Tuesday, December 23, 2008


Stephen Ireland is the only individual to have responded to the Welshman's new, disciplinarian culture, with neither Richard Dunne nor Micah Richards worthy of a place in any Premier League starting line-up on current form. Darius Vassell is another inherited player who, according to some noises emerging from the club, is disenchanted.

A consistent theme across the press today, and in reality, is mainly a re-hash of The Independent piece that appeared on Saturday. Perhaps (and this is my guess only) the press corps have decided to return to the 'squad divided' angle with the lack of a big scoop in terms of a Hughes sacking - and his position does appear to be as safe as it could do at present.

Rightly or wrongly, Hughes is determined to change the make-up of the squad from that inherited from Eriksson and there are players who will fall by the wayside. I don't however subscribe to the view that the factions or splits are deep or widespread as reported. With Elano and Jo they clearly exist though, but exactly who else is in this faction?

Looking at the squad I don't see many candidates.

It is interesting that the piece linked above mentions Dunne, Vassell and Richards as players who are 'against' Hughes, yet I don't necessarily see that. All have been virtual ever presents under Hughes, with Dunne also retaining the captaincy handed to him by Eriksson whereas it is patently obvious as to who the players falling foul of Hughes are.

Perhaps Hamman, and as a senior player his voice may carry some weight within the dressing room yet you would say that he is fast becoming expendable as we move forward. But looking at the players who have featured most prominently this season is the problem really as bad as being portrayed?

The one thing that will quell the type of reports we have seen of late of course is wins, and the squad we do possess has enough quality within it, that, coupled with some strengthening (lets not forget that Hughes's signings have been succesful) can see the sort of consistency of performance achieved that could see a successful turn around to the season.

vote it up!


Anonymous said...

Hamman was captain in Spain last week.

Kartik said...

Dunne and Richards have both been on poor form recently though.

I still believe we have the quality to be a mid table side right now and Hughes is a proven manager: so proven that he almost qualified Wales for the Euro 2004.

Something else is wrong, and to me it must be the attitude of certain players. Elano & Jo for sure, but their must be many more for us to be in the current slump we are in.

The pieces in the press don't say a whole lot about the current dressing room situation.

Anonymous said...

The only thing thats come out about Hamann was when he and ball refused to warm up while sat on the subs bench during a game. If thats the case then I should imagine they are both on their way out.
Hughes know we need to get winners in the squad and fast. I'll probably be slated but Gallas could be a good shout. A strong defender thats had a bickering squad behind him and in some ways he was made a scapegoat. He's a leader, possibly not captain but he's definitely a winner.
If we are to have wholesale changes then I would keep
Hart - Gotta stick with him, yes he's going to make a mistake or two as he's young, but what top class keeper doesn't.
Richards - He's been off form but no where near as bad as Dunne or TBH
Garrido - Maybe not first choice if we get a good LB in but he's improved vastly under Hughes.
Johnson... on a tight rope though

and get rid of the rest. We've got some of the best flair players in the prem, we need the hard work in behind them.

Anonymous said...

Whatever the truth in these newspaper reports it is clear that whatever is going on has broken an already brittle confidence throughout the squad.

True leadership is never about a "my way or the highway" approach and to believe it is shows managerial naivety. This could have been masked if any aspect of the club, be it results, performances, or even inspired transfer targets were improved from the Erikson era.

As it stands MH has nothing to show the faithful but promises that things will improve and only the "heights" of former Wales and Blackburn performances as evidence that the managerial team is worthy of our support.

Troubling times indeed.

Anonymous said...

Well said Danny. I think it is imperative we see ourselves through this press storm and dip in form. We can't just sack the manager again. Once the players realise Hughes is there to stay they'll either play or go. No worries then we can get on with it.

Happy Christmas and hopefully a result against Hull tomorrow.