Manchester City

Mancini Needs To Bite The Bullet : Dezko Deserves Better

The Bosnian Diamond arrived in Manchester from Wolfsburg in January 2011, beaming with confidence and fresh from his consecutive Bundesliga title honours.

Expectations were high, but continuing his legacy in England was always going to be difficult; especially considering his record breaking £27m German departure fee hanging over his head and thanks to the winter break, he would be one step behind his new, superior team mates in terms of fitness and match sharpness.

So unsurprisingly his City career got off to a slow start but there was no predicting the ups and downs that lay in store for him and for City.

After a dismal start to his debut campaign, swinging his banjo and missing the cows backside on several occasions, the dreaded words for any footballer, “flop, lazy, waste of money” started to circle him. In fact he was only saved from media slaughter as their unforgiving eyes were already focused on a more expensive striker that couldn’t score, Fernando Torres.

In some ways Dzeko can thank Torres for taking the brunt of the headlines, allowing him to keep his head down and find goals wherever they presented themselves. After shedding a few pounds he then started to find the back of the net, if only occasionally, but more promisingly he started to show the predatory instinct that all top strikers have.

After a long summer for Manchester city, including the signing of Sergio Aguero, the hard work had obviously continued at Carrington as we saw a new look Edin Dzeko at the start of the 11/12 campaign. Swansea were the unlucky team to face this thinner faster Dzeko in which he kickstarted this famous season for City. But this was very quickly overshadowed by the 30 minute debut master class by Aguero who instantly justified his massive transfer fee. Dzeko clearly wasn’t satisfied playing second fiddle to his new strike partner and gave the Citizens a true glimpse of what he is capable of with a 4 goal demolition of Spurs away, and perhaps the performance of the season.

The steady decline that followed after is largely down to Mancini and is perhaps the greatest mistake of his managerial career. After such an impressive start Mancini decided not to start Dzeko for unknown reasons, probably to create competition for places and show that no-one is guaranteed to start. But all he did was lessen the confidence on someone who is clearly a confidence player. Despite this he still went on to score 18 goals throughout the season of what can only be described as a bit-part role.

We know that Dzeko is a dangerous striker with a knack for goals and the technical ability to back it up. We also know that to reach his full potential he needs a run of games under his belt and not to be threatened with the subs bench. I am a great admirer of Mancini but I believe he is greatly to blame for what would have been a much more comfortable title with a fit and firing Edin Dzeko.

Instead he has become a “super sub”, throwing him on with 5 minutes to go and telling him to score and fortunately for City he’s made a habit of it, with 6 goals coming off the bench already this season. But is this fair for a player of his quality to be further down the pecking order than the temperamental Balottelli. Despite all this he remains committed to fight for his place but for how much longer?

If his contributions continue to go unrecognised he may be tempted by a German return and it’s no secret he is fancied by Juventus. Some punters are still unconvinced of his quality or at least his consistency, but mark my words, if he sticks around he’ll prove all his doubters wrong!

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