Mancini in hunt for dogs of war!
DETERMINED: Roberto ManciniRoberto Mancini sees ending City's 35-year trophy drought as an "exciting challenge". And the Italian manager, given the green light to rebuild the Blues' squad this summer, wants a group of players who also love the idea of turning them from underdogs to top dogs. City have been criticised for trying to buy their way to success and of attracting players on the basis of wage rises alone. That criticism is a weak one. The Premier League title has always been won by a team with money - it is a financial competition more than it is a football competition these days. But Mancini believes the club does need players who share his dream of transforming the fortunes of a club which is undergoing huge changes on the field and off it. He spent much of his playing career with unfancied teams, and cut his teeth in Serie A by bringing hope where there had only been failure. And he says it was the prospect of performing a similar transformation at Eastlands which attracted him to the City job. "I always prefer to work to bring success to a club that hasn't won for many years," he said. "I spent my life at Sampdoria. They hadn't had much success. I played there for 15 years because I loved that club, and I wanted to win with them. "And then I went to Lazio, who hadn't won the league for more than 20 years, and we won the title. Italian success "At Inter, it was the same. At Fiorentina, they had not had much success, and I won the Italian Cup. "For a player or a manager, it is an exciting challenge to try to make history at a club in this way." The first stage of Mancini's blueprint for City is complete, even though they missed out on Champions League qualification in the penultimate match of the season. And the manager has taken heart from the way his team competed against the top four. "I think we can overtake them next year," he said." This year, we beat Chelsea twice. We beat Arsenal twice. We lost to Spurs and United, but we matched them. "These are the top teams - United, Chelsea and Arsenal - who play in the Champions League year after year. "But we were very strong against all of them. It shows we have a good mentality - and this is important." But Mancini is not simply eyeing up a top four finish next season - he is aiming for "the maximum", as he said after the final match at West Ham. He has qualified that by talking of the difficulty of a manager winning a league title at the first attempt. "It's difficult to win it in the first year, but in football, things are always possible," he said. "For example, in Italy 25 years ago, Hellas Verona won the title, and it wasn't expected. These things can happen. I want to win every game in every competition. We will try." Do you think City will crack the top four next season? Have your say.| Submit Comments| Comments (58)| PrintWhat's this? Emaildel.icio.usDiggredditFacebookStumbleUponNewsvineGoogle BookmarksNetscapeTechnoratiWindows LiveYahoo! MyWebMa.gnolia
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