Ultimate XI's

Ultimate XIs- Mark Hughes

Hello!

Welcome back to another XI, today we are going to be have a look at the best players to have been managed by Mark Hughes!

The former Man United forward has been in management for just over 20 years, but the only honour he has ever received was the Premier League manager of the month in October 2007.

Let’s see his Ultimate XI!

GOALKEEPER- Brad Friedel

Mark Hughes spent four years managing Blackburn in the Premier League between 2004 and 2008, and it is here where he managed one of the Premier League’s most consistent goalkeepers.

Brad Friedel made 450 Premier League appearances and he has the seventh most clean sheets in the league with 132, more than Peter Schmeichel!

The United States international played for Liverpool, Blackburn, Aston Villa and Tottenham. He has the record for the most consecutive appearances in the league, with 310.

LEFT BACK- Ryan Bertrand

Mark Hughes was in charge of Southampton for just nine months in 2018, and it was here where he managed Ryan Bertrand, the left back for this XI.

Bertrand has been at Southampton for five years, and has made over 150 appearances for the Saints. He was a Champions League winner with Chelsea in 2012, but his best form has certainly been at St Mary’s, where he has cemented himself as one of the best full backs in the league.

He made the 2014-15 Premier League team of the season, and while this was his best season to date, he is still a fundamental part of Southampton’s back line.

RIGHT BACK- Glen Johnson

We go to Mark Hughes’ time at Stoke City for the right back in this XI, and it is the former Liverpool, Portsmouth and Chelsea man Glen Johnson.

Johnson was an excellent right back when he was at his peak, and he won one Premier League with Chelsea, The FA Cup with Portsmouth and the League Cup with Liverpool. He made 54 appearances for England, scoring once.

He was past his best at Stoke but he was still a handy player to have in their back line, but his minutes diminished as he neared the end of his career.

CENTRE BACK- Robert Huth

Robert Huth is another selection from Mark Hughes’ time at Stoke, and the German is a three time Premier League winner.

Huth spent his whole career in the Premier League, first with Chelsea and then with Middlesbrough, Stoke and Leicester. The best form of his career was obviously displayed with the Foxes as his defensive partnership with Wes Morgan elevated them to their first Premier League title in 2016.

He was a good defender, and this meant that his lack of pace never thwarted him in his career. Huth also has a World Cup third place medal as he was part of the German squad in 2006.

CENTRE BACK- Vincent Kompany

Mark Hughes spent a season and a half with Manchester City, and he was the first manager of the Sheikh Mansour era at City. He was the manager who brought Vincent Kompany to Manchester, and the rest is history as they say.

Kompany won four Premier League titles for Man City, along with eight more domestic trophies. He was one of the best centre backs in the Premier League era, and it is clear that Man City miss him since he left in the summer.

Mark Hughes is credited with bringing Kompany to England which means the Belgian simply had to be in this XI.

LEFT MIDFIELD- Ryan Giggs

Mark Hughes’ first foray into management was with Wales in 1999, and he spent five years with The Dragons. This is where he managed Ryan Giggs, one of the best Players in Premier League history.

Giggs himself is now managing Wales, but it is his playing career that gets him into this XI. Giggs spent 24 years playing for Man United in the Premier League, and won 13 titles with them.

Giggs was a quick left midfielder at his peak, and his excellent crossing ability made him a perfect component of Sir Alex Ferguson’s dominant United side.

RIGHT MIDFIELD- Kieron Dyer

Kieron Dyer is the only player in this XI to make it in from Mark Hughes’ time at QPR in 2012. Hughes spent just 10 months in charge of QPR and Dyer hardly played for the club, making just eight appearances, but I still think he merits his place in this XI.

Kieron Dyer came through Ipswich Town’s academy, and he made 116 appearances for the Tractor Boys. The precocious talent that he displayed at Portman Road brought him to Newcastle United in 1999, and he spent eight years on Tyneside.

Dyer’s career was heavily blighted by injuries, and this really stopped him from making it right to the top, however he did make 250 appearances for the Magpies, so his career wasn’t completely ruined.

CENTRAL MIDFIELD- Gary Speed

I think you will be very surprised at the quality on show in this midfield, and first in is the late Gary Speed. Hughes managed Speed at Wales, and he is the second Welshman in this XI.

Gary Speed is fifth in the all time Premier League appearances list with 535, the majority of those appearances came for both Leeds and Newcastle. Speed was an all action midfielder who was extremely gifted, and he is one of the best Welsh players of all time.

Although Speed never got his hands on the Premier League, he was part of the Leeds side that one the final First Division title before it was re-branded as the Premier League.

CENTRAL MIDFIELD- Darren Fletcher

Darren Fletcher played under Mark Hughes during his two year stint at Stoke at the very end of the career. Fletcher enjoyed somewhat of a renaissance at West Brom and Stoke after leaving Man United, and this just showed how good he really was.

Of course Fletcher’s time at Man United is why he makes this XI, the Scot won five Premier League titles, one Champions League and one FA Cup with the Red Devil’s. He was an incredibly consistent member of Man United’s midfield during his twelve years at Old Trafford.

He often went under the radar for United, but his 223 Premier League appearances for them shows that he was actually more important than you may have originally thought.

STRIKER- Roque Santa Cruz

Our first striker is someone who played under Hughes at Blackburn, it is the Paraguayan legend Roque Santa Cruz. Hughes brought Santa Cruz the Premier League in 2007 and Hughes presided over the second highest goal scoring season of his career (2007-08).

His form at Blackburn earned him a move to Manchester City, but he couldn’t emulate that form and this then sparked him to make a lot of moves. He won five Bundesliga titles with Bayern Munich before his move to England, and this is where he has earned by far the most honours of his career, although he was rarely a regular feature in their side.

He is Paraguay’s all time leading scorer with 32 goals, and he is still playing back in his home country with Olimpia, where he has been in good goal scoring form.

STRIKER- Carlos Tevez

Completing our South American strike force is Carlos Tevez, who is the second Man City entry in this XI. Hughes signed Tevez from Man United in 2009, but he only managed him for four months as Hughes was sacked in December of that year.

Tevez won three Premier League titles with both Manchester Clubs, and he is one of the best foreign strikers the Premier League has seen. He was a live wire up front and formed a deadly partnership with Rooney and Ronaldo at United.

His time at City was iconic, as he helped them to their first ever title, he then went on to impress at Juventus and he is now back with Boca Juniors.

Who knew Mark Hughes has managed so many good players!

That’s all for today, see you tomorrow!

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