This is the Life of a Manager

By Jordan Brown

The chant rang around Tehrir Square over the weekend—the chant of the revolution, the chant that brought down deposed Mubarak, ‘The people want to bring down the regime!” They shouted it this time for a new leader, the democratically elected Mohammend Morsi—a man who is suddenly discovering the confines of power, the limits of his reach.

Somewhere in London a dour Frenchman was ending his day, and if he were to have seen the scenes in Cairo, heard the chant of the young revolutionaries, it would probably sound to him much like, “You don’t know what you’re doing.” A game as ubiquitous in global culture as football finds itself mirroring many other spheres of human society, none so often as politics, and no role in football is so neatly politicized as Manager.

Football is a republic built on popular momentum; it is the modern circus maximus played out in coliseums of steel and glass, and the mobs are still the masters. In every seat of the stands sits a revolutionary, a fan who holds their own individual ideal of their club’s perfection. They know the way their team should play, who they should sign, and exactly what great heights of achievement each season should hold. Their minds are filled with gleaming trophy cabinets and memorable performances, and to all of them the one standing in the way of the dream made life is the flesh and blood man in the puffy jacket pacing the byline in front of them. Everyone is the best fit for the job except for the one who currently holds the title.

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Lawyers chase ambulances, José Mourinho chases Roberto Mancini

By Mark Griffiths

Well, it’s a living.

Or rather, it could turn out to be a profitable living. Mourinho has carefully crafted his career, step-by-step, taking over clubs which are in the perfect state to be taken on to a higher level; Mancini has a track record of taking clubs so far, but then hitting the wall. Having already succeeded him at Inter, Mourinho might realise after his visit to the Etihad this week that Mancini is an expert at creating the sort of conditions he loves to inherit.

Mourinho knows what he’s looking for when he moves on. Chelsea were flush with cash and had gone through the awkward settling-in period which such a dramatic change of financial circumstances inevitably brings. Just ask Claudio Ranieri, Mark Hughes and Antoine Kombouaré about it for confirmation. Inter had got themselves stuck at a level of domestic domination but continental stagnation. Real Madrid needed someone to slay the Catalan dragon.

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The beginning of Roberto Mancini’s coaching career: chaos and controversy in Florence

By Giancarlo Rinaldi

Sweeping back his trademark flowing locks on the sidelines at the Etihad Stadium, Roberto Mancini contemplates which multi-million pound star to throw into the fray. The fans sing a hymn in his praise and he waves, smiling, in recognition of their words. But, in his coaching career, ithas not always been this way. The former Sampdoria star cut his managerial teeth in a much more trying set of circumstances. More than a decade ago, before he had even properly hung up his boots, he was thrown in at the deep end to run a club on the brink of financial collapse with its fans in a state of continual turmoil. Welcome to Fiorentina in 2001.

The Viola had been regulars in the Champions League but, in the background, their president, film producer Vittorio Cecchi Gori, had failed to keep a close eye on the books. Without the watchful gaze of his father Mario, who passed away in 1993, things spiralled out of control. In a desperate attempt to balance the accounts he had sold Gabriel Batistuta to Roma in the summer of 2000 and there were rumours the players were not being paid. It was a script which would not have a happy ending.

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From one recalcitrant to another, we have Mancini’s first test: curing a suicidal Manchester City malaise (by Darshan Joshi) 

At least Roberto Mancini’s selection headaches are thinning. The petulance of Edin Džeko will see the Bosnian left out of City’s weekend clash with Blackburn, while Carlos Tévez’s latest insipid tirade has seen Mancini finally pull the plug on last season’s top goalscorer. It says a lot about a club when Mario Balotelli ranks amongst the manager’s favoured fowards; formerly the bad boy of Eastlands, he even afforded Mancini a hug at the weekend. Given the sights radiating from the away dugout at the Allianz Arena last night (involving Balotelli’s seniors no less), the lack of a united club identity is wholly apparent. Sometimