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Man Cini the man for Man City?

Man for the job?

Man for the job?

Whilst the media and fans and, if you believe the press, the players are all more interested in the treatment of Mark Hughes at Manchester City, Roberto Mancini has taken the reins in a calm and unassuming way.

Scudetta

Little is really known about the forty-five year old Italian as a manager although three consecutive Scudetta titles with Inter does look good on paper.

Many people have said that those Italian titles were won by default, but they still had to be won. Having said that, I’m not sure that his record qualifies him to be called an experienced manager as City have referred to him.

Impressed

In his short time at Leicester City as a player when he made just four appearances he apparently impressed everyone with whom he came in contact. He is a charming man who is a deep football thinker and was always destined for management.

The task facing him at Manchester City is a tough one. He will have all the money in the world and he is inheriting a decent team who lie sixth in the Premier League and in the semi-finals of the Carling Cup. The reason that the job is a tough one is that he has to improve on what is there and he has to do so quickly.

Mancini is under no illusions as to what is expected from him,

“At this moment my target is the top four. Next season we want to win the Premier League. I hope to stay here for many years and win many trophies. City has great fans I hope we do a good job for them.”

The fact is, and Mancini is well aware of it, that if he doesn’t achieve a top four finish this season he probably won’t get a chance to go for the title next time around. The owners are ruthless and determined to get instant success. If Mancini can’t provide it they will, like Hughes before him, move him on and give someone else a try.

Mancini has said that he wants the enigma that is Robinho to be a major part of his plans at the club,

“Robinho is a fantastic player but for a big player like him, it is important to make the history of a club. I played at Sampdoria for 15 years. I wrote the history. It is important. Robinho can do that here.”

It never felt that Robinho was giving his full backing to Mark Hughes and a similar situation occurred when he was at Real Madrid. It remains to be seen whether Mancini can be any more successful in the man management of his mercurial star.

System

Mancini has also indicated that he is happy to work under the Italian system whereby he doesn’t have the sole say in which players come to the club. That will be interesting because I suspect there will be several new arrivals and probably some departures in January.

Mancini will have Brian Kidd as his assistant and whilst Kidd has failed as a manager, he has always excelled as a number two. He has been there and done it in England, particularly under Sir Alex Ferguson, and he will be invaluable to the new boss as he tries to find his way in English football.

Shadow

When Mancini took over at Inter the club had been in the shadow of their city rivals AC Milan for many years. He changed that and transformed Inter into Italy’s best side. There were outside influences on that situation as well of course, but he did achieve what he was asked to achieve.

A similar position exists in Manchester to that he found in Milan a few years ago. The owners at Manchester City see Mancini as the man to lift them out of the shadow of Manchester United.

Friends

I don’t know if he will be successful but I believe he might be and I am sure that he will make many friends in the English game whilst he attempts to do so.

Mark Hughes was treated badly but in football it is always a case of, ‘the king is dead, long live the king’. I wish Roberto Mancini well.

Wed 23 December, 2009
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