’t all doom and gloom, not quite, as City did hit the woodwork a couple of times but they really struggled to turn any of their possession into meaningful attacking play.
That said though, I suppose you would still have to fancy Man City to pull it all together and get through the tie with a win in the second leg. Otherwise Hughes will have a huge task on his hands. It looks like it will be tough enough as it is but should City go out of Europe this early in the season, you would have to start to worry for the Blue half of Manchester.
Here’s what Hughes had to say after the game:
“Perhaps we were a bit behind them in terms of sharpness and match fitness but that is no excuse.
“In the first half we had too many unforced errors. We needed to be more dynamic, show more personality, and to try to drive the play.
“We need to get up to speed before the weekend and hopefully this game will let us know where we are at and what we need to do.”
Sums it up really. Putting aside all the talk of whether he will leave or stay with the club, Hughes is a fighter and a winner. Not only that he is turning into a damn good manager and I think City have got the right man, in the long term. If anyone can pull Man City around and make them a hard working and better team, it is Hughes and I wish him luck. After last night’s performance, he’s going to need it!
One thing I am really looking forward to this season is the Manchester derby at Old Trafford and how the United fans react to Hughes. I really hope they put aside their rivalry with City for a few minutes and give “Sparky” Hughes the respect and reception he deserves for what he did for Utd as a player. He was one of the best they have ever had and a major part of the fabric of the club.
The Soccer Blogger