Jo was not, as far as one can tell, a Hughes signing. The player was targeted at the end of the Sven era and the signing dragged on until Hughes joined. Jo, Elano and Robinho are not the type of player Hughes targets. Hughes has a system and a style. It is based on a regimented hard graft approach that is typified by someone like Craig Bellamy. When these hard worker types have excellent skills, such as Bellamy and Carlos Tevez, then they excel.
It is my belief that Hughes would never have won the league, ever, regardless of the amount of money that was made available. I do believe that he could have crafted a side that qualified for the Champions League in time.
With greatness comes many times a certain level of flakiness or a desire to do things your own way. This is true in all professions. Brazilians footballers as a whole, and I'm aware this is a broad generalization, have always struck me as firmly in the camp of "mad" geniuses marching to beat of their own drummer. When they are all on the same page, which we see at most World Cups, the result is devastating football however there have also been years where Brazil have struggled as a team of individuals.
I can't think of players more the antithesis of the Hughes style.
There is one school of thought which says you treat players the same. There is another which acknowledges that players are radically different and rules change depending on the players(s) involved. The former style can lead to solid unspectacular teams who occasionally can win championships. The latter is the ultimate sink or swim with the potential to achieve heights unimagined by the first group but also with an equal opportunity to crash and burn in an epic fashion.
And in retrospect that was one of the major problems for Hughes. He had three Brazilians on his team that expect to be catered to and indulged while is entire philosophy was and is around building a team. I'm not saying one is better than the other just that the two can't exist together.
Now with Jo there was an even more fundamental problem. The former CSKA Moscow striker was never used in the way he was for his Russian club.
If we hit the rewind button to the Sven era the team was built around Elano as an attacking midfielder and Martin Petrov leading the charge down the left wing. Rolando Bianchi would usually make a run into the six yard box toward the far post while Elano, Stephen Ireland and Michael Johnson would crash the box at the last minute giving City four players in the box and, unless the oppositions midfield had tracked back, a numerical superiority at the point of attack.
Such tactics require the lead attacker, in this case Bianchi, to aggressively go to the goal taking the attention of the defenders and goalkeeper. Bianchi scored goals but he also helped create opportunities for Johnson and Ireland in particular coming into space in the box. So everything is focused through Petrov on the left and then driving the ball across the box to the right.
Enter Jo, a player who much prefers to make angled runs from right to left behind defenders looking for a through ball. The absolute worst style to play with Petrov in that Jo would be running towards the Bulgarian and not surprisingly Jo "failed" with City. Nor was the player used, in a manner that suits his skills, at Everton.
And now this "flop" goes to Galatasary where he will play with Elano, a player City desperately miss, and who just happens to excel at making accurate passes to players running into position. It would not surprised me for Jo to return to his Moscow days where he averaged a goal every two games.
Maybe I'm wrong. It has always been my belief that players have certain styles of play and the challenge is not to find the "best" players but players with complimentary styles of play that allow you to build a superior team. To use a cliche, a team that is greater than the sum of the parts. It is my contention that this is where Liverpool failed in the off season not understanding that Alonso meshed with the Brigadier and Torres allowing the latter two players to play at their full potential.
We shall see...