The managerial world isn’t one that agrees on everything when it comes to code of conduct, and you’ll find that even fewer agree with Roberto Mancini on his way to handle players – calling them out, sometimes for things that happen in the dressing room this season for Manchester City, which is a different approach from what most use to keep their team under control.
Arguments with Joe Hart, Samir Nasri, Mario Balotelli and Joleon Lescott haven’t been swept under the rug. Mancini tackles them head on, in front of the media, and doesn’t seem to be hiding anything about these altercations, including some juicy details, in order to set things straight in his team. The other interesting things is that despite these fights with his players, the only thing that hurts their chance of staying in the lineup is their ability, not their behavior off the field.
It’s been rumored more than once, including last season, that Mancini has lost control of his team and players. That these young multi-millionaires don’t really respect him and listen to him, and that’s why City have fallen so far behind Manchester United this season. But maybe it’s a combination of the two. Maybe it also has to do with Mancini not being the great manager he sometimes thinks he is. What is certain though, is that he’s not one to throw all the blame on himself.
When I was a player I always took responsibility. When I didn’t play well, I said ‘sorry I didn’t play well and will do my best in the next game’ and it should be like this. I say what I think sometimes and if I think it could be good for my players to understand they could play better, they can do more, I say this because I don’t lie. I’m not rude. I don’t have any problem with my players.
I say what I think and sometimes it’s important that a player takes responsibility because when you are a top player you earn a lot of money and you should play at 100% always. I don’t like players who never think it’s their fault. These players can’t play with me because this is impossible. I want strong players that are upset with me when they don’t play but after that show me on the pitch that they deserve to play.
And while Mancini has been dealing with plenty of egos since becoming the manager of Manchester City in 2009, following a successful tenure with Inter Milan, also filled with big names he had to fight in the dressing room, he wouldn’t mind bringing on a few more. He has spoken all season about the need to bring in more top players to the club in order to retain the league title and succeed in the Champions League.
Instead, he got Jack Rodwell, who has been misused; Scott Sinclair, who everyone knew wouldn’t get more than 10 minutes, max, in matches; Maicon, who is way over the hill for a few years now; Mtija Nastasic, who is looking like a good centre back for the future, but is still quite raw; and Javi Garcia, who has done more harm than good during the minutes he has spent on the pitch.
This summer, if Mancini stays, will be another test for him and his club. Failing to win the title, and now fighting to keep certain players aboard, while managing to attract the big names across the continent to join the ambitious project who seems to have hit a certain bump or two in the road this season, due to Mancini’s behavior among other things.