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[Archived] Hughes Opinion Thread


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Thought we should have a dedicated thread to gauge opinion on the manager.

I'm starting to think now that the Hughes era might be coming to an end.

There are 2 ways to look at it. Either:

a) He is doing a fantastic job to keep us in the division, never mind the top 8, with a poor group of players.

or B.) He has a decent group of players (which admitedly he has had a big part in assembling) and the football his team produce is negative and uninspiring to say the least.

It depends how you personally rate the squad I suppose. I happen to think we are where we should be with this group. The keeper is worth 4 or 5 league places on his own.

I will always stick up for the guy because his transfer dealings have been excellent, but man has it been grim at Ewood this season. I think needlessly so.

The posters who are unable to get to games may think that season has been another triumph, but I think all season ticket holders and regulars will agree that while our league position is very creditable, a trip to Ewood has been a torturous time for all but a couple of games this season.

I would be very intersted to know the views of others. Changing manager is always a traumatic and dangerous time and it's usually better to stick with the devil you know.

Maybe Sparky is disillusioned with the lack of financial backing and is ready to take on a new challenge, I don't know.

But I do know one thing, the team needs freshening up, some new ideas, maybe a new number 2 ???

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i understand its your opinion-but it sounds like a knee jerk reaction to a disappointing draw-yes we maybe should of won-yes fulham are a team we should be winning-but you cant win every game..

maybe the expectations from me and you are different..

i know being 7th in the league-up their with teams like everton and aston villa who have spent far more money is pretty good for us..

whereas you probably think we should be challenging top 4...

its about being realistic..

and for me-even making a thread questioning mark hughes is pretty silly..hes done a brilliant job, with hardly any money...

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Plastic Head, you do realise you're gonna get a major bollarding. There's already a thread discussing the merits, or otherwise, of Hughes.

It won't be worse than i'm used to off the missus.

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i understand its your opinion-but it sounds like a knee jerk reaction to a disappointing draw-yes we maybe should of won-yes fulham are a team we should be winning-but you cant win every game..

maybe the expectations from me and you are different..

i know being 7th in the league-up their with teams like everton and aston villa who have spent far more money is pretty good for us..

whereas you probably think we should be challenging top 4...

its about being realistic..

and for me-even making a thread questioning mark hughes is pretty silly..hes done a brilliant job, with hardly any money...

I certainly don't think we should be top 4.

Just watching Rovers v Liverpool in 95on ESPN. The pace of that game is incredible compared to the Prem these days. I know a few, Alan Green on R5L and a couple of others have bemoaned the entertainment level this season and I agree, it's not just Rovers who have been dire.

I just can't see why where so cautious playing Fulham at home when when have more than enough points for safety.

This is not the first game where the entertainment level has been poor.

Everton, Middlesbrough, Coventry, Sunderland, WHU, Villa all dire stuff.

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I think its coming to a critical time in Mark Hughes managerial career i.e come this summer.

Players win games and Mark Hughes definitely needs a few more quality players, we can see it as fans but then we are told a lack of cash is holding things back or is that just a cheap excuse, who knows.

Hes been here three and a half years now but the youth system is far too weak to supply a premiership outfit but as Nicko points out changes are being made as time now seems to be of the essence.

Talk of bringing in two crocks in Fortune and Vogel doesnt along with the possibility of giving Tugay and Macarthy another contract to go with our other elder statesman inspire confidence. These players wont give Mark Hughes many opportunities to win football games in the future but then we'll just have to wait and see and hope for the best but it is right to raise the issue.

Challenging times ahead make no mistake.

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I'd lean more towards A). Yes, we should be playing better football, but we're still very well off for our resources.

He's a good manager, but I feel he needs to get a bit angrier at some players. Some performances suggest the players have little fear of playing like crap, and that's not a good sign.

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What a load of old tosh.

Of course he is doing a fantastic job at Ewood.

There are constraints with any job but Mark Hughes and his backroom staff are working miracles with the tools they have.

Of course the squad needs freshening up, players need to move on and players need to come in. Thats what happens at a football club.

Mark Hughes has the valuable backing of a good board and works well with limited resources. Thats how his reputation will be enhanced.

