Mancini needs to be a bit more respectful and a bit more self-aware when talking about the two teams. After all the Italian has had the pick of Europe when it comes to players and money has been no object for him during his time in charge, so to have a little indignant pop at Everton like that doesn’t reflect too well on him. Not only that – I think he’s wrong. While it’s true that players like to test themselves against the best, and City as current Premier League champions are that – I don’t think David Moyes would prepare for a game at the Etihad any different than he would any other game. Mancini might have blamed himself after City were beaten at Goodison last season saying he didn’t prepare properly, but you’ll never be able to accuse Moyes of that.
He will go through the same meticulous approach for a trip to Manchester as he will Hereford or Cheltenham in the FA Cup, and he won’t let his players treat them differently either. Everton played well on Saturday and dominated the early stages, so maybe Mancini was trying to deflect from that. The Blues are a really good side and Mancini will have been grateful to have got a point when it comes down to it because he could easily have come away from that game with his side’s unbeaten record at home over and nothing else to show for it. From Everton’s point of view it was a positive afternoon. They’ve had some pretty galling draws lately against Norwich and Fulham but this was definitely a good point. Not many teams go there and get a result so Everton should take a lot of heart from the way they played in the first half.
The Blues scored first and silenced the crowd, and they arguably played the much more convincing football before the half time and the set-back of a “soft” penalty to pinch Phil Jagielka’s rather apt description. It certainly puts the squad in high spirits ahead of the game against Spurs on Sunday and reminds everyone that Everton are capable of being in the mix for the top four places. They were more than a match for Arsenal, dealt with what City could throw at them and let’s not forget the way they turned over Manchester United. Roll on Sunday!