Football: Mark Hughes – Faultless

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It appears likely that Mark Hughes will leave Blackburn Rovers. What isn’t certain, is whether he will become the new manager of Chelsea or Manchester City.

To date, Mark Hughes’s managerial career has been exemplarary. A successful stint as Wales manager, then steadily revitalising the fortunes of Blackburn Rovers. The Welshman has yet to put a foot wrong as a manager.

It may well be that he is tempted by the Chelsea job. A huge transfer budget; working with some of the world’s best players; Champions League qualification every season. He wouldn’t have trouble handling the big egos. And he would be sure to create an excellent work-ethic and team dynamic. He would probably do a very good job over time.

But, the Chelsea job, is more than one step up from Blackburn Rovers. It’s a giant leap. And with it comes huge expectations. If second in the League and Champions League runners-up, wasn’t good enough for Avram Grant, then you can be sure, the new manager will be expected to deliver serious silverware, instantly.

The City job on the other hand, is a more natural transition from Ewood Park. Bigger fan base and transfer kitty. Expectations have been held in restraint at the COMS, for some time now. And fans have lost trust in Thaksin Shinawatra.

The lower expectations at City, despite the demands of the eccentric owner, and hopes and dreams of the fans, would give Hughes the breathing space to build a team in his own image.

It’s not that going to Stamford Bridge would be the wrong move. It’s just that, in a faultless career to date, it’s a risky move. If he should go to City, and lead them to sustained success, Mark Hughes can be sure, that he will be leading teams out in big Champions League matches, at some point in his career.

Up until now, Mark Hughes has made the right career moves at the right time. He should be in no hurry to serve his ambition. For with his excellent track-record, he will get to where he wants to get too, in his own time.