Roberto Mancini’s best friend at Manchester City seems to be that scarf he is always seen to be wearing on match days. Taking over Mark Hughes, in the circumstances in which he did, was always going to be a tough act to follow. Hughes’ sacking was one of typical style from rich owners- ruthless.
It did seem at the time that Mark Hughes was certainly a favourite of a healthy percentage of the fans so when Mancini came in the same was expected. Of course it did not pan out like that because the Italian has brought his own methods and style. This can be extended to the point that his training sessions and routines have reportedly been questioned. An alleged bust up with Craig Bellamy was going to happen at some point surely? However, a new manager should be given the freedom to express his own ways of managing the team and playing the formation he wishes to.
When it comes to analysing what Mancini’s done so far then the stats will show that he has lost twice as many games as Mark Hughes did, and on the flip side of that he recently guided his team to one of the stand-out results of the season- a 4-2 victory at Chelsea in the Premiership. Expectations were raised when Mancini won his first four games in charge, but since then City have been knocked out of the FA Cup and lost to rivals Manchester United in the semi-finals of the Carling Cup.
Due to the fact that his days at City are still in their very early stages three things can be established. Firstly, have the team improved under Mancini? Secondly, are they playing better football then when Mark Hughes was in charge? Thirdly, has the Italian got the backing of all the players and staff?
The only way this can be assessed is at the end of the season when we will find out if they will finish in that important fourth spot. Even if they do that, it remains to be seen if the owners will be totally satisfied that this man is the one who can deliver them the Premiership title- which Mancini said is his aim next season.
It is said that whilst Mancini was a manager in Serie A, he was “kissed by good fortune”- something Italians refer to those individuals who effortlessly achieve everything they want. Well, along with good fortune it seems that Mancini must convince all connected with Manchester City that he was the right man to replace Hughes, and more importantly, whilst starting an era that he will be remembered for- not Hughes.
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