Too little, too late for Mancini
Published: 17.04.13 / Written by: David Gold
How Roberto Mancini must have wished his Manchester City side had woken up before the Manchester derby last week.
But then again there is something about his players that has seemed to say that they couldnít care a less for most of this season. They have not put their all in for most matches this season, with a chronic lack of effort proving a major undoing.
But against Manchester United and then facing Chelsea in the FA Cup semi final, they suddenly come alive with performances full of verve and the invention they were associated with last season. Too little, too late though. The season has been a sham. City have not performed well, and signings in the summer have not paid off. Maicon has not been a useful addition, having proven himself to be little more than a bench warmer. Javi Garcia has struggled with the pace of the Premier League and Scott Sinclair is just the latest in a long list of talented young English players to make the naÔve mistake of signing for Manchester City or Chelsea. Bad move.
Mancini may well lose his job this summer. He has done a good impression of a man looking to alienate as many people as possible with his behaviour over recent months. Singling out individuals for criticism, be they Joe Hart or Vincent Kompany, the club captain, has caused him problems. The players seem aggrieved with him, and he seems equally as annoyed with them. This is a manager who seems to live on confrontation.
But he is also a manager who seems to bemoan not getting everything that he wants. Mancini has spent much of the season complaining that City did not do more to sign Robin van Persie. Has it not occurred to him that van Persie had no interest in signing for his collection of expensively assembled egotists? Van Persie left Arsenal for trophies, not money, and he had enough self respect not to want to be seen in the colours of a club who were controlled by a billionaire who spends lavish sums of money to purchase success for his plaything.
So Cityís late season form may at last have justified their lavish expenditure but it is probably a bit too late for Mancini to save his job at the Etihad Stadium. There is a lack of quality in their team play and a loss of cohesion because David Silva has never quite replicated the form he showed at the start of last season. Samir Nasri is another disappointment who has come good of late, but when has he performed previously for this club? He is the anti-van Persie in many respects. Happy to sign for a club with huge amounts of money and to be seen as a mercenary, Nasri has played with all the charisma of a dying goldfish at City and looks very much like a player without a care in the world for showing how good he can actually be. His argumentative nature, evidenced by his being ostracised from the France squad, is his major problem and it is one that characterises Man City.
This is a club who are in some ways chaotic, but the owners do not want them to be. In the idealistic and clever duo of Txiki Begiristain and Ferran Soriano they have a former pair of Barcelona servants who are committed to trying to build a new dynasty in Manchester. But this is a pair who want class and dignity in a manager and a team. They are unlikely to want to continue with the services of Mancini you would imagine, a good manager but one who does not fulfil what Manchester City seem to need.