Nick Cushing leaving is ‘make or break’ for City

Nick Cushing and his departure could signal the start of a glorious new era for Manchester City… or downfall that could take years to recover from.

Nick Cushing’s time as Manchester City head coach has come to an end. He joins Ronny Deila at sister club New York City FC.

READ MORE: Nick Cushing to leave Manchester City

Cushing’s time as Manchester City manager has been hugely successful. He won one league title in 2016, two FA Cups and three league cups.

Nick Cushing never found the success City crave in Europe. He twice reached the Champions League semi-final only to be knocked out twice by Lyon.

City’s progress in Europe doesn’t seem to have progressed either in the last few seasons, both times having been knocked out by Atletico de Madrid.

Who will replace him?

Cushing’s replacement so far remains unknown. Assistant coach Alan Mahon will take charge in the meantime — along with Brian Eastwick’s help.

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It is most likely that the remainder of the season will be used as a trial period for the temporary staff.

Nick Cushing will be missed by Manchester City. However, it’s rare to see a manager spend more than a few seasons at any club, never mind six successful years.

Whoever comes in will have some very big shoes to fill.

City’s hierarchy now must find the right balance between a manager who can keep their place at the top of the table in domestic football. Whilst also taking the side to the promised land in Europe.

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How easy that will be is yet to be seen but City can’t be pulled into the trap of hiring a ‘big’ name from the men’s game purely on reputation.

A job within the City group will draw some of the most gifted coaches the game has to offer.

It seems only right that City should aim for the brightest young female coaches in the game.

READ MORE: Cushing on Everton win, New York and Ellie Roebuck

It probably hasn’t come at the best time for City. They probably wanted to offer the job to one of the many long-serving legends of the side upon retirement.

Players like Karen Bardsley, Jill Scott and Steph Houghton come to mind.

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Plans may well already be in place for this considering City are now looking mostly at in-house progression rather than sourcing outside staff.

Nick Cushing had started at City in 2007 as a youth coach. They may potentially keep a placeholder for someone like Steph Houghton.

Former USA World Cup-winning coach Jill Ellis has been suggested. A consultancy job with USWNT rules her out of contention.

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Ellis would not be out of consideration for the position in the future, but City are unlikely to wait.

Especially as retiring players are seemingly being ready to come into the fray around the same time.

What’s next for City?

The next move for City may be the same route to success that both England and Manchester United have tried.

Young, hungry managers with a big reputation. Big-name retirees from the men’s side may bring more of a media focus, at the risk of alienating the best young female coaches.

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The proof will be in the pudding, whether a radical appointment or a well-known name. The key objective will be to progress the side within European competition — whilst also keeping pace in the domestic competitions and focusing on bringing through youth players.

Not an easy task. Yet, a manager who could match Nick Cushing’s achievements must be the minimum for the next coach.