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From June 2008 to December 2009, Mark Hughes was in charge at Eastlands.
Back then, controversial Thai owner Thaksin Shinawatra was the club’s principal owner, and Hughes was chosen to continue the rise of Manchester City from Sven-Goran Eriksson.
For the first time in recent memory, City had the financial power to persuade big names to join from top European sides. Robinho joined from Real Madrid, while Vincent Kompany and Pablo Zabaleta, two stalwarts in the current team, first arrived. Carlos Tevez, Gareth Barry, Emmanuel Adebayor and Joleon Lescott were all high-profile additions from Premier League rivals, but there was no silverware to be won.
Roberto Mancini, known most famously for his exploits at Internazionale, was chosen to continue the rise of City—a managerial appointment that signaled the imminent arrival of a Premier League force—and he duly delivered the silverware that became a necessity.
But all the while, City were evolving. The youth structure was overhauled and a new academy built. The backroom team was upgraded and enhanced, and the arrival of world-class names became a normality.
In hindsight, and in a bigger picture, Mancini was the one who brought domestic success to Manchester City, but his reign was still one of transition.
The next step, naturally, is European domination.