Many pundits and self proclaimed experts have questioned the decision of City’s wealthy Arab backers to support Mark Hughes in the job. It has been said that City need a cosmopolitan, foreign manager to mold together a talented side bought with the riches of the Abu Dhabi economy.
But the new City ownership group clearly has a plan, and knows what they are doing. In a period between City fighting constant relegation battles and trying to assert itself as a top shelf club in English football, Hughes mentality seems perfect for the side.
City is not only fighting battles on the pitch, but also off the pitch against a skeptical press and hostile opposition supporters. The clubs good fortune in terms of ownership has resulted in an anger from opposing support- not unlike what Chelsea supporters and players faced earlier this decade.
Mark Hughes has always been a manager whose qualities lie in his motivational tactics. His ability to rally less talented squads to play at a high level has been admirable and apparent for many years. This was the case with the Welsh National Team and with Blackburn.
Now, Hughes has a more talented side, but one viewed with skepticism bordering on disdain throughout much of England. But with this situation comes the need for a manager that understands English football, and the mentality of supporters, the press and his side. Mark Hughes is uniquely qualified to deal with this situation.
The City Manager’s reaction to the derby loss to the club he featured so prominently for as a player should erase any doubt about Hughes competence for this job. Rather than soft peddling the controversy under which the match ended, Hughes indicated his team had been “robbed” and that the real fault for the much talked about post match incident involving Craig Bellamy was with the United supporting pitch invader. Hughes also made it be known that a coin was thrown by United supporters at the city team (probably intended for United villain Carlos Tevez) heading into the halftime team talk.
The City Manager also defender Emmanuel Adebayor last week after the City striker faced a fury of angry fans and even angrier media. Arsene Wenger may have found fault with Hughes’ defense of his player, but Mark Hughes is a fighter, a scrapper, and a manager that sticks by those he goes to battle with.
Hughes may not be the most tactically adept manager nor the most capable to soothe large egos, but he is the right manager for Manchester City at this time.