The Rambling view from the City perspective.
In praise (gulp) of Mark Hughes. Ok, ok, I know get off the floor, break out the smelling salts. But a funny thing happened in the Blackburn game.
However first, let me take you back a few days to a fascinating interview with Jose Mourinho on Sky. Our favourite Portuguese was talking about tactics and how during an Italian game in Serie A he changed his tactical formation four times and the opposing coach not only matched him but was anticipating his tactical moves. This to me is the under appreciated part of Mourinho's genius.
He is a quite brilliant man manager but even more so is his tactical awareness. Many the time Mourinho would make a substitution or change a formation based on the in game situation and see it work very quickly. Once Shevchenko was forced on Mourinho his tactical options became more restricted as did his style of play but the first year with Robben and Duff etc was a joy to behold.
This is why I laugh so much when you get Old Purple Nose being anointed as the best manager of all time. Name one, just one, game where an in game tactical decision was made that impacted the outcome of a game. You can't.
Which brings us back to the Blackburn game and the 87th minute. CIty score to make it a 2-1 deficit and Hughes sends Micah Richards up front. All the after game plaudits were for Sturridge and Robinho, and certainly both deserved praise, but it was Richards who was the causal effect that allowed City to grab the point. After Richards wins two balls in the air in the final attack the ball finds its way to Sturridge on the left.
Richards heads into the penalty area and you can see the Blackburn defenders making sure that he is covered - and by doing so the defender comes off of Robinho leaving him unmarked. Sturridge then shows wonderful vision to make the diagonal pass to Robinho who made a very difficult first touch and scoring shot look deceptively easy. Cue mass celebrations by the City fans, team and bench and a certain Manchester City Fan Correspondent to say "hang on, I need to look at that again."
I'll damn Mark Hughes when in my opinion he gets it all wrong, but conversely I'm more than willing to stand up and point out when something goes spectacularly right. And the Blackburn decision was certainly one of those.
If you have any thoughts you can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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