In the league, I predict that we will finish in 6th place. Our first opponents, Blackburn, will represent a tough test. Indeed, Allardyce and his men are already talking of a tough battle that lies ahead.
If Hughes had bought fresh talent from the likes of La Liga / Serie A / Bundesliga, then I could understand the threats currently being levelled at City’s newcomers. What we all know of course is that Hughes has done the exact opposite. The assertion that Blackburn will ‘kick lumps’ out of City does not completely stand up given than they will be facing a team of weathered Premiership professionals. Clearly the game is City’s to lose and the key question mark hangs over the team’s ability to understand and gel with each other under competitive Premiership conditions.
The biggest unknown
There’s been a lot said over Mark Hughes’ job prospects. There is no doubt that there is big pressure now on the Welshman and his team. Many – including an increasingly irate David Moyes for one – would probably like to see us fail. Hughes will know this, just as he will know that as a manager, these are the moments that you have to seize with both hands. No other club in the world has the resources that he has at his disposal. These are the kinds of chances that only come along once.
There are many unknowns ahead. Yes, this is now Hughes’ team, but in a sense we are starting again. It is a whole clean slate up front and, to a certain extent, in the engine room.
It could be perceived that in these first few games Hughes may, strangely enough, be at his most vulnerable than at any other point during his tenure at the club. I would tend to agree with this assessment.
Until the first ball is kicked in anger, there is nothing more to say except to wish Hughes and his squad the best of luck.
Here goes nothing.