Now then, ask yourself this PH. Who could do a better job than M Hughes and co ?

I bet he has his plans well and firmly in place for close season. He will know who is going, who is staying and who is coming in and he will know that no matter what anyone thinks, he has money to spend.

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Right, I'm fully prepared for a lot of angry response to this, but here is my opinion of Hughes so far:

His dealings in the transfer market have been nothing short of fantastic. He's yet to sign a real stinker, although the likes of Berner and Mokoena haven't set the world on fire (Berner possibly simply because he hasn't had a chance), they still weren't huge wastes of money and you can't be really critical of them as they make the squad stronger.

Personally, I do have a huge problem with the fact that he hasn't addressed our short-comings in central midfield. For the last two years or so I have gone into every transfer window feeling like that should basically be our priority and, with the exception of the risk he took when signing Dunn, he hasn't really looked to seriously improve that area of the team since he signed Savage. Now I know that he doesn't have a lot of money to play with and that must make life difficult, but we have spent money in the past two seasons and I personally felt that if more wasn't available, some of that should have been used there. Santa Cruz has done very well, but I think the team may have been stronger had 3.5 million been spent on a central midfielder rather than a forward (where we did need to improve, but our options of Benni, Roberts, Derbyshire, Maceo and even Gallagher could have got us through the season).

If I were going to give him a grade on his transfer work, it would probably be an A-.

This brings me onto the actual performances on the field and how the team is playing and here I'm not such a big fan. Personally I find us to be very boring to watch and we don't combine that with the sort of effort and effectiveness that we saw early in the Hughes period, so really we've just more mediocre and boring. Not a great combination for me. At the beginning of the season we were playing some great football and I'm not really sure why that has gone out the window. I know some players have gone out of form and some players have been injured, but the entire mentality seems to have changed and I can't fully understand that.

We continue to be useless from attacking set-pieces and even worse when it comes to defending them. It's been like that for a while now and surely he and his coaching staff should have done something about it by now. Over the course of the season our inability to defend them will probably have cost us at least 10 points, whereas you look at someone like Villa (who will end up being around us) where there ability to score from them will probably bring in at least 10 points. For something that we should really be good at, there is really no excuse for why he hasn't been able to sort them out.

On top of that, given that we now have quite a good squad, I don't feel like the level of performance matches the quality of the players we have on the pitch. That obviously isn't entirely his fault, but managers tend to be held accountable for such things. Now I know the response to this will be that we are currently in 7th and will probably finish 7-9, which is a good season, but there are problems there that worry me greatly.

The fact that we were also knocked out of 3 cup competitions by weaker sides is a concern. Going out of the FA Cup at the stage we did may well have cost us our best ever chance of winning it. Going out of the UEFA cup undermines some of the advancements we've made in the past couple of seasons. Going out of the league cup to Arsenal doesn't appear to be that bad, but when you consider how poor we made that team look in the second half and how bad they looked against Spurs, that really wasn't a game we should be losing. Now upsets happen, but to go out to a lesser side in every competition is pushing it.

Hughes is building a good team and he could end up being a great manager, but he isn't there yet. His only real achievement so far is the season we finished 6th. Fantastic as that was, we need to continue to build on that and at the moment we are close, but not there. I just feel like sometimes Rovers fans seem to think we have a God in charge, we don't. Maybe he'll take us forward, or maybe he'll just end up leaving us mid-table. Some will say that mid-table for a club of our size and financial capabilities is a great achievement, they may be right, but given our current squad I'm not buying it.

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In my supporting Rovers time (ie after turning six), I believe we have gone to six semi-finals, three of those with Mark Hughes as the Manager.

I think that is some sort of "real" achievement.

If you are using semi final appearences as a measure of achievement;

Mark Hughes has lost 3 semi finals with us, Graeme Souness won 1 out of 2 semi finals with us.

Whilst I would completely agree that Souness achieved a lot as our manager, I don't believe that he would have continued to take us forwards had he remained in charge. I think that is really the point of this thread.

