Is Mancini far too conservative for the Premier League?

by Michael Somerville

Monday, March 21st, 2011

Manchester City’s compounding defeat at the hands of Chelsea yesterday has put another nail into the coffin of manager Roberto Mancini.

The man cannot seem to get to grips with the Premier League. His side was far too cautious yesterday with defensive minded players Barry and De Jong literally offering time and space to Michael Essien and Ramires in midfield.

City are without an away win since Boxing Day- a damning statistic for such an expensively assembled team. It’s not the fact that City don’t have the players, it’s just that Mancini refuses to take risks in order to compete for Champions League football next season- surely the minimum requirement for the Citizens? Sturdy fullback Branislav Ivanovic consistently pushed David Silva inside and the midfield triplet of Yaya Toure, Milner, De Jong and Gareth Barry failed (as ever) to provide adequate attacking support for Edin Dzeko. The Bosnian has yet to break his Premier League duck and apart from his narrowly missed header at Stamford Bridge, didn’t look like fulfilling his huge price tag.

It hasn’t been a bad season for City; but it could have been so much better if operational risks were undertaken.

Tottenham were unlucky not to score past West Ham on Saturday, and on merits of this season I would prefer Spurs to make it into the European top tier next season. They play entertaining football. They expect to score in every game and they deserve another crack regardless of the result against Real Madrid in the quarter- finals.

Mancini said a draw at Stamford Bridge would have been a “fantastic result.”
Would it?

With whingeing comments from the City camp such as “the ball kept coming back at us and the players were so tired” it is difficult to maintain any great sympathy to their current predicament.

With Tottenham breathing down City’s neck in the race for fourth place and Spurs’ visit to Eastlands yet to be rearranged, City will wince at the thought of last season repeating itself.

Perhaps a wake-up call is all they really need?

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  • Harry

    It is not that Mancini is a bad manager, even yesterday if there was tevez, maybe the result might ‘ve been diff. but essentially you cannot spend 250m and put 10men behind the ball in defense.. pathetic

  • stan

    City have done that all season. 10 men behind the ball, hoping for a set piece or counter attack. Look what they did at Arsenal, they got absolutely murdered yet came away with in a point, in their eyes that’s a brilliant result, Champions go away from home and win on every ground.

    Merson was right on Saturday’s Soccer Saturday when he said they are so, so boring. Without Tevez and Silva they have no creativity what so ever.

    Half that team was bought so no one else could buy them.

    I actually think they could finish out of the top 4 at this rate. Spurs have to go there, they have Liverpool away next week, all of sudden the cracks are starting to appear

  • Bluenose

    Boring boring City who are rubbish… 4th highest scorers in the league… have been in the top 4 nearly all season. Semi final of the cup still to come. What a terrible season. Success isn’t instant it takes time.. the team is coming together and so far it is going to plan…. i.e. top four finish and a good cup run (and hopefully with a bit of luck the cup itself).

    People focus on a couple of defensive games against the big teams and that’s suddenly how we play every week. I remember around Christmas against Villa 32 consecutive passes leading up to Balotelli’s second goal. Brilliant football. Headlines the next day… sulky Balotelli doesn’t celebrate hat trick.. no mention of the brilliant football. Typical of the season… nobody wants to write up anything positive about City. It’s the new ‘in’ thing to bash them at every opportunity.

    So how about you people (I’m looking at you Stan) stop perpetuating this rubbish that City play 10 men behind the ball every game and don’t entertain. How about you actually watch City on more than one occasion and judge them properly rather than rehashing biased rubbish.

  • Mystical Mike

    I’m not impressed. But if they finish in the top 4 its job done though. Next season they will be stronger, thats for sure

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