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Manchester City
January 2, 2011
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 01/02/2011

Ian Holloway... My goodness, such a breath of fresh air and such an incredibly positive attitude to attempting to survive in the Premier League. Blackpool have got no business, absolutely none, in staying in the Premier League and yet every week it is attack or go home with nothing.

August 13, 2010
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 08/13/2010

I like Roberto Mancini. I'm sure this will be a great relief to the City manager and he can now get a good night's sleep before the start of the season. But seriously, all I want in a manager is the perception that he can take the club to the next level. For City that is silverware and the Champions League and I believe Mancini will, given time, get City to both. Let us for the moment return to the final pre season game against Valencia which City won 2-0.

June 15, 2010
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 06/15/2010

Great coaches and managers are those that get the best out of their players. Mourinho inspires. His tactical acumen is second to none, but it is that specific talent to get his players to excel that singles out the new Real Madrid manager as the best in the world. I was reminded of this watching tonight's Brazil vs. North Korea World Cup match. If ever there was one sentence that stands as a complete indictment of everything that was wrong with Mark Hughes it is "Robinho to Elano... 2-0."

February 9, 2010
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 02/09/2010

I've been grumpy the past few days. Really grumpy. I was so disappointing in the January transfer window and the lack of movement by City. I know that I have repeatedly counseled that January is not a time for major players to move and therefore expectations were low. However in a World Cup year there are enough players that are on the fringes of a first team at the major European clubs that City could have and should have made a move.

January 12, 2010
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 01/12/2010

I liked Joe Royle as a manager even though I thought he was, and is, a limited boss who is capable of getting a team out of the Championship but finds the Premier League a step too far. Keegan I adored. No defense, all attack, lets win the game 5-4 if necessary. Great entertainment and the mind boggles, just boggles, at what he could do with our owners money. Stuart Pearce was probably a bit over his head although honestly was in a no win situation and that he got the club close to Europe was a fairly commendable achievement. I mention all this because I'm aware I've not been a fan of the club's most recent managers.

January 3, 2010
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 01/03/2010

A job well done. In terrible weather, a minuscule crowd and with one of the strangest line ups you are ever likely to see from City, Roberto Mancini's side maintained its unbeaten start under his stewardship and still has yet to allow a goal. That being said, if you've read the reports and the player ratings I have to wonder if they watched the same game I did.

December 22, 2009
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 12/22/2009

Oh dear. Just when you thought it couldn't get any worse City senior management showed an incredible lack of judgment and produced Garry Cook at yesterday's press unveiling of Roberto Mancini. Don't these people get basic media training?

December 20, 2009
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 12/20/2009

The right move at the wrong time and in the wrong way. In a quite farcical manner Mark Hughes has been replaced by Roberto Mancini as the manager of Manchester City. Pretty incredible that the board and senior executives with their actions and missteps have managed to turn Hughes into a sympathetic figure.

December 19, 2009
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 12/19/2009

Fair to say that the media smells blood when it comes to Mark Hughes and just about every outlet is running some kind of story about how Hughes is about to lose his job. I don't get it. December 5th Hughes was overseeing a great revolution; Eleven days later the guys a bum that couldn't manage his way out of a wet paper bag! Weird, to put it mildly.

November 28, 2009
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 11/28/2009

Dear Chairman
Hello there, haven't had the pleasure of meeting you yet.

Just wanted to say what a fabulous job Mark Hughes is doing. Sixth you said and by golly Hughes has got the team playing at that level. Yes, yes, of course we could quibble about a result or two or three... well technically seven, but the point is the team is not losing and is only one of a handful of clubs in the entire five tiers of English Football that have only lost one game so far this season in the league.

November 10, 2009
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 11/10/2009

I've received a couple of polite enquires from long time readers about recent results and my thoughts. My infrequent posting is not a lack of opinion, far from it, but just an overwhelming sense of frustration. I'd much rather post positive thoughts about the team winning and players playing well than harp on the negative issues which have seemed so obvious to me for so long.

