Joe Strange - Mancini is the right man for City's revolution
Published: 27 Sep 2010 - 11:24:32
When you've spent the gross national product of a small country during the summer transfer window, the pressure is on to deliver immediate and impressive results.
And while a defeat at Sunderland and home draw with Blackburn can't be classified as anything other than disappointing, three points against a seemingly unstoppable Chelsea side can't have done Roberto Mancini's job security any harm.
The Manchester City boss has long been touted as the manager most likely to be shown the Premier League exit door, despite being given an open chequebook by owner Sheik Mansour. But to dispose of the Italian's services at this early stage of such a huge rebuilding project would be foolish to say the least.
A complete squad overhaul - which is what City have embarked upon over the last couple of years - takes time to reap success. It's not as easy as just buying the world's best players, as his predecessor Mark Hughes found out the hard way.
The former Internazionale man has the unenviable task of moulding a large group of individuals into a team capable of challenging the league's elite.
Developing a team spirit, creating a winning mentality and getting enough points to reach the ambitious targets of the Arab owners was never going to be easy, particularly when you've got to keep a vast squad of talented, but overpaid players happy.
But Mancini, while not yet producing the free-flowing football of Arsenal or the blistering start of latest victims Chelsea, seems to be coping with arguably the most demanding job in world football.
City's start has been solid, with 11 points enough to give them fourth place in the early-season table. New signings Yaya Toure, David Silva and James Milner have all shown signs of promise, while Mario Balotelli and Jerome Boateng should strengthen them at both ends of the pitch.
The ex-Leicester City striker has removed the troublesome influences of Robinho and Craig Bellamy, while his decision to award Carlos Tevez with the captaincy looks like an inspired one.
Mancini himself has admitted that his new players need time to gel into an effective unit, but Saturday's 1-0 win over current champions and league leaders Chelsea has threatened to raise the owner's expectations once more.
Impenetrable in defence despite a mini injury crisis, industrious in midfield and clinical up-front, City have all the makings of a side capable of challenging for top honours.
Mancini believes his side aren't capable of winning the league this year, but if they continue to grow and improve as he has forecast, then that might not be such a wise prediction.
- FOOTBALL.CO.UK BLOGGER:joe strange
- A product of Brighton University's prolific youth system, Joe Strange has boundless energy and the enviable ability to cover every blade of grass in his Monday blog. Joe has written for a variety of football websites and fanzines and is also a regular contributor to golf.co.uk. Despite being born and raised in Kent, 'Stranger' is a diehard Everton fan and counts his team's penalty shoot-out victory against Manchester United last season as his most memorable football moment. Follow Joe on Twitter @joe_strange.
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