Monday, November 17, 2008

Back on board

I'm back on board after a couple of weeks away in the States without any exposure to football except for a quick catch up on our scores.

A definite mixed bag of results whilst I was away with an important UEFA win, but more problems in the league with the home defeat to Tottenham and yesterday's draw at Hull, which leaves us once again in the bottom half of the table.

Of most interest though with me catching up is (inevitably?) the off field news with plenty going on over the last fortnight, mainly with Mark Hughes having to deal with questions relating to his future and some dissent from both Elano and Jo.

Hughes has played down Elano's comments in the media in relation to his lack of playing time, but relieved him of a weeks wages whilst Jo is believed to have coughed up a similar figure for going out partying whilst supposedly being laid low with tonsilitis.

For his actions, Jo has been firmly ensconed on the bench with the return from injury of Vassell and Benjani, whilst Elano has joined his compatriot on the sidelines.

There have been stories suggesting that certain players are frustrated at Hughes's more combative and aggressive style - certainly so in comparison to Sven's laid back approach, and such reports resulted in the club being forced to issue a statement that whilst not a dreaded vote of confidence, was one that backed Hughes up and stated the board see him here for the long run.

I have heard myself of certain incidents this season which suggest Hughes 'laying the law down' on occasion, yet I don't see any sign of widepsread dissention or unrest in the camp, nor do I see the board's patience running out anytime soon but recent events will surely not have gone unnoticed.

If he didn't realise perhaps how big a step up he was taking when he joined the club from Blackburn - not to mention the challenge he faced, his first few months in charge will undoubtedly have opened his eyes to this fact - none more so than a pair of league fixtures at home to Arsenal and United with a big trip to Schalke in the UEFA Cup on the horizon.

vote it up!

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