I read the other day that Jose Mourinho was earning 11 million a year to not improve Moratti’s Inter. The man he replaced the now 2nd best paid coach in the world Mancini is also not exactly burning it up after replacing seemingly mere Supporter Manager Mark ‘Baby’ Hughes – a Supporter Manager is someone who stands on the sidelines and appears to have no more say or control over the team than the fans e.g. Souness is the ultimate supporter manager.
The point being that for 2 years Mourinho was worth any money but by the end of his Chelsea career he was reduced to Eriksson flattering the inner circle of a smaller and smaller squad he trusted and acting like Insp’ Dreyfuss about the rest of the squad and the owner. That Inter would replace Mancini after 3 titles with the partially recovered Mourinho on such a salary is amazing. Yet 3 months after replacing Hughes maybe we can see why Inter took a chance they got Mourinho of Porto and the first 2 years at Chelsea over Mancini.
The real question is Mancini what does he offer?
Tonight he started with Vieira a player who anyone who saw Juve’ against Arsenal 3 years ago would know can no longer compete with an English Premier League team. It’s one thing to make the mistake of buying him but that does not mean he needs to play him. Maybe he only has de Jong, Vieira and Barry and wanted to rotate in what should have been an easy fixture, maybe.
Despite a plethora of wide options Mancini opted for a 442 which maybe you can get away with against lower sides. Yet it looked awful first half with no mobility or pace in the team. Tevez was sterling but half time and Bellamy could not come quick enough. Again it’s not necessarily his fault that his 2 decent players are 2nd strikers or at best wide options in a 433 and Bellamy is not able to play 90 minutes game in game out. The point that we can make is that he made one obvious substitution and made it early (Bellamy for Wright Phillips at half time). The problem is that I am 90% sure that was almost planned with Bellamy’s knees. He then did nothing even when the game changed with Caldwell’s red card. Bare in mind Wigan were only breached after a execrable piece of keeping. I would like to think for 10 million a manager would not wait for 72 minutes (16 against 10 men) and let the game drift.
For people like me who learned from watching Mourinho’s Chelsea looking at City defend corners with everyone back in the box was pathetic. If he keeps one or two players up he can counter attack and indeed Mourinho would put 3 up forcing the opposition until they were behind late to leave at least 4 back and destroying their corner routines.
The point is City have 2 players worth their place in a title winning squad and Bellamy cannot play every game. Ideally you can only start them both with Tevez as a front player if City were actually a top team. I feel for Mancini who really has an expensive squad of parts that are mostly not good enough or do not fit together. However it’s a condemnation that he has not 1 of the youth products of Man City’s squad in his starting line up. Adam Johnson being recently bought and whilst technically Wright Phillips did start in their youth team he’s been bought back for a small fortune since.
I guess I do not see what Mancini is adding. It seems like another manager on an agenda to win now and not build a team. Apparently his contract means he gets 6 months or 3 years which is hardly the action of a club who believe in him or a club that values developing young players. I see little point in chasing 4th if you are going into Europe with Adebayor or Santa Cruz with Barry and de Jong in central midfield. So why not give games to Onuoha, Richards and Taylor?
Then again compared to Zola’s West Ham playing 2 terrible strikers and with an open door policy at the back Mancini is a tactical genius.Or Ancelotti finally ‘realising’ (forced by injury) Chelsea’s strength was not playing 2 strikers but having 4 midfielders running from deep at the opposition. Quite what English clubs are paying for is the interesting question. Zola has at least tried to help his younger players the other 2 seem to just select the team.
Not all Italians are tactical masters it seems. However the greater failing at Man City is one of intelligence in chasing things for their own sake like the 4th place. City will not be able to improve much more than squad depth with just buying players. After all who is available? Ribery! Upgrades on their best players? They need organic growth and without need of the Europa Cup or Champions League for revenue their current quest for 4th makes as much sense as Mourinho’s Chelsea wasting their small core on winning the two cups prior to his sacking.
It really is pathetic that no one in football wants to think about what they are doing. From fans handing over massive amounts of money to owners writing cheques for 100s of Millions it seems no one has a plan or even a clue.