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Having McCarthy in the team is like playing with 10 men. I don't understand why MH continues to appease and pander to a player who throws it back in his face every time he takes to the field. This obsession is apparently now to be rewarded with an extended conract - £2m a season down the drain for at least 3 more years. Even more extraordinary when both of the two replacements invaribly have far greater impact (and would be it be possible to have less) almost every time they play. I also suspect that MH is losing his impact as he seems unable to raise the players other than sometimes at halftime. I'm not suggesting that losing MH would be anything other thana disaater but that's where we are now.

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Who the hell else would we get...Oh I know lets resign Hodgeson from Fulham when he gets the sack... :angry2:

Yes that is the only alternative after all.

I agree with most of what Eddie says, however, I personally believe the personnel at Hughes disposal is very ordinary apart from Bentley, Santa Cruz, and when he can be arsed, McCarthy (I've left our Friedel for obvious reasons). Considering this I think he is doing a good job, no more however, and the ''miracle worker'' comments are way overboard.

I would like to see him build and progress like Moyes has, however, my biggest problem is I don't feel MH feels as priveliged as Moyes does to be at the club he is at. There is, IMO opinion, the biggest problem with Hughes, I don't personally feel he has the drive to really push us on. The football is generally poor, however it gets adequate results. It would take a biggish over haul of the style to push us on, but I don't think he plans on hanging around long enough (2-3 years) to see that through.

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If you are using semi final appearences as a measure of achievement;

Mark Hughes has lost 3 semi finals with us, Graeme Souness won 1 out of 2 semi finals with us.

You can't use that as any sort of yardstick, as welcome as it was, Souness's success was against Sheffield Wednesday. He lost the League Cup semi against ManUre.

Hughes has always had to contend with one of the "big four".

Any criticism of Hughes is completely redundant in the present financial climate imo. Criticism should be reserved for the guardians of a Trust Fund specifically set up for the benefit of all Jack Walker's businesses, including Blackburn Rovers, who now seem to have decided the Fund should be for the benefit of all Jack's businesses apart from Blackburn Rovers.

Hughes now not only has the problem of how to motivate a group of multimillionaires, he has to motivate a group of multimillionaires who know they can not easily be replaced, if at all, since the financial support was withdrawn.

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I would like to see him build and progress like Moyes has, however, my biggest problem is I don't feel MH feels as priveliged as Moyes does to be at the club he is at. There is, IMO opinion, the biggest problem with Hughes, I don't personally feel he has the drive to really push us on.

Moyes knows that if he wants to occasionally push the boat out on a big money signing for the player he wants, i.e. Johnson, Yakubu the Everton Board will back him in that respect. Hughes certainly does not enjoy that privilege and seemingly can't even get financial support at a far more modest level.

Which if you were playing devil's advocate might be considered somewhat surprising given MH's excellent overall record in the transfer market thus far.

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You can't use that as any sort of yardstick, as welcome as it was, Souness's success was against Sheffield Wednesday. He lost the League Cup semi against ManUre.

Hughes has always had to contend with one of the "big four".

If you read the rest of my post, I wasn't, I was commenting on phillipl's use of that yardstick. <_<

Personally I'm getting frustrated with things. This season has been a series of missed opportunities. The league has been poor all over, and top 6 (if not 4) was there for the taking, all of or cup exits have been due to poor performances against teams we should have beaten.

Pedersen has been one of our most effective players for the last few years, and last year McCarthy was brilliant. This year they have both been awful and would be nowhere near the first teams of our rivals, but both are apparantley about to be rewarded with new contracts.

I'm not going to blame MH for the lack of talent coming through, because there is a timelag on that and any coming through in the last couple of years would have been more to do with GS. If stays for another couple of years and this still doesn't improve, than I think we can sart to blame his team.

And that last sentance leads onto to one of the most frustrating parts - I expect MH to be off as soon as a decent offer comes in from a higher profile club. He jumped off his own pedestal with that interview over the Newcastle job.

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Speaking of which, how long until a reasonable group of supporters begin to turn on the board? I understand that many would be reluctant on the basis that it is still seen as being Jack Walker, but with all the money that they have and following on from how he run the club you think that they could put some more money into the running of things.

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Speaking of which, how long until a reasonable group of supporters begin to turn on the board? I understand that many would be reluctant on the basis that it is still seen as being Jack Walker, but with all the money that they have and following on from how he run the club you think that they could put some more money into the running of things.

