Everyone loves a bit of a conspiracy theory, so here’s one for you. After his early exit from Stamford Bridge, I reckon that Big Phil will end up at Manchester City, in an attempt to get revenge on the London club that treated him rather harshly. Credit for this theory must go to my Dad and Brother who suggested it to me the day after he was sacked, I’ve been thinking about it and it sounds very feasible.
1. Man City will lose faith with Hughes eventually.
Despite a public backing back before Christmas, it seems inevitable that City’s cash-rich owners will grow tired of their relegation battling antics eventually, and of course in this league, when the going gets tough, the manager gets going. I think they’ve shown admirable support for the Welshman, but I’m beginning to feel that the board and manager aren’t on the same page. City want to make a big splash and become a glamour club, whereas Hughes would love to build a hard working side with a touch of flair to achieve success. Ultimately, there will come a point where they reach an impasse and I think there will be a vacancy at the City of Manchester Stadium.
2. Scolari seems intent on staying put in England.
According to the BBC’s gossip column The Sun (an ever reliable news source of course) reported yesterday that Scolari “is out to make a quick comeback to the Premier League and hopes to be back in a job by the start of next season.” Obviously anything The Sun says must be taken with rather more than a pinch of salt, but when sacked there were numerous quotes suggesting that Scolari is happy in England, he and his family had settled well and he had no desire to leave. So assuming that he is going to be in the country it would make sense for him to be looking for a suitable position here, say, an ambitious club that hopes to climb to the summit of English football maybe…
3. He’s never been sacked before, so he has a point to prove.
It’s fair to say that Scolari has had a pretty successful managerial career. He has done well wherever he has managed and been generally well regarded, and even at Gremio where his teams style of play was criticised, he won six titles in three years. Having never been dismissed as manager before, always resigning to take up a new appointment or having to leave the country due to escalating conflict (see the end of his reign in charge of Kuwait), being sacked by Chelsea will be a new and, I’m sure, unpleasant experience for him. He will have a large amount of professional pride and will doubtless feel he wasn’t given a fair go by the Londoners. I’m sure then, that he would love to have the chance to get one over on them, and what better way to do that than to take charge of a team in direct competition with them?
4. He’s a big name – just what City’s owners are after.
In football management, Luiz Felipe Scolari is one of the biggest names around. He’s even known affectionately in Brazil as Felipão, or ‘Big’ Phil. And considering the lofty ambitions of City’s wealthy backers and their ludicrous attempt to sign Kaka, as well as their successful maneuvering of Robinho’s transfer, they’ve shown they have a taste for a superstar. Their, shall we say, ‘expensive taste’ is another reason why I don’t see Mark Hughes as having a long term future as a Citizen. His type of player is an honest, loyal, hard worker, and let’s face it, any superstars lured to City will not be going because they love the club. They’re there for the money baby. On the whole, Scolari is a much better man for that job. He can handle the superstars and would be a draw card in himself, City would have a much easier time signing the world’s best to play for Scolari than for Hughes I’m afraid.
5. Scoalri wanted Robinho at Chelsea, but City got him.
The big transfer targets for Scolari in is first summer in charge at Chelsea were Deco, whom he seemingly fell in love with as manager of Portugal, and Robinho. Unfortunately for Big Phil, on transfer deadline day, his hopes were snuffed out when Roman Abramovich was outbid for possibly the first time in his adult life, when the Abu Dhabi Group blazed into the world of football with chequebooks a-swinging. Whether that put the clappers on Chelsea’s season from the start or not we’ll never know (but they do look like they could do with some more creativity and trickery), but one thing is for sure, Big Phil was mightily peeved that he didn’t get his man. Course, Robinho hasn’t had the best of times at City either, but there would be a neat little touch of fate were the two to end up together after all, if Scolari is appointed City’s manager. Oh and Deco would join them of course, Big Phil would simply tap his thigh and the wee Portugese would come bounding up the M1.
6. City have the money that Scolari probably thought Chelsea had.
Scolari suffered the misfortune of being the Chelsea manager at the precise time when the recession was giving Mr. Abramovich some second thoughts about the financial viability of throwing money at the likes of Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka (doubts he should have had long ago, but money rots the brain I suppose). That meant that Scolari’s probably-grand-plans for building a great team at Chelsea were somewhat crushed when he got into his office and found he didn’t even get any goldfish. Happily though, Man City’s owners are so stupendously rich that they could probably buy Peter Ridsdale all the goldfish in the world and still have enough money to buy Kaka (if the not the appeal to pull it off). So Big Phil will surely be tempted to go and do with City what he perhaps hoped to do with Chelsea – spend a shit load of money and maybe even win the league.