Manchester City and their manager Roberto Mancini have been under fire in recent days from the media who are keen to suggest that things are all doom and gloom for the Blues. Despite victory against West Brom on Sunday, the pundits remain keen to have their say on where it’s all going wrong for Manchester City. It’s true that City are struggling to find their form at the moment, having suffered through three defeats (Arsenal, Wolves and the reigning Polish champions Lech Poznan) but the reports of City’s demise are greatly exaggerated. After grabbing 3 points at the Hawthorns they’ll be looking to push on and improve their form.
There are a surprising number of articles out there that suggest City’s players are in the process of a mutiny. Unfortunately these articles often fail to provide any source or evidence that this is actually the case. It has been suggested that players aren’t fans of Mancini’s boot-camp style of training and that the likes of Tevez and Adebayor are leading a player revolt. Of course, it’s all nonsense. Mancini has been keen to de-bunk the rumours: “Lies, all rubbish,” he told an Italian newspaper when it was put to him that his players were revolting, “there were hard discussions with some players, but the team follows me and the results are arriving.” Indeed a number of players have come out in support of Mancini. There may be some arguments in the dressing room – it would be unnatural if there was no sense of disappointment following three losses on the trot, but to suggest full scale revolt is a little over the top.
Despite his claims to the contrary this hasn’t stopped fans and pundits alike from claiming that Mancini is unable to control the egos and mindsets of his star players. It is suggested that he has been unable to adapt to the swift period of transition at City wherein the wages, the ambition and the number of egos have all increased exponentially. The evidence for these claims comes not from an insider source or something of the sort, but because City lost three games on the trot. The press aren’t satisfied that City has had a few bad days at the office, there has to be a deeper, underlying problem.
If there is a problem at City, I believe Carlo Ancelotti has come closest to articulating it clearly. The Chelsea Boss told the Daily Mail: “Mancini has had to put together a lot of new players in a new team. It’s one of the most difficult things to do.” New players often take a while to settle into the Premier League – it can sometimes take as long as a full season to get them up to scratch. Mancini has the unenviable task of blooding such a large number of new players into his team. Yet, this is a man with 3 Serie A titles under his belt, I’m sure he can handle the prima donnas at Man City. Despite the difficulties, City are currently fourth in the League – hardly a disaster.
It may take some time for this group of players to gel, but when they do you can’t help but feel as though they will be a force to be reckoned with. Perhaps City lack a certain spirit at the moment: United have scored 6 goals in the last ten minutes of the game this season and this led them to win 5 of these games. With time City can establish a similar drive and belief that will see them pick up results even on tough days.
Finally, I don’t feel as though Mancini is under as much pressure as those in the Press are keen to suggest. City’s owners gave Mark Hughes 18 months during which time he dragged City into the bottom three. To suggest that they’d give Mancini (who they elected, which wasn’t the case with Hughes) any less than this period of time (especially whilst they remain battling it out with the top teams) is nonsense.
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