It’s a funny old game Saint, as Jimmy Greaves used to say with regularity on ITV on the 1980’s. And, indeed it is.
Just a few weeks after guiding Manchester City to 9th spot in the Premier League and a place in Europe, all be it through the Fair Play League, Sven Goran Eriksson finds himself looking for a new sat nav system with Guadalajara in the data base while Mark Hughes is a few hours away from taking his place in the Eastlands hot seat.
It’s not too difficult to understand why Hughes is keen to make the switch from Blackburn. He’s served his time at Ewood Park and done a decent job with limited resources. He probably feels that he’s run his race at Rovers and needs a fresh challenge at what is perceived to be a bigger club, playing in Europe in front of 40,000+ crowds.
But there’s no doubt that the pressure is on.
In Thaksin Shinawatra, City have an owner who isn’t afraid of making unpleasant and unpopular decisions. His treatment of Eriksson is testament to that.
Hughes will be getting a pay rise and will be given funds to inject more quality in to the City team. But the former Welsh international must be more than aware that he needs to deliver, and quickly.
Anything less than 9th place, using Shinwatra’s logic, will be nothing short of abject failure and Hughes could quickly find himself on the outside looking in.
But then again, if he signs as expected a 3 year deal and gets the bullet before its run its course, he’ll walk away with a shed load of compo. In modern day football, failure pays and pays well.
You’re right Greavsey. As it was in your day, it’s a funny old game. However now it’s got a few more noughts on the end of it.