Time for a new thread, what what?!
Don't get me wrong, I'm not advocating either position on the subject of whether our manager is the messiah or not, but I am concerned after yesterday (yes, yes, it was only pre-season, I know) whether Mancini has what it takes to move us up a level and really compete with the top, top teams. I've been a fairly staunch defender of his on here, but I wonder whether the pros outweigh the cons as heavily as I thought.
1) Possession game - Getting his players to keep hold of the ball and be patient is surely the way forward. It worked well last season.
2) Single mindedness - He leaves little to chance. Methodical and professional.
3) Defensive improvement - There for all to see.
4) Development of players - Who could argue that Micah, Vinnie and AJ to name but 3, have not improved massively under his tutelage?
5) Good use of subs - By and large has used his substitutes to good effect, particularly in closing games out
6) Proven winner - Italian trophies and now an FA Cup
1) Inflexibility/man management - Being ruthless in ostracising the dead wood is one thing. Biting off one's nose to spite one's face is another. You want to leave Bellamy out in the cold? Fine, but don't then bend over backwards for over a year to indulge Balotelli (a player who continues to contribute next to nothing to the City cause) his every whim (letting him miss the FA Cup parade springs to mind). You can't advocate 'togetherness' if you exempt certain players.
2) Lack of variety in the squad. Squillions spent and we are still only geared up for 4-3-3 with 2 x holding midfield players.
3) Lack of pace and width in the squad. Squillions spent and AJ is still the only wide man on the books, whilst the two fastest forwards at the club, Bellend and SWP, are being ushered out of the door.
4) Lack of a Plan B - If the slow, slow, marginally quicker, slow, slow tempo, doesn't bear fruit, we don't seem able to adapt.
5) The continual purchasing (and faith in those already in situ) of players who are strong in one aspect of the game, but defficient in others. Yesterday I watched Rooney, Young, Nani, Wellbeck, Anderson and even Cleverley run us ragged. All mobile, all skillful, all quick, all tenacious. We have purchased Dzeko (£28m), who is neither mobile nor quick, Milner (£24m), who is neither mobile nor quick, Balotelli (£28m), who is not tenacious, Ya Ya Toure (£26m), who is not mobile, Kolarov (£16m), who is not tenacious, and Boateng (£11m - now gone, thank fuck), who was neither mobile nor tenacious. Chuck in De Jong, Lescott and Barry, who are neither quick nor mobile, and you're left with a core of team that whilst it is comprised of players of undoubted ability is limited in the variety of ways it can play.
6) Too cautious against the top sides - This may be because Mancini realises he doesn't have the personnel to play swashbuckling stuff, but if that's the case then it's his fault for not bringing such players in. Our default mode against the top teams, is to sit deep and not press the man on the ball. Last season in games at home to the rags and Spurs, and away to Spurs, Liverpool, Chelsea and the Arse, I don't think we managed more than 5 serious attempts on goal in the entire 6 games. That is a shocking inditement of the way we play, and we will never overhaul united unless we change. We kicked sand in a lot of smaller teams faces last season, courtesy of the superior players at our disposal, games the old City would have lost. Wolves and Blackpool could not cope with Tevez, Wigan and West Ham could not cope with Ya Ya, but against the better teams we were reduced to (admittedly) ruthlessly efficient defending.
So is he the man for the job? Depends what the job is I guess