I know, I know; most of you are scratching your head asking where this came from? I was certainly one of the first to call for the ouster of the City manager when he played Vassell as a starter. I have grumbled, loudly at times, about the tactics and base formations.
But yet another round of Rag supporting gutter press whispers has started again and regardless of previous comments it is time to back the manager.
If Hughes was going to be replaced that time was the first week of January. Given that it did not occur then we have to reasonably conclude that the new owners decided to give Hughes a chance to prove himself with City. And here's the crucial point, that isn't or shouldn't be through the end of the season. Hughes has had effectively only one transfer window, January, to start to shape his squad and at the very least should be given the summer transfer window and next January's transfer window to show his squad building prowess.
No, this doesn't mean I like everything Hughes does. That's not the point. Somewhere along the line City have to give a manger the long term backing to get it right. I suggest that this time is now. We've seen, at Chelsea, what happens with a managerial merry-go-round. I don't think anyone reasonably thinks Scolari is a bad manager yet their impatience has cost them his services.
Horrible draw in the UEFA Cup today. Hamburg first and if we get by them then it would be the winner of the Werder Bremen vs. Udinese tie, and as I've stated I feel Bremen are the best team in the competition and Udinese the weakest left. I would be very surprised if City now win the UEFA Cup and therefore grabbing the 7th place in the league has become even more important. City need European football to continue their growth. Perversely I suspect that the lack of European football would be beneficial to the club in trying to break into the top four, Villa this season have started to show the effects of too many fixtures and a lack of focus regardless of their capitulation in the last round of the competition. However to attract the next level of talent to allow the club to challenge for this, we need the draw of European play. Catch 22 I'm afraid.