Why don't you puts some in then eddie? Bloody hell you dont even go to Ewood.

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And that last sentance leads onto to one of the most frustrating parts - I expect MH to be off as soon as a decent offer comes in from a higher profile club. He jumped off his own pedestal with that interview over the Newcastle job.

No bloody wonder if he reads this all the bile spewed on here from so many spoilt children and ignoramuses.

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If you read the rest of my post, I wasn't, I was commenting on phillipl's use of that yardstick. <_<

Personally I'm getting frustrated with things. This season has been a series of missed opportunities. The league has been poor all over, and top 6 (if not 4) was there for the taking, all of or cup exits have been due to poor performances against teams we should have beaten.

With the resources we have a relegation place is there for the taking too! Why do some of you have such a problem seeing that, I mean look at our starting eleven and look at Everton's and you still have to say man for man theirs is quite easily better. Of course they've had much more money thrown at it but that's why theyre a few points above us but really Hughes has done brilliantly to keep us challenging alongside clubs like this.

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Whilst I agree we have struggled over the last few months, particulary at home, we are still getting results. Now you could say this view is short sighted, and perhaps it is as we surely can't continue to play poorly and maintain are excellent league position.

Any assessment of Hughes's reign must be viewed in context of the current premier league climate. Never before in the top division's history have so many clubs, managed by managers with big reputations, battled it out for so little, given the top fours dominance.

Without wanting to over emphasize the small fish in a big pond angle, it is a real achievement for Rovers to be mixing it with clubs who have dwarfed our investment under Hughes in 3 1/2 years in one summer.

This season's FA cup aside, silverware is a particulary hard thing to attain, in my opinion, Rovers, under Hughes, have been one of the most likeliest clubs outside the top four to win a cup competition.

As had been noted on numerous occasions, and a point I'm sure all Rovers fans are in agreement on, is Hughes record in the transfer market, a lost art in football today, where owners blank cheque-books allow managers to enter the transfer market without the pressure that every signing must count, Hughes doesn't have such a luxury, compare the difference in damage that would be caused if it was Rovers and not Portsmouth who spashed out on David Nugent, Darren Bent anyone?

If you place Hughes achievements in this perspective rather than in isolation, I can only come to one conclusion. Mark Hughes has been superb for Blackburn Rovers.

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Eddie - you should not really be pointing the finger at Hughes in relation to not bringing in a central midfielder (s). I am sure he would love to bring in players when he feels he needs to, but the sad reality is he can't.

It is too easy for us to say: "he should have addressed central midfield etc". The fact is, that Hughes is working in very tight financial resources. That is not just the money he has to spend, but also the wage bill. So, he probably can't take as many risks in the transfer market.

In fact, our financial situation has probably helped Hughes to be so successful in the transfer market, to a degree. He has to be certain in his mind before bringing anyone into the club.

For what its worth, I think Hughes has made mistakes this season with regards to tactics, and possibly not knowing his best eleven at times.

However, overall he has been great for us so far, and we will only realise how good he is, when he is gone........

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If you read the rest of my post, I wasn't, I was commenting on phillipl's use of that yardstick. <_<

Personally I'm getting frustrated with things. This season has been a series of missed opportunities. The league has been poor all over, and top 6 (if not 4) was there for the taking, all of or cup exits have been due to poor performances against teams we should have beaten.

Pedersen has been one of our most effective players for the last few years, and last year McCarthy was brilliant. This year they have both been awful and would be nowhere near the first teams of our rivals, but both are apparantley about to be rewarded with new contracts.

I'm not going to blame MH for the lack of talent coming through, because there is a timelag on that and any coming through in the last couple of years would have been more to do with GS. If stays for another couple of years and this still doesn't improve, than I think we can sart to blame his team.

And that last sentance leads onto to one of the most frustrating parts - I expect MH to be off as soon as a decent offer comes in from a higher profile club. He jumped off his own pedestal with that interview over the Newcastle job.