October 19, 2009
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 10/19/2009

I look at the table and I shouldn't complain. I look at the result against a team that beat Chelsea last time out and I shouldn't complain. I look at a gritty rear guard action by 10 men and I shouldn't complain and I look at Petrov getting a run in the side and I shouldn't complain.

And yet.

August 3, 2009
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 08/03/2009

My frustration with Mark Hughes is fairly obvious. Playing Darius Vassell and not playing Elano are just a couple of reasons. Today however maybe the worm turned ever so slightly as I was treated to Hughes magnificently savaging Ferguson, Wenger, Benitez, Moyes and others in the Daily Express. Essentially Hughes said that it's in their nature to court publicity, complain and attempt to play mind games as managers because they didn't make the grade as players.


June 14, 2009
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 06/14/2009

I make a habit of blasting the print press, mainly because they're silly and their coverage would have old time journalists turning in their graves. Occasionally however you get a good little interview. Such is the case with Derick Allsop in the Independent this Sunday as he talks to Mark Hughes.

May 4, 2009
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 05/04/2009

You have to feel for Mark Hughes. Here City are on a three game winning streak and everything should be focused on the last few games of the season.

Instead the issue of Elano is once more to the fore.

April 16, 2009
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 04/16/2009

The Cup is half full: City beat one of the better sides in Europe and were dominant.
The Cup is half empty: City's best chance at silverware in years is gone.

The Cup is half full: Robinho and Elano both started and played well.
The Cup is half empty: Richard Dunne got sent off, again.

April 12, 2009
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 04/12/2009

For today's game against Fulham

Man City: Given, Richards, Onuoha, Dunne, Garrido, Etuhu, Zabaleta, Ireland, De Jong, Petrov, Bojinov. Subs: Hart, Robinho, Elano, Fernandes, Evans, Sturridge, McGivern.

Pretty ballsy lineup from Hughes, Robinho and Elano who both start for Brazil let us not forget, are on the bench while Etuhu plays.

March 30, 2009
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 03/30/2009

I had to smile this morning. No manager in the world wants his players playing international football with the chance of injury but there was Mark Hughes talking up Zabaleta for Argentina. Nice example of man management in supporting the player while knowing that he is not going to lose him for this round of international call ups.

March 20, 2009
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 03/20/2009

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.

February 1, 2009
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 02/01/2009

The Rambling view from the City Perspective

An unfortunate loss against Stoke after a positive result mid week against Newcastle. Same team each time, with a very interesting Zabaleta/De Jong midfield anchor partnership and the team playing a 4-2-3-1. Good. Yes I know we lost against ten man Stoke, however this was Hughes maximizing the resources he has available to him given injuries and suspensions.

January 6, 2009
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 01/06/2009

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.

December 10, 2008
Posted by Wallace Poulter on 12/10/2008

The Rambling view from the City perspective

December 10th 2008, the day Mark Hughes lost his job. Oh he'll stick around for a few more games, possibly even a few more months but the day you start attacking the fans it's over. Case in point the managers defence of Darius Vassell where "some people" - that would be those of us who pay your wages Mr. Hughes - don't appreciate what he is doing for the team.

Well yes I agree; we fail to appreciate a player who couldn't complete a pass if his life depended on it, fail to appreciate a player when one on one with a goalkeeper you would bet your mortgage on the keeper and fail to appreciate why a player with fine in the box instincts is played out of position.

So lets put this in simple numbers that Mr. Hughes can understand. Since the start of last season City have played 54 league games. In games that Darius Vassell has started, City have won just 6. No that's not a misprint, 6. Overall Vassell has started in 26 league games. City have won 6, drawn 10 and lost 10. Compare this with games where Vassell has not started where City have won 14, drawn 3 and lost 11. Quite simply put Vassell turns victories into draws.

Wallace Poulter Wallace Poulter is an award winning video game producer, designer, industry consultant and writer. He has been a football fanatic since the day he moved in next door to Brian Clough. "Cloughie" being the acknowledged genius that he was promptly moved out and went to manage Derby. A serviceable senior school left-back in his youth, Poulter played one season of Sunday league football as a striker proving conclusively that he was a serviceable senior school left-back! Today Poulter remains involved with football as a licensed referee and most recently as a consultant on a Football MMO.

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