Saturday, December 20, 2008

Splits in the camp?

The Brazilian midfielder Elano is, in particular, considered lazy and a negative influence. Micah Richards, who has made little headway for the last season and a half, is considered a poor trainer, too interested in the time in the weights room which has contributed to his ballooning muscle bulk. Michael Johnson is at the club each day to do the rehabilitation work on his abdominal injury but is lacking the conviction to recuperate.

A rather explosive piece from Ian Herbert, and the first real glimpse behind the scenes during the Mark Hughes regime.

There are plenty of concerns within it, both from the perspective of the approach from certain players and also from Hughes himself. Perhaps one is as a result of the other though?

Not a huge surprise to see the names of Elano and Johnson linked with butting heads with Hughes, but what was particularly interesting to read was the mention of both Richards and Dunne in terms of their approach to training and 'match preparation' - something that could explain the pairs continuing loss of form this season.

Where there is a degree of sympathy I think for Hughes is that this season is very much a transition one, to an extent that we have not seen at the club before. Hughes is clearly trying to assemble his own side, and the signings of Kompany, Wright-Phillips and Zabaleta have proved succesful (I won't count the signing of Robinho as one of Hughes's).

Also, Hughes is trying to change the culture from the previous regime which he has been on record as saying was too easy-going, and given the performance over the second half of last season there is some validity to this.

What is apparant though is that Hughes clearly has a set way of operating and expects everyone to fall in line. If they don't, then they are moved on and this could lead to some surprise departures.

Whereas this approach has served well in the past for him, where he has got the best (and more) out of players he is now operating at a different level, with bigger name players (and the egos that accompany them) and maybe he does have to show a degree of flexibility.

It is easy though to solely attach blame to Hughes, with his hard line approach rubbing certain factions up the wrong way, but given the sense that the club could be on to something big over the next few years, why would a player jeopardize the opportunity to be part of that?

And if they are doing, do we need them at the club?

vote it up!


tommytheblue said...

surely managment is about managing, being able to deal with and accomodate, whilst remaining an authority figure.

I don't see it as good managment, breaking down any reminants of what was good last season. it's clearly having a negative effect on the team.
Elano was made a scapegoat in the early part of the season, he's a highly influencial player, you have to look at last season premier league stats, his assist rate was brilliant.

isolating players,not including them, hughes creates more problems for the rest of the squad. the morale as hit rock bottom, it appears to be much deeper than one or two trouble makers, hughes has managed to fragment a dressing room, small club mentality will do more harm than good, blackbuns foundations were built on bullying tactics, there's no evidence hughes has another level.

Anonymous said...

Firstly after the Ericsson era things had to change if City had designs on becoming a club. I myself had an almost daily access to the training ground, and some days i would wander around chatting to all and sundry. However to my mind the place was lax , way too laid back (which ideally suited Elano to name but one, when he first came) and to many the first impression was the place was a bit of sh*thole, so not suprised Sparky got to grips of things there.
Secondly personal differences are having a major influence on the side and splits are all to apparent eg. Micah when i first met him was a great chap to chat to always busy but you felt he was going places, but the last time i saw him he was just finishing a punishing work out at the training ground gym and when he ran out and past me i didnt really see micah at all just a muscle bound guy who looked like he didnt belong at a football club. His attitude is for all to see on the pitch, you cant knock him for 100% and anything less from his teammates does rile him, but that 100% has to be in combo with everyone else. My point is he has a thing with Mr Kompany who himself is Mr 100% and someone who has skipper written all over. So it all should go together and work against the opposition and it just ISNT. These are simple everyday things that the "management" team should be seeing and adressing behind closed doors not for me or anybody else to see. And yes Mr. Hughes is aloof (I chatted with SGE at the training ground and he never knew my name....MH maybe smiled once as I stood waiting to enter Fortress Carrington) but no less than 110% himself. So as things turn around and they will,honest, he really is the man to keep it going especially when were in the last 10 mins of the UEFA semi final.


Anonymous said...

The fact that he is trying to build a disciplinarian base just shows how out of his depth he is.

If we want to be atop team, filled with worldclass players, it's a different ball game than Wales or Blackburn.

Wrong manager to be at the club right now.