Roberto Mancini: wrong man, wrong club
Of all the managers to have won the Premier League title, Roberto Mancini is the worst. One might even argue that Manchester City won the title last season in spite of him rather than because of him. Who would bet on him still being at City at the beginning of next season? Certainly not me.
Mancini is in over his head and only that unlikely success last season – a freak scenario that will haunt Alex Ferguson to the grave – saved the Manchester City manager from instant dismissal and a return to that lucrative football sphere we call The Job Market.
A year on, we have learnt that Mancini is tactically naïve in the Uefa Champions League. Three points out of 18 at the group stage was not the performance of English champions; it was the performance of Maltese champions.
Mancini seems to have no flexibility, no Plan B. When things go against City, he has no mental dexterity to change the dynamics. Mancini cannot respond to change.
In terms of man-management, Mancini is a disaster. His handling of Carlos Tevez in 2010-11, and of Mario Balotelli since then, have been laughable; an upper-middle-class soap opera with all the traditional ham acting and dodgy denouements.
Mancini is clearly annoyed but he is looking for things – other people, other circumstances – at which to point his finger.
“I only want players who are ready to fight in the last 12 [Premier League] games," he said. “I am very angry with a lot of my players and very disappointed at the performance because it is impossible to play the way we did. It is not always the fault of the manager. The players should take the responsibility if they have big balls. If not, they can't play in a top team.
True, Roberto, but you signed these players. You should have checked to see if they have “big balls”. You should have checked their character. You should have checked their ability to grind out results, a la Manchester United.
It seems unlikely that City will defend successfully their Premier League title in 2013. It is not all Mancini’s fault, of course. United owe much to Alex Ferguson’s decision to sign Robin van Persie last summer. But the sad thing is that City have not even put up a decent fight. United will not make the same mistakes now as they did last spring. There will be no repeat of 2012.
Mancini will surely leave this summer. He needs to go, because a great club with great supporters needs a great manager. To where he goes, who knows?
I would not put him in charge of a hot dog stand.