Keep your eyes on Blackburn Rovers
Sparky, otherwise known as Leslie Mark Hughes is certainly catching everyone's attention, with the team that he is building down at Ewood Park.
They haven't been grabbing the headlines or anything of that sort, but have gradually improved season by season.
Mark Hughes took over as manager in September 2004, with the priority at that time was to avoid relegation. Having beaten that, Sparky's Blackburn then proceeded to exceed all expectations the following season by finishing in the top 6 and having beaten Chelsea, ManUtd and Arsenal along the way.
It is very interesting to see the way his team is slowly transforming. As a player, Sparky was very combative and never shirked from the physical side of things. When he took over this Blackburn team, he moulded them into a very combative team, very much in his own image.
Over the seasons, he was brought in creative but no less hardworking and combative players like Bentley and Gamst Pedersen, to improve the team. Sparky has also shown to be a very shrewed dealer in the transfer market, by bringing in other very talented players like Benni McCarthy (2m), Stephen Warnock (1.5M) and Christopher Samba (a steal at 400k!).
Most recently, he brought in the very skillful and powerful Paraguayan striker, Roque Santa Cruz. At the time, there was not much hype regarding this transfer, which i found surprising. I thought this was a magnificent achievement for Blackburn, to be able to attract a player of his calibre.
A recipe for success?
Having watched many Blackburn matches over the past few seasons, it can be said that this team sort of resembles a certain treble winning Manchester United team.
A solid back four, 2 pacey, skillfull and hardworking wingers, and 4 high quality strikers to choose from.
It certainly sounds like a blue print for success. As some one once said, if you want to be successful in life, don't bother trying to come up with something new but instead, just copy someone else who is successful and you will reap the rewards!