Mark Hughes to leave Fulham today in order to take over at Aston Villa: It's suddenly all over Twitter. It was published by the Daily Mirror -- not a source we normally give credence to around these parts, but considering that the rumors are flying fast and furious, I figured we might as well talk about it.
Anyone who reads 7500 to Holte knows this wasn't the appointment that we'd been hoping for. We're slight Euro-snobs around here. We like the pretty game, the passing, the flow. Tactical experimentation. We're not a fan of conservative football -- at least, Aaron and I aren't -- such as what we saw under Martin O'Neill, and what often emerged under Gerard Houllier (defending a one goal lead) and even Gary McAllister.And now we get Sparky. Did anyone actually enjoy watching Fulham play this season? Yes, they managed to draw with us on both meetings this season, but mostly I remember a lot of goals from set-pieces. Nothing really inspiring. Now, Hughes says he wants to go to a club with more spending power than Fulham. Sorry, but didn't he coach at Manchester City prior to taking over at the Cottage? Who's got more spending power than that? What can he show us?
True, Hughes did make quite a few decent signings as manager of Citeh. He did, after all, sign Gareth Barry. In seriousness, though, he brought in Carlos Tevez. He also brought on a great number of players that would've been fantastic on many sides, but simply not on a Citeh team flush with cash -- I'm thinking here of Emmanuel Adebayor and even Roque Santa Cruz.
But for me, right now, it's not about the big name, splash of cash signings that can be made. It's about getting solid defenders and goalkeepers, and it's about having the tactical awareness to change shape and adapt to other teams. Forget cash -- this is style. And Hughes style? Is boring.
Really, this makes Carlo Ancelotti, tactical pigmy that he is, look positively drool-worthy.
***editor's note: please remember I am the person who tore Gerard Houllier to shreds when he was appointed. I tend to react emotionally before passing through all other stages of grief until I reach acceptance. HOWEVER--I also severely criticized the signings of both Stephen Ireland and Robert Pires. So time will tell.***