City's Strikers Too Huge to Mark: A Manchester City Conundrum

Vignesh RavindranContributor IJuly 21, 2009

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - JULY 16: Mark Hughes, Manchester City football club manager (C) poses with players Roque Santa Cruz (L), Carlos Tevez (2nd L), Steven Ireland (2nd R) and Gareth Barry after a Manchester City press conference at Emirates Palace on July 16, 2009 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Jack Dabaghian /Getty Images for Etihad)

Manchester City is the most talked about team, expected to break into the top four. Gone are those days when Manchester City was just another mid table club ignored and lost in the marshlands of mediocrity. This season Manchester City are the poster boys for the press, the team to watch most in the EPL.

An incredible 68 million pounds was spent by the Eastlands club on Tevez (25), Adebayor (25), and Santa Cruz (17.4) this summer. You can feed a whole country with that kind of money and coming to think of it, its an atrocious 68 million spent only on strikers.

The capture of Robinho for a record of 32.5 million and Bellamy for 14 million pounds, Manchester City can boast one of the worlds costliest strike force worth a staggering 120 million pounds. But is it really enough to win trophies? Is that all you need to break into the top? I doubt it.

Having money is one thing winning trophies is another. Money definitely helps, but money alone is not enough. You need the right master to harness its potentials. Does Manchester City have a Jose Mourinho in Mark Hughes? Do they have the iron hand to convince the players they can be happy warming the bench?

Every new team has a problem and every problem has a root. So let's analyze the roots of possible problems.

Off the pitch, Manchester City looks settled. The owners have the desire to take the club to the top. Rich in cash,ambitious and sensible.They are supportive of their manager and never hasty. So, any possible problem for City is basically on the pitch.

Looking at the squad, like a big billionaire walking through a cheap store, they have been picking and buying every proven player of quality. It's understandable that you get a bit carried away when you have so much money, but to have 10 strikers of which seven are proven internationals? Now that's trouble.

Even more troubling is thinking they are all from different countries. Blending them will be a big big job.

Each striker is of a different quality giving more options against different opposition.But there are still questions about Hughes' technical prowess and experience to read the game in such detail.

Moreover, at the end of the day not all of them will get to play. This will not go well with the team morale. Is Hughes strong enough to keep all of them happy? It makes you wonder what are his plans for them.

With Ireland, Petrov, Barry, De Jong, Kompany, and Wright Philips in the team its really difficult to shunt their strikers to the wings. That rules out Tevez and Robinho playing a lot in the wings.

Rotation and substitution are short term solutions and again there will be questions about who plays in the "BIG" games and who does not.Player unrest is certain in future. For a manager who has never had such pressures before is it really a big ask? I think so.

And for a team with a lot of attacking prowess they need to balance their defense. Garrido, Richards, and Onuoho are lightweights. Dunne looks past it and Ben Haim was never top quality. Wayne is good going forward but there are still questions with his defense. The rumours about Terry and Lescott are still rumours.

So who makes all these extravagant choices in transfer? Santa Cruz and Bellamy is understandable. So typical of Hughes. But Tevez and Adebayor in addition to Robinho? That's definitely not his style.

If it's not purely his decision will the manager have preferences in the team, will there be factions in the squad? will we expect a Shevchenko type fiasco at City? Quiet possible.

The more I think about City the more are my growing sympathies for Hughes. I loved watching city play last season under Hughes. They played fast and smooth with style and flair. But to make it to the top you definitely need more than that. Mark Hughes is not your out and out tactical genius. I really doubt he will make the cut though I sincerely wish he does.

And there are a whole new set of different kinds of pressure which comes competing with the big boys as a manager.Sir Alex has already started tightening the mental screws. Dismissing City as title rivals and claiming Tevez is not worth 25 million pounds, a trademark Ferguson remark.

Will Mark Hughes and his unbalanced, inexperienced city team stand up to it and fight hand to hand against the likes of Liverpool Manchester United and Chelsea? I seriously hope Hughes has something up his sleeve, some kind of secret weapon or a magic trick. He will definitely be needing one for as far as I can see he is going to have one hell of a ride with a crashing exit waiting around the corners.