Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Opinions

Mancini: Lost in Transfer

Mancini Lost in Transfer

Anti-climactic, that would probably be the most apt word to describe the Premiership title race this season. Many expected this season to be a sequel to last year’s roller coaster ride, but alas the world was disappointed to see the race end well in advance with more than a couple of weeks to go. It has left many football fans scratching their heads and wondering how the gap between the two Manchester sides grew to this extent. We look at three aspects where Mancini may have lost the plot.

The transfer market

When it comes to the transfer market, there have been few sides that could match City ever since the Sheikhs came into picture. This time around, things were not too different with the difference being that both City and United had Van Persie as their prime target. In a surprising move Van Persie unlike his other Arsenal mates (Clichy, Toure, Adebayor and Nasri) chose the red side of Manchester. City surprisingly did not pursue any other striker and went on to buy what many would call fringe/ squad players. City went on to add the likes of Sinclair, Rodwell, Javi Garcia, Maicon and Nastasic. Barring Nastasic and Javi Garcia none have been in contention for a regular starting spot.  United on the other hand went on to add Shinji Kagawa to their attack, though the Japanese has not had much of an impact, he has shown glimpses of what one can expect from him in the future. Buttner was bought from Vitesse and has been more of an understudy to Evra though he has still managed more starts than former Swansea winger Scott Sinclair.

A look at player contribution that were brought in during the transfer window

Player

Starts

Sub-app

Clean sheet

Goals

Assists

Nastasic

21

0

11

0

0

Javi Garcia

17

7

2

0

Scott Sinclair

2

9

1

0

Jack Rodwell

6

5

0

0

Maicon

4

5

0

0

 

Player

Starts

Sub-app

Clean sheet

Goals

Assists

Van Persie

34

3

26

8

Shinji Kagawa

16

3

5

3

Buttner

3

1

0

2

1

 

A look at the ones that left during the transfer window

Player

Starts

Sub-app

Clean sheet

Goals

Assists

De Jong

10

2

1

0

Adebayor

18

7

5

1

Mario Balotelli

12

1

12

0

Adam Johnson

35

0

5

6

 

Player

Starts

Sub-app

Clean sheet

Goals

Assists

Park Ji Sung

15

5

0

3

Berbatov

32

1

15

3

 

Above statistics give an indication that Mancini let better players in Balotelli and Johnson leave and brought in players (Sinclair and Rodwell) that were way below par in terms of performance. United on the other hand have been releasing players that they believe have past their best, whereas City let some of its most promising young players leave. What’s baffling is Mancini let two of his strikers leave and did not bring in any replacements in January. There were clear indications that Tevez was not the force he once was, Aguero was struggling with fitness issues and Dzeko who it seemed never had the complete backing of the manager irrespective of his goal scoring form.

Some of the stats also reflect Mancini’s lack of judging talent and paying well above their market price as in case of Scott Sinclair and Rodwell, both of whom cost City about £25 million. For sure Mancini was not prudent when it came to transfers, but buying average talent consistently may have played a role in his departure.

Fixing when it ain’t broke

When City won the title last season a lot of it was down to the system they employed with two holding midfielders in Barry/ De Jong, Yaya Toure and Silva in free roles with Ageuro and Tevez/ Balotelli upfront. The system was working great but for inexplicable reason, Mancini wanted to try the 3 man defence while playing at home, Lescott’s skepticism about the formation cost him his spot in the team. Mancini resorted to his Plan A around November but by then United were already inching ahead in the title race. Whichever way you look at it, City looked a shadow of the side that won convincingly at home and grinded out results away.

A look at City’s home and away form

Home

Played

Won

Drawn

Lost

Points

2012

19

18

1

0

55

2013

19

14

3

2

45

 

Away

Played

Won

Drawn

Lost

Points

2012

19

10

4

5

34

2013

19

9

6

4

33

 

It’s clear that City lost the title based on its home form and largely that could be attributed to needless changes in tactics. One wonders if Mancini believed teams had worked him out and it was proactiveness on his part that warranted those changes, the question is was this actually the case? There were also absurd tactical switches in many games which left fans baffling, the latest of all being Rodwell replacing Tevez in the FA Cup final while super sub Dzeko looked on as City were in search of the elusive goal. It’s in such a scenario one should admire Sir Alex, he stuck to his guns (in terms of tactics/ formations) for the last decade and it surely paid off in terms of success.

Chalk and Cheese

A lot of credit was showered on Mancini when it came to man management, most of it was down to how he handled the Tevez episode and Balotelli was always going to be a handful. It seems adversity  brought the best out of Mancini, in comparison 2013 was a peaceful year in terms of controversies but for some reason he seemed to have lost the Midas touch. Balotelli started in a rich vein of form only to look an average player before being shipped off to Milan. Lescott was left out in the cold and even out of favour, Kolo Toure was given a look in ahead of the England international. Surely matters could have been sorted behind closed doors rather than making it look like obvious animosity between player and manager. Nasri too was one of the players Mancini criticized publicly and unsurprisingly the player hit back through the media. If this evidence of a split within the dressing room was not enough, one needs to only look at the FA Cup final. It was obvious that Wigan was the hungrier team and City looked a team out of gas and spirit.

Mancini may have won City their elusive league title in blockbuster style but he failed miserably at pushing on and retaining it which ultimately cost him his job. Did anyone mention sequels never living upto expectations?

This article was written by Ajay Chourasia, you can follow him on twitter at @ajaychourasia

Related Articles

What next for Manuel Pellegrini

Ajay Chourasia
Latest posts by Ajay Chourasia (see all)

Latest

Talent Radar

Tom Robinson profiles 10 of the best young players to watch in the Argentinian Primera  for the 2020 season. After over 7 months without...

Talent Radar

A look at the best U-22 Young Players this week, looking at the La Liga, Bundesliga, Premier League, Serie A, Ligue 1, Eredivisie &...

Opinions

Richard Pike writes about the increasing divide between Europe’s Big 5 Leagues and the rest. 13th of December 1954, a date where an event...

Talent Radar

Mateus Carvalho profiles 20 of the best young players to watch in the Liga NOS  for the 2020-21 season, one from each club! In...

Scout Report

Tom Robinson writes a detailed scout report about the Argentina and Banfield attacking midfielder, Agustin Urzi. With no confirmed date for football to return...

Opinions

Mateus Carvalho casts a discerning eye over Leeds United to assess their prospects in the Premier League. I still remember being a little kid,...

Tactical Analysis

Vishal Patel takes a close look at Chelsea’s defence to understand why the club conceded so many goals in the 2019-20 Premier League. Frank...

Talent Radar

Richard Pike profiles 20 of the best Under-20 players to watch in the Serie A  for the 2020-21 season, one from each club! As...

Young Players

Richard Pike profiles 20 of the best Under-20 players to watch in the La Liga for the 2020-21 season, one from each club! As...

Young Players

Rahul Warrier profiles 20 Young Players to watch in the 2020/21 Premier League season, one from each club! The return of Premier League football...

You May Also Like

Tactical Analysis

Vishal Patel takes a close look at Chelsea’s defence to understand why the club conceded so many goals in the 2019-20 Premier League. Frank...

Young Players

Rahul Warrier profiles 20 Young Players to watch in the 2020/21 Premier League season, one from each club! The return of Premier League football...

Young Players

As the end of the season beckons across Europe, in some form, it is time for us at Outside of the Boot to recognize...

Opinions

Ryan Paton wonders if the strange circumstances surrounding the recent Premier League victory will inspire an era of Liverpool dominance. It’s what we’ve been...

Previous Next
Close
Test Caption
Test Description goes like this