Thursday, 2 February 2012

Mancini "blame me"

Losing a game and facing the tv cameras is grim reality for a football manager.  Indeed usually what follows is a list of excuses ranging from a poor display from the referee through to injuries robbing the side of a key player.

On Tuesday night Manchester City lost in a very flat performance to Everton. Roberto Mancini did indeed step in front of the cameras and to the amazement of the sky reporter interviewing him blamed himself for not preparing the team correctly.  He even hinted he might have took the game to lightly.  That is strong stuff and as and old saying goes "fail to prepare...prepare to fail" So what was behind Mancini saying it?

It's been obvious Yaya Toure being away with the Ivory Coast has meant City have had to change the system slightly added to that Mario Balotelli's injury followed by his ban has meant the same front pair of Dzeko and Aguero have started most games since Yaya's departure.  Modern players are used to different set ups for different games but with what has happened within the squad it could simply be the players had become comfortable and relaxed playing the same system week in week out, and this is what Mancini meant by he hadn't prepared the team properly.  Indeed with 6ft 4 Edin Dzeko leading the line there seemed to be a stubborn refusal to get any first time crosses in to him even with the blues 1-0 down.

Another reason could simply be it was an attempt to take the pressure off the players as the race for the title enters a key stage.  This again could indeed be another likely reason for the comments as Mancini is said to be a perfectionist no perfectionist would allow a team to go into a game without preparing them properly.  Whatever the reasons City still lie top of the table on goal difference recent form hasn't been the best away from the Etihad Stadium and if City are to win their first top flight title since the late 60's there simply cannot be many more slip ups.

Mancini has always struck me as a student of the game he watches and learns and evolves.  He learnt in his first half a season that to do well in domestic cups you have to battle after Stoke dumped City out of the FA Cup by ironically beating Stoke in the final the very next season.  He learnt from narrowly missing out on qualifying for the Champions League by guiding City there the very next season.  I believe he will continue to learn and if City do miss out on Premier League glory this season he will succeed in capturing the title next season.

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