Thursday, January 22, 2009

Backing for Hughes

'You might not like the way I do things, but I guarantee that I'll make you better players at the end of it.'
An interesting comment quoting one of Mark Hughes's first words to the squad taken from a piece on Stephen Ireland in todays MEN.

Very much a 'pro-Hughes' piece (as was this one quoting Robinho's backing) and also features quotes from Pablo Zabaleta, praising both the changes Hughes has brought to the club and the direction he is looking to take the club in.

It's a topic that Jack has posted at length on previously, namely Hughes overhaul from the Eriksson way of doing things. Much of the criticism Hughes has received has been for the changes he has made, but whilst this has of course caused dissention with certain elements of the side being alienated, even a cursory glance at our best players this season - Zabaleta, Kompany, Wright-Phillips, Ireland and Robinho are players Hughes has brought to the club, or in Ireland's case one who assumed a greater and more responsible role within the side - surely a positive?

Whilst results, and performances, have been disappointing so far this season, I still very much hold the belief that we are on the right path. Admittedly, a second half of the season is crucial to this progress, but given we have put together a recent unbeaten run in the league (albeit 3 games) coupled with the January additions we should be capable of turning round the negativity that has surrounded us for the most part this season.

vote it up!


MCFC-_- said...

Ur Right with a few additions we could finish top 6 this season but nxt season will be crucial to our world domination plans any1 agree???????

Anonymous said...

Trying to take into account the table, the teams, and the player movement - and trying to forecast that to some sort of likely realized potential (and admittedly difficult thing to do) - I think we have a solid shot at seventh and playing our way into Europe via the Intertoto.

If we look at the table, we are currently 11 points out of sixth position (Everton), but only 6 points out of seventh position (Wigan - who we just beat).

The teams above Everton are the usual suspects plus Aston Villa, who I think we can say are not a fluke fourth position team.

So, if we accept that Aston Villa and Arsenal will battle it out for fourth and fifth. I think we are now looking at Everton being a solid sixth. Given their ability to secure results now, absent any true strikers, I don't see them getting any weaker when their health improves.

That leaves seventh and Wigan. In between us and them are Fulham, Hull, and West Ham...

I think Fulham are starting to see their defensive form fade, and they simply don't have enough consistent offense to keep them in games if they allow goals.

West Ham are an inconsistent bunch (not unlike us to this point), and that fact alone will keep them mid table.

Hull are in free-fall, and I predict they will be in a relegation scrap soon enough.

There, of course, are many teams just below us that we can’t ignore, but given the tight grouping, I won’t get into all of them the way I did, above:

Portsmouth will truly miss Defoe. I think Newcastle’s injuries have honestly made them potential relegation fodder (if I didn’t think West Brom, Stoke, Middlesbrough, Blackburn, and yes… Hull… are worse). Sunderland will never have enough defense this season to climb the table. Tottenham are the wildcard depending upon how their January window continues to progress.

In other words, if we prove to have a strengthened side coming out of the transfer window... if we can become more consistent on the basis of those new players plus the reality the Hughes' teams have traditionally been stronger later in the season when other teams fade (and we have no FA Cup “worries”)... if we can address our defensive lapses to even a 50% level of improvement (given our offensive ability) through transfers and form...

I think seventh position at season's end is a strong possibility.

And on that note... it is COMPLETELY NECESSARY that we a) finish seventh and no worse, and b) get the appropriate "help" in the domestic cups to not take away UEFA positions. If we do not even have a SNIF of Europe to offer players come the summer transfer window, we are likely to find it to be a frustrating time.

(Does that leave me having to cheer for the Rags to beat Spurs!!!???)

Anonymous said...

I know, I know... no Intertoto... That's what I get for letting my Yankee colleague piggyback on my account. Won't happen again!

However, the analysis I gave to my colleague seems to have come through relatively unaltered. I would add, however, that Wigan seem to be wanting for goals as Zaki's form has dried up a bit.

And the need for seventh spot still stands and we still need the cups to go our way.

No, to go smack my colleague upside the head...

BluePeter said...

Posted on another site that we should bin all the Brazilians as they are just trouble. However, having seen the difference in Elano's performanace against Wigan I wonder whether Sparky has turned a corner with these pesky South Americans and is actually starting to get through to them! After all, in the MEN interview with Superman, he alludes to Elano's improvement since he has got fitter.

We're getting panned in the press Blues brothers and sisters, and the particularly loathsome SRT (Smug Rag T**t) in the office is lapping it up.

But I really believe that with Hughes and the current owners we could well turn the corner in the next three seasons; it just calls for a lot of patience and belief on our part.

Simon said...

BluePeter hit the nail on the head - Patience is what is required. This is a long term project (sounding like Mr. Cook now) and things will start getting better. We have some more steel in the middle now (De Jong) a left back who can defend AND attack, and a good centre forward. Yes, Bellamy has his critics and he's never been prolific, but compare him to who we have had up top recently... I'm not complaining. We need a good, positive, attacking performance against Newcastle to really show the doubters that we HAVE turned a corner. CTID