The Carlos Tevez story is dominating City at the moment, so much so that I’m bored with it already so I’ve decided to focus on the positive aspects of the club of late and my main focus is manager Roberto Mancini.
I was concerned when Mancini was appointed last December. Sure he had a good managerial record but I wasn’t sure he was the right man for the job. And the way his appointment was handled was not ideal; the manager’s seat barely had time to get cold than Mancini was warming it.
But he did take us into Europe and within a goal or two of the Champions League last year and I think he has done really well. I was again concerned by some of his selections, but it seems he is getting his team right and his handling the players much better, despite what has been reported in the press.
Ah, The Great British Press
Talking of the press, it was those very fools who were talking of a crisis at Eastlands when the blues went through their little blip in October. Losing to Arsenal and Wolves was not what we wanted and the press were all over him but Mancini handled it brilliantly and seems to have turned everything around.
“Pressure? From who?” Mancini asked when losing three games on the bounce lead to renewed speculation that he would be replaced. Mancini has learned to handle the intrusive British press and is handling himself well. At the start of the season, he was amongst the favourites to be first for the sack; at the moment, he would be a contender for manager of the season.
When was the last time we went into the Christmas period in third place in the league, two points behind the leaders? And I’m talking top flight, not in the lower leagues.
Our position in the league is down to the fact that we are starting to play like a top four side. When we are on form, we can take anyone apart, but we can still grind out results when we need it.
Look at the Stoke game. In fairness, we should have lost that one and previous City teams would have done. But we weathered the storm, bided our time and scored first. If only we could have held on, that would have been a typical United or Chelsea raid.
I remember a few years ago when Chelsea arrived at Eastlands and we absolutely slaughtered them but couldn’t score. Then with about fifteen minutes left, they scored and won the game. We are finally starting to play like a winning side and not before time too. All we need now is a trophy.
At this stage last season, City had won just two away games and had struggled at teams like Wigan and the like. But, going into Christmas, we have already notched up five convincing away wins, an unprecedented amount and the credit goes just as much to Mancini as it does the players.
It’s nice to look at away fixtures and, rather than hope, see the team either dominate games, or hold the home team before knocking in a few to win the match. I’m not happy with some of the defending, like that schoolboy goal we gave away on Saturday, but as long as we are winning, I can live with it. For now.
Mancini has been criticised in the past for not starting Johnson often enough but I personally think he is handling the youngster in the correct fashion and to back it up, I’m afraid I have to look into Stretford for evidence.
When Sir Bacon Face signed Cristiano “I love myself so much” Ronaldo, he barely played him, allowing him to play bit parts as a sub every now and then when the game was going well, or if they needed someone to turn the game. A few years later, he became one of the best players in the Premiership (took me an hour to admit and type that).
But Mancini is doing exactly the same with Johnson. Giving him the opportunity to change the game, to have an effect on the outcome is working well and Mancini needs to continue this. Johnson needs this to grow, rather than just be thrown in at the deep end. How many young players have City, and England, lost by using such tactics?
Where to start on this one. No-one wants to see Carlos leave but if he is unhappy, get rid of him. The days of holding a club to ransom are over.
The Mancini-Tevez relationship is clearly at breaking point, if not already broken beyond repair. Personally, I think Tevez hates the fact that Mancini replaced Hughes in the manner he did and that what is real irk is.
His reaction during the Bolton game was ridiculous but it did show us one thing; Mancini is clearly in charge and anyone who thinks otherwise is very much mistaken. The way he got hold of Tevez, spoke a few words then pushed him towards the bench was a clear sign that Mancini is the boss, not the players.
The United fans are having a laugh about it and Scott the Red with his rag tag bunch of muppets have been sniggering in our direction, but this situation is only like the Rooney fiasco a few weeks ago. Only we haven’t been stood outside Tevez’s house wearing hoodies, buzzing the intercom, claiming “we only want to talk to you Carlos.”
The other difference between us and them in this situation is down to the fact that United yielded when they thought they would lose their best player and offered him a huge pay rise, yet City can tell theirs to f*** off if he isn’t happy. That’s good position to be in.
The Team In General
It’s took a while to get a rhythm, but I think we’re on the way now. There is more understanding between the players and they all want to play and give everything to the blue cause.
That is exactly what we needed from the team and that’s why we are in the position we are now. I’m really impressed by Yaya with his strong, surging runs. He’s going to take us far and Silva will always be a danger to all defences. Balotelli sill looks on the wild side but Mancini will rein him in and he could well be the spark that will take us to glory.
We’ve got England’s number one keeper and some decent defenders in Kolarov and Boateng and even Micah Richards could be getting his form back. We’ve a strong bench and some good youth players. The future is looking brighter now than it ever has done and much of this is down to Mancini. If we can make this a better season than last, it won’t be long until Mancini leads us to glory.
In Mancini we trust.
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