Manchester City’s shock defeat to Ajax in Europe, Frank de Boer has spoken out in support of Roberto Mancini.
The Italian coach has been criticised for changing tactics and shifting players around during the Champions League clash on Wednesday night. De Boer however, insists that the players are to blame for the Citizens’ 3-1 defeat at the Amsterdam Arena.
Much attention has been drawn to Mancini’s decision to use a 3-5-2 formation this season, much to the distaste of football pundits and City players alike.
In post-match interviews on Wednesday night, Micah Richards told reporters: “It’s a hard system and I think the players prefer a 4-4-2 but he’s the manager and we’ll do what he says,” whereas Mancini himself took the flack for City’s poor performance in his post-game interview: “It was probably my fault because I prepared badly for this game, I didn’t prepare the players and I’m at fault for the defeat” said the Italian.
However, former Holland international Frank de Boer believes more criticism should be directed at the City players, and less at the coach.
“If you are the top level and your manager tells you two things, you have to be able to do it,” said de Boer.
And the Ajax coach reiterated his belief that some of City’s top stars are to blame for the side’s failures in Europe.
“There are always moments when Mario Balotelli, Sergio Aguero and Samir Nasri go to sleep.
“They do not chase the full back, as they do not believe it is necessary,” added de Boer.
This morning, the City boss defended his decision to make changes against Ajax, as well as using the 3-5-2 system.
“When you are on the bench and 2-1 away, the manager should do something from the bench. We wanted to play more offensively and we conceded a third because of a mistake,” said Mancini.
“If you are a top player, it’s not important which system you use. If you don’t understand, you can’t play for a top team.”