Roberto Mancini loves rotations, but too much of anything is simply bad for your team, especially when there’s an obvious difference in the quality between the players in the Manchester City strike force. While Carlos Tevez is a very capable scorer and player altogether, there’s no doubt that playing with both Sergio Aguero and Edin Dzeko is the most beneficial to this team.
Forget about Mario Balotelli. He’s not a genius as some claim he is. He is physically gifted, with an incredible shot and calmness at the penalty spot few have ever shown, unlike his rocky nature on and off the pitch. It doesn’t mean he deserves to be playing, when everything he gives this team isn’t enough to warrant a place ahead of the Argentinian duo or the Bosnian forward.
Many might suggest that City’s problems this season aren’t due to their forwards and the rotation between them. The problem is their midfield, especially the creative part of it. David Silva has too many ups and downs, Yaya Toure isn’t the same player he was last season and Samir Nasri is simply terrible almost every time he steps on the pitch. He got wrongly sent off in the 4-3 win over Norwich, but his contribution to the team has been minimal so far this season, with a goal and three assists in 12 matches.
It’s been quite a while since Edin Dzeko last scored. Nearly two months, frustrating months. He got the starting job, then lost it, then got it again. Mancini rotates and rotates, with Sergio Aguero given preference, but not in the same way he did last season. Mancini thought he had four strikers of equal quality and potential, and when he plays Carlos Tevez he might even afford to lose one of his attacking midfielders because of Tevez’ versatility.
His best finisher is Dzeko, his best player is Aguero. That should be his basic look when he sets up a lineup. Those two are the players that give him the best chance of winning. A rotation shouldn’t mean a carousel approach up front – it should mean that these two are at the top of the food chain, and once in a while you give one of them a rest. Carlos Tevez has too many matches in which his runs and effort lead him nowhere. Sergio Aguero is always more dangerous. Edin Dzeko is planet in the box, but can score in so many ways, if only he gets the provisions.
Mancini isn’t in a good situation. Tight wins, bad football, 7 points behind United, another failure in the Champions League. Instead of experimenting and experimenting, he should stick to his best guns, those that won him the title last season. They might be his best chance of somehow performing a comeback this season, instead of limping all the way to the finish line and the inevitable end.