Thursday, February 25, 2010

Mancini's honeymoon over?

Someday soon, someone's going to have to tell those tycoons controlling Man City that they've got an average side. And that someone needs to be Roberto Mancini. Otherwise he might as well give up on his English classes and book a one-way ticket back to Italy in the summer.

In the early stages, it appeared as though Mancini had breathed new life into the Eastlanders whose campaign for a top four position was on course for yet another season of mid-table mediocrity. But just as Sparky found out, the present bunch of players at Man City (who were selected by Welshman) are a mediocre bunch that at best represent an expensive version of Blackburn or Bolton. Sure, there's the occasional upset against one of the big four but that's no reason to think there's anything more to the team. Heck, Fulham have beaten both Man Utd and Liverpool this season and yet they're no closer to moving out of their mid-table comfort zone.

But the most disappointing aspect of Mancini's stint so far is that there doesn't seem to a big change in tactics. There's the occasional rotation policy and Bellamy training ground bust-up (who hasn't had this problem?) but City under Mancini seem to play very much the same way they did under Hughes.

Italian coaches are renown for their tactical prowess and that's been the case at Stamford Bridge this season. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that Mancini isn't all that great of a coach in the first place. After all, didn't he win those Serie A titles with Inter when Milan and Juventus were all demoted for match-fixing?

Maybe I'm wrong and this summer, when Mancini's given Sparky's old cheque book he'll make some decent signings that can deliver what his bosses so dearly crave at the moment.