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Someone’s ready for Nov. 21

09 October 2010

With no matches on the docket this week, Fulham folks have had ample time to open up to the media, which has provided great entertainment and blog fodder. For that, we here at TGD are grateful.

In six weeks, Hughes gets another chance to wave to City's supporters.

First Danny Murphy pretty much ripped three Prem sides and their managers for being thugs. Now Mark Hughes has come out and leveled some fairly strong words at Manchester City, his former employer.

According to this report, Hughes told the Daily Mail that he was relieved to be away from the City job after the Abu Dhabi United takeover and that he more or less felt like he was trapdoored down the stretch of his time there.

“How was I treated? At times, I had support. At times, I needed support and I didn’t get it,” Hughes said. “And then there were times when support that was there was withdrawn … especially towards the end.”

Fairly modest stuff that, but then it gets a bit juicier, with Hughes intimating that he had to compromise his own beliefs to try to stay employed under the new Arab owners.

“I toed the party line more than I should. I compromised my own values more than I should,” Hughes said. “It won’t happen again but I’ll say this: it has made me a better manager.”

Finding his stride in the interview, Hughes then went on to sort-of, not-really, yeah-he-kinda-did take a shot at Roberto Mancini, his successor on the sidelines at Eastlands.

“Top clubs won’t appoint British managers because we don’t have trophies,” Hughes said. “I watch some of the teams in the Champions League, with managers who have won trophies, and I know I can set up a team to beat them.”

Now, later in the story, Hughes did couch that statement slightly by mentioning leagues like Switzerland, France and Holland, but that doesn’t really make a lot of sense. A manager at a “top club” would be expected to handle the Swiss or Dutch champs in a UCL match, and if the shot is directed at Mancini, it’s very misplaced. However you feel about the managing job he’s done at City so far, Mancini won the Coppa Italia as a manager at both Sampdoria and Lazio (with significant financial barriers) and then won three straight Serie A titles with Inter.

Over the past few years, Serie A has dropped below the level of the Premiership or La Liga, but it’s still an extremely credible top-flight league, and Mancini has a lot more on his managerial resume than Hughes, who did credibly as Wales’ manager and then more-than-credibly as Blackburn’s, which he led to two top-7 finishes. That said, it’s understandable Hughes has some lingering bitterness about being ousted just as the money was starting to rain at Eastlands. You think he’ll be ready to go when the Cottagers host City on Nov. 21?

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