Manchester City: cannot score goals
By Nick Webster
Despite spending more money on centre forwards than the GDP of many small countries, Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has hit out at his expensive collection of strikers, claiming they must be more efficient in front of goal.
The English champions have spent close to 100 million pounds on Sergio Aguero, Carlos Tevez, Mario Balotelli and Edin Dzeko but the quartet have more chance of hitting a barn door than the back of the net. This contrasts dramatically from the last campaign where all four enjoyed rich veins of form. This term they've scored a measly scored 19 goals between them.
Meanwhile Mancini looks over to Old Trafford where one of his summer targets, Robin van Persie, has 10 goals already this season. The Italian is desperate for his marksman to catch fire with the derby just 24 hours away.
"It's always the case that you can have one striker in a difficult spell during the season," he told reporters.
"Usually, when you have four strikers, two or three of them are not scoring but one is.
"But at the moment we have four strikers who can't score.
"This can change maybe on Sunday and after that it will be OK. But we need to work more.
"Our season depends on our strikers. If we start to score like last year we will have a big chance."
What Mancini has to realise though is that his strikers no longer wish to play for him and are just biding their time until either Pep Guardiola or Jose Mourinho decide to enter the Etihad drama factory.
Carlos Tevez is the man that refused to play for Mancini in Munich last season and resentment runs deep. Eden Dzecko is used as nothing more than a super-sub despite scoring goals from the bench. Mario Balotelli is the wild child that the Italian simply cannot tame while Sergio Aguero looks like he's lost a little of the enthusiasm he used to show for English football. The physical nature of the league has taken its toll on him.
Excuses are ten-a-penny in football and with European football just a dream for City this season after crashing out of the UEFA Champions League, only retaining the Premiership title will save his job and even that is no guarantee.
Goals are the currency of strikers and they always decide the fate of managers - it feels like the mint has been cast for Mancini and his fab four.