Mark Hughes has done a wonderful job at Manchester City. People will argue that if they had all that money then they could do as goon of a job but they would be very much mistaken.
Firstly, Hughes has gone an entirely different route to Erikkson when he had Thaksin Shinawatra’s money. Sven bought good players (Elano, Petrov, Giovanni (although he was useless at Man City), Jo (see Giovanni) but none had played in the Premiership before. The start was always going to be good but tough games came up and the players became unstuck. Hughes has purchased players that have all played in the Premier League and in some cases won the title. Only Robinio (not Hughes’ signing I suggest) doesn’t fit the bill.
City are playing well great going forward and a bit culpable at the back, but that will come with time. A victory against Arsenal is a launching pad for a title challenge. I will suggest, however, that there most important game of the season, next week at Utd, will define their season.
Win it and they’ll not come anywhere near winning the league. Lose it and they have a chance. Yes, that’s right. If they win then they will feel unbeatable – 5 wins out of 5 and two against teams people said they could not beat. However, this is the feeling that will derail their season when they go on the inevitable run of bad form. Individual players will start to feel like individuals and not part of a team. This will hamper any chance of success.
As Chelsea have proved this season it is important to fight to the final whistle and City players will take on individual chances in those final minutes if chasing the game rather than pass to a better placed teammate. An elaborate theory I know but it’s what did for Hull last year. They thought they were invincible and crumbled after a few tough games. If you feel you are better than your teammates then you will become selfish and City have the players to get to each other.
If City lose to Utd then it will be an expected defeat, albeit not a nice one but an expected one. The next game will then be one that they must win to get back on track, this will force the team to become a team more than a victory will.