Sunday, December 20, 2009

Lights out for Sparky as desert rats bite

Nobody likes working for a boss who has just fired them, but when you have to do it on camera...Mark Hughes' pain was manifest, which made for almost exploitative viewing. The soccer-schrizophrenic of tigerish player and placid coach was no more - Sparky was bitter and crestfallen, but tongue-tied for fear of losing his $5m compensation packet.

The first high-profile casualty of the football arrivistes in situ at Eastlands, Hughes must be wondering if Khaldoon Al-Mubarak, Sheikh Mansour bin-Zayed al-Nahyan and Gary Cook even knew their man had donned the shirts of Barcelona, Bayern and Manchester United. He was always walking on thin ice with that money behind him, but whatever the mutually agreed targets, he surely deserved more respect than news of his firing to be broken on Italian websites during the game.

Unlike the Arab playboys who sacked him, Hughes is a football man through and through and unhappy as his snowy swansong must have been for him, he left with dignity and sympathy, qualities which City's owners have lobbed into the trash. Blues fans will not revolt - they know this is their best chance of sitting at high table and throwing food at United in 40 years. They'll miss Hughes, but not as much as a chance of silverware.

I will be writing to request a finders' fee from Sparky's monied executioners after they hired Roberto Mancini to replace him. I cornered the Sampdoria legend at Vicarage Road back in 2006 when his Inter were held to a 1-1 draw by Watford (Jay DeMerit marking Adriano out of the game) in a pre-season friendly and asked him if he would like to coach in England. "Si", he answered quickly. Surely City can spare some change to help me stay warm this winter.

-Sean O'Conor, London

1 comment:

strago said...

I wonder if Mark Hughes would like to coach DC United...