Mark Hughes has seen the faith placed in him by City’s owners and some supporters rewarded with the signing of Gareth Barry. Barry has featured for England under Fabio Capello more regularly than any other midfield player.
Hughes is the right man to take City forward in a positive way. For all the clamoring from outsiders that City must bring in a cosmopolitan manager, Hughes has an ability to connect with players from the British Isles, the core of this City team better than anyone on the market.
In his role Hughes is learning how to better utilize Robinho and Elano two Brazilians that have made Dunga’s international side perhaps the most formidable on globe outside of Spain. Jo’s return to Manchester City will likely find the talented Brazilian striker more at home than he was in the first six months of Hughes tenure.
The City manager has learned to deal with talented foreign players and his managerial skills had clearly improved by the end of the 2008-09 season.
Additionally Hughes ability to sell top players with Premiership experience on City instead of a current big four club is critical.
Let’s look at the list of City signings from within the Premier League under Hughes:
- Shaun Wright Phillips
An England squad player whose level of comfort in City colors is unquestioned
- Wayne Bridge
England international whose relationship with Hughes dates back to Southampton in the late 90s. This signing solves City’s long term woes on the left side of defense and can push forward into the attack comfortably.
- Shay Given
One of the top 10 goalkeepers in the world and arguably the best Premiership goalkeeper over the past ten seasons. An indispensible player for the Republic of Ireland
- Craig Bellamy
Cultured Welsh international who previously had great success under Hughes with the Wales National Team.
- Gareth Barry
After years on the fringe has become a regular for England under Fabio Capello.
Hughes has not only signed useful premier league players but players who feature regularly for the national teams of the British Isles. In City’s recent history attracting quality players of this stature who were not on their last legs as professionals has been almost impossible. With these signings Hughes has proven he belongs. Now the question is whether or not he has staying power.