Hughes and City was always going to end in tears

It is hard enough for those managers chosen by billionaire owners – think Jose Mourinho and Luis Felipe Scolari – so the job faced by those already in place when Mr. Moneybags arrives is all but impossible.

Mark Hughes was clearly poorly treated by Sheikh Mansour, but the sack cannot have come as too much of a shock, as I predicted in my article, Would you want a Manchester City style owner? - Published on Friday, 17th July 2009. He might publicly say that he was tasked with securing a top six finish, but he must have privately known that boardroom expectations were far greater.

Some will say that you need time to build a team, regardless of whether £207 million is spent on it, and it is surely true that City would have gradually improved. However, Hughes did have 18 months in charge and while this is not an age in management terms, there are those that state it is time enough to achieve a decent improvement in results. I personally think a manager should be given at least 3 seasons, but then, what do I know?

Some also say that two wins in 11 Premier League matches is not good enough, although Hughes will point to the fact his team has lost just twice all season. Perhaps this is proof that statistics can be used to advance any side of an argument.

I've spoken to a few City fans today and to be fair, the decision to sack Hughes looks to be split down the middle. The Anti-Hughes movement claim that the club's owners looked at football matters and "there were valid reasons for relieving the Welshman of his duties", said Mark, a London-based City fan.

"Hughes has made a succession of poor decisions, ranging from the sale of Richard Dunne to the purchase of too many strikers, including troublemakers like Robinho and Emmanuel Adebayor". Isn't it known that Hughes never signed Robinho?

"The biggest coaching mistake he made was not sorting out the defence - City have conceded three goals in four of their last seven league matches – and this was most apparent against your lot (Tottenham). Aaron Lennon was terrorising Sylvinho but Hughes was alone in thinking that Robinho could provide necessary defensive assistance."

According to Mancini's press-conference, the final nail in Hughes' coffin was delivered by Spurs and we might yet heap more pressure onto another manager, Rafa Benitez, on 10th January. I know that I have backed and stuck up for the Spaniard, but I watched the Red's against Portsmouth on Saturday. They had most of their squad back for the game, yet, their passion had left them. I hate to say this, but it looks as though Rafa may have lost the dressing room. Being a Spurs fan, I speak from experience, as we have seen many a manager lose the confidence of his players and this looked awfully similar.

A rare Spurs win at Anfield might prompt another set of owners to pull the trigger on a manager they inherited from previous bosses. More to the point, victory would provide another boost for Spurs' Champions League qualification chances.

In other sports news, pundits have already begun casting their eyes over the odds for next year's Cheltenham Gold Cup and it could be worth keeping track of the situation.

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