Thursday, 19 March 2009

The right kind of rumour

Daniel Taylor, sports writer with The Guardian, is one of two things. He is either a woefully off-the-mark hack who should be brought to heel for his gossip generating ways. Or he is one hell of a reporter-mole who has got his ears so close to the ground at Eastlands that they are almost touching the blades of grass that surround Hughes' technical area. I for one hope he is in the mould of the latter.

In last Monday's edition of the left-leaning broadsheet, Taylor pens an intruiging article about the future of Robinho, City's top scoring, left-winging, Tenerife training camp-dodging Brazilian. The gist of the piece is that Hughes' patience with Robinho is wearing thin because of the playmaker's inability to put in a shift for his team away from home. Its a fair point and one that many City fans undoubtedly agree with. For anyone who watches the team week in, week out, its a problem that has gone on more or less season.

Taylor goes onto to suggest that City will consider the sale of Robinho if his performances do not improve, with two potential avenues being pursued: a) sell the player to Chelsea in a part-exchange deal that would see John Terry going the other way, or b) offering the player to Bayern Munich as part of a deal that would attempt to lure Franck Ribery to Eastlands.

Mr Chelsea?
In recent times, City fans have become accustomed to big transfer talk. And let's face it, this may be what Taylor's article is. Just talk. Well, call me an optimist, but I believe that in this instance there's no smoke without fire. The Terry rumours provide the most food for thought. On the face of it, the Chelsea defender has come out and said he is Chelsea through and though, and he's been backed by his manager Guus Hiddink. The conventional wisdom is that JT is Mr Chelsea, and will likely stay in West London for the rest of his career.

All the more stark then, when a newspaper such as The Guardian (who, I believe is not in the business of printing dross for the sake of competing with rival media outlets) runs with the unlikely story that Terry is in fact willing to listen to what City have to offer and has even gone as far as to send strategic messages to Hughes to this effect. Taylor's embedded reporting may well be worth keeping an eye on.

What Taylor's article does not say
Taylor does not even hint towards any doubt over the future of Hughes as manager of the club. Rather than all the talk centering around the Welshman's supposed inability to deal with his star players and thereby his own job security, instead the tone of the debate is focused on the performance of these players and their failure to take responsibility for their own roles on the pitch.

For me this represents an encouraging development, the right kind of rumour that will swirl around Eastlands. It is perhaps another hint (one can never be sure) about the nature of the club's owners. They appear to have thrown their weight fully behind Hughes, placing trust in his transfer judgements and avoiding the kind of knee-jerk reactions that have plagued City for decades.

Strengthening from the top
I hope this mindset continues. No player must be bigger than the club, and more importantly no player must be allowed to think that he is bigger than the manager. Robinho is City's top scorer this season and it is right to say that without his goals the club may well be facing a relegation battle. But if his ill discipline on (poor defensive performances) and off (Tenerife) the field continue, then he must be cut away from the squad at whatever cost. It is either this or risk Robinho's ill discipline seeping through the rest of the squad. The scenario of unfettered player power would threaten the tenure of any manager at any club.

To stave off this threat, a strong, united club hierarchy is needed and perhaps, after all these years of disppointment, we are finally getting it. Mark Hughes and the Abu Dhabi United Group (ADUG). A match made in heaven. Opposites attract and all that. But watch out. When you are a City fan, you don't hold your breath.


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  2. Anonymous26/3/09 12:35

    Word On The Street Is That Terry Will Definatley Be At The Blue Camp Next Season

  3. Anonymous17/4/09 05:55

    still can't get over lasy night. What is the Germans problem. They just always seem to be there. Most irksome & jolly uncivilised.

  4. Anonymous5/5/09 11:03

    went to the final leg of the Hamburger game at eastlands- really good atmosphere and we were sat about 5 rows away from the germans we also got given an inflatabe croc and we called it Elano (He scored first). as me and my best friend who we took are only 11 so it was a really good experience for the both of us.
    C'MON YOU BLUES!!!!! :):)

  5. Anonymous8/5/09 14:52

    hi mdw
    GO CITY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!