Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini feels that the rather long absence of key players like Vincent Kompany and Yaya Toure has cost them the title race with his team currently sitting 15 points behind leaders Manchester United ahead of the Manchester derby on Monday.
Yaya Toure has been on international duty with Ivory Coast in the Africa Cup of Nations and Kompany has been sidelined for over a month with a harsh calf injury.
That’s not the case, yet. Prior the game, and during the international break, Kompany opted to play for his country rather than rest upon his return from injury. He played full 90 minutes in his country’s 1-0 win over Macedonia which frustrated his manager.
And when the Belgian was subbed off in the 73rd minute on Saturday, Mancini and Kompany seemed to ignore each other. No eye contact was made and no words were exchanged. That resulted in rumors spreading about a rift between the two.
Nevertheless, the Italian was quick to rubbish such rumors, telling reporters: “Did I speak to him? No. For what? Vinny knows his behavior was not good.”
“He is important for us. I am happy that he played well and that he played without any problem in his calf. I hope it will be like this for the next two months.” He continued.
The 26-year old also took to the press to defend his decision. So the issue was handled publicly.
It might be a big deal when players and managers take it to the press when expressing dressing room matters, but at City and under Roberto Mancini, it has become an everyday issue. We have witnessed his rifts with his players throughout his time in Manchester.
Take Carlos Tevez for instance. Last season, he was dropped for nearly six months after disobeying his manager by refusing to warm up. Tevez was widely criticized until further rifts between Mancini and his players started exposing. Hence, the
48-year old’s aggressive attitude and approach became clear. Consequently, that is creating too much tension resulting in rifts.
And in the long list of disputes with his players, incidents feature the likes of Mario Balotelli and Samir Nasri. So, could Kompany possibly feature next on that list?
And now considering that the Citizens have not had a rather good season (unlike expected), Mancini has blamed almost everyone but himself.
Players were blamed for not giving their best for the team; referees were blamed for not being fair… etc.
Mancini has also been spending big money ever since he arrived at the Etihad and this policy is not very encouraged by many.
And in spite of all that, the question remains – will Mancini be at City come next season considering he fails to bring home the FA Cup?
It surely is a point of controversy. Howbeit, he still has four years remaining on the 5-year contract he signed last season.
And with a history filled with headlines, controversy yet success at the Etihad, what does the future hold for the former Inter Milan manager?