Got to agree with you on this Biggus Laddus. I was a season ticket holder between 1985 - 1997. Since then I've just gone as and when due to family committments. I now don't think I'll watch Rovers again this season

I feel we are now one of the most uninspiring and predictable teams in the Premiership. Our only decent crosser of a ball (Bentley) is often played out of position (as he's virtually our only creative player). We have decent height in the team with the likes of Samba, Oojer, Pederesen, Roque, yet our goals record from set pieces is abysmal - nor can we defend them. Accross the middle we have no pace and only Dunn will run at players and he's not the player he was 5 years ago. Up front we have an abundance of talent for a club of our size but the service to them, week in, week out is shocking. If Roque was missing 3-4 chances a game fair enough, but the lad seems to get 1 sniff a game if he's lucky.

People rate us as a passing side - we can pass side ways and back all day. But after 5 mins of doing this we then just fire a high ball up front as no one has the creativity/pace/ability to break down teams that sit back.

All managers have faults and I really like Hughes, but the standard of football we played when Bellamy was here was much higher than at present.

As many have stated, Rovers are safe with 10 games left. The players should be going all out for a win - or play expansive football. Not sit back and f***y around with it.

Ultimately, we currently have a squad that won't get relegated. If we finish 6-9th its a great achievement for the club. Will the current squad achieve top 6 next year? - no chance. Will the club attract new fans or retain those gained from the price cuts this year? - based on the football at Ewood very unlikely.

Rovers are now damned if they do, damned if they don't. If they carry on with this approach on the pitch and don't significantly alter the playing staff, we will become a lower to mid table team in no danger of relegation. But, gates will drop and its going to be dire to watch.

Or they could offload the likes of Pedersen (who's 2 goals will be bumping his value back up again), Mccarthy, Nelsen, Reid. All of whom would command decent fees and invest in some new players. Try to play a more forward thinking game and run the risk of the signings not coming off and relegation. But hey, at least its interesting!

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His only real achievement so far is the season we finished 6th.

Hello guys, I didn't set a yardstick- I simply responded to that comment.

As it happens, I think a lot of the posts on here are absolutely stupid. However, I have no right to comment as will be pointed out I am 1,000 miles away and havce not seen a game at Ewood for five years.

However, I have seen many 100s of games when Rovers were in the old second and third divisions and quite frankly, I am extremely happy with the quality of football Rovers are playing and ecstatic about being 7th in the top division and not having had a relegation fright since Mark Hughes pulled us out of Souey poo.

I can see what the owners, board and management are doing for and with the club and whilst it is not a strategy to repeat 94/5 it is a strategy which should ameleorate the problem of being located in the smallest and poorest place by far to be the home of a Premiership club.

I think we are fortunate to have Mark Hughes as our manager and whilst things are not perfect, there are certainly 15 other Premiership Managers I would rather not have in his place at Rovers given a choice in the matter.

I wish the home entertainment were better and we had gone a lot better in the Cups this season. But I'd ask you all to consider the following:

- when bellyaching about not beating "inferior" Premiership clubs, just remember that the worst of them ranks in the 50 wealthiest clubs in the world and that Bolton in the relegation places drew at Bayern and knocked out Atletico Madrid. Derby aside, there are no "easy" games in the Premiership.

- Rovers are not on their own struggling at home. In fact, home results of all the clubs in 5th place and below read won 89 lost 70. Thankfully, we have a better record away from Ewood than we do at home so far this season (as do Portsmouth and West Ham).

- one aspect which concerns me is that when there is a fast open end-to-end game in the Premiership, both Managers say "It was great for the fans but terrible for the management." With massive staffs and video and computer analyses and players monitored to the nth degree, all creativity and risk-taking is being stifled and strangled as Premiership games become chess rather than the blood and thunder stuff I was brought up on. This is not a problem unique to Rovers or Mark Hughes.

- Finally, we have suffered devastating injuries to the most important players we had (other than Friedel)- Savage and Nelsen who literally were the team's backbone whilst two star players, McCarthy and MGP have seriously lost form for most of the season. Yet we are still in mid March and sitting in 7th with ambitions to rise higher.

I still look at the Premiership table sometimes and pinch myself to see Blackburn Rovers there. Those 26 years in the wilderness (age 10 to 36 for me) was a very long time.

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