Mancini wins fans’ hearts but club loses faith

2013-05-14 09:06

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Manchester – Roberto Mancini won the hearts of Manchester City fans with the trophies, a sense of humour and an immaculately knotted scarf but the often harsh management style of the sacked Italian may not be missed by some of the players.

Mounting media speculation that the City manager was about to be shown the door after three-and-a-half years at the club finally became reality yesterday when the club announced Mancini had been relieved of his duties.

A year to the day after he leapt up and down to celebrate Sergio Aguero’s last-gasp goal that snatched a first title in 44 years from Manchester United on goal difference, he slips away two matches before the end of the season.

The supporters who sing, “He comes from Italy to manage Man City, Mancini, Mancini,” will miss the temperamental boss who ended their 35-year wait for a trophy by leading them to the 2011 FA Cup.

From the frantic gesticulations on the touchline to the wild goal celebrations at odds with his neat, tailored clothes, Mancini became a popular figure among City fans.

The club’s statement announcing his departure, however, referred to the need for a “holistic approach to all aspects of football at the club” which perhaps points to some of the more divisive aspects of Mancini's time at the club.

Not one to hold back in criticising those he sees responsible for failures, he had no problem publicly berating his players after below-par performances.

He once barked: “Joe Hart should stay in goal and make saves. If anyone should criticise the team it should be me, not Joe Hart. I am the judge, not Joe Hart.”

There were often media reports of dressing room unrest as Mancini laid into a succession of players.

“I would like to give him a punch,” he said of Samir Nasri at the end of March. “Because a player like him should play like today always. Always. Every game.”

He criticised captain Vincent Kompany for choosing to play for Belgium soon after recovering from a calf problem, while he told Micah Richards he could stay on the bench if he could not adapt to the tactics he was critical of.

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