Shinawatra's Rat Pack. Can they break into the big four?

illya mclellan@illya mclellan @illbehaviorNZSenior Analyst IJuly 27, 2008

Shinawatra's Rat Pack, or Manchester City. Call them what you want. Not yet do they get the press coverage of the original rat pack which most famously consisted of the stars that made the original Ocean's Eleven movie.

But folks, its time to "start spreading the news," as Shinawatra now has in charge of his team one of the most promising young managers in the premier league in Mark "Sparky" Hughes and the budget to lure potential stars like the Brazilian Jo (bangles, teeheehee) who has recently made Manchester his home.

With a team that was assembled by the recently departed skirt chasing Swede, Sparky has inherited the bones of a side that showed such promise last season with a string of good results including wins in both of the Manchester derby matches.

After this they inexplicably imploded with Sven obviously running out of idea's or maybe talking to long on the phone to some bird. Perhaps this season with Hughes at the helm they might be able to mount a sustained challenge on the top four in a way Hughes was unable to do at Blackburn due to monetary constraints.

I believe Manchester City could this season provide another challenge in the way Portsmouth and others have tried to but not quite delivered on. Portsmouth mind you did win the FA cup which I am sure Avram "Darth Vader without his mask on" Grant and Arsene Wenger wouldn't have minded doing.

Thaksin may not have the singing voice of Frank "ole blue eyes" Sinatra but he certainly has the bank balance. But bank balances aside it would still take a heist similar to the one pulled off in Ocean's Eleven for the lesser known Manchester side to steal the championship this season.

But Hughes has obviously not left all the work he did at Blackburn behind for nothing, spying the potential here to go one better and really cause a stir at the top of the EPL charts. 

In order for City to have a realistic chance they will have to do something about their away game form which at times last season resembled a stage performance from Dean Martin, they showed up, but were slurring and tripping over themselves. 

Sparky has a job ahead of him but if he can get under Shinawatra's skin maybe "ole corrupt eyes" will give him the cash to make a splash in the Premier League this season.