It’s little wonder that Mark Hughes is frustrated at the moment. Considering the amount of money that the club have spent since September, the least you might expect is that they would give Portsmouth a game at Fratton Park. It appears that the Welshman is at the end of his tether with City’s shambolic performances on the road, vowing that it can continue no longer.
The Guardian reports that Hughes plans to hold talks with Robinho and Elano regarding some of their recent poor displays, with the former coming in for particular scrutiny. On his day, the Brazilian forward can look unstoppable, although it’s clear that the application hasn’t always been there away from the comfort of Eastlands.
Mark Hughes, increasingly exasperated about his apparent inability to get through to his Brazilian players, is to instigate talks with Robinho to ascertain why his performances for Manchester City have deteriorated so markedly since the turn of the year. Uppermost in the manager’s mind is his suspicion that his most expensive player has lost focus after a difficult period in which he has been fined and his close friend Elano has frequently tested the manager’s patience.
Hughes chose his words carefully but his expression was one of weary resignation when he was asked how the two Brazil internationals could play so brilliantly for their national team against Italy, then so abjectly for City three days later as they lost 2-0 at Portsmouth on Saturday. “We’ve had a brief word already and now we are away there will be a chance to speak about it in depth,” he said.
Surely the problem for the Manchester City manager is that Elano was already at the club before the former Blackburn boss joined in the summer, while Robinho’s signing was very much brought about by the club’s new owners. In the case of the latter, Sparky feels obliged to play him in every match or risk incurring the wrath of his employers. Do you think that the Welshman will ever be able to stamp his authority on the manager’s position when signings are always going to be imposed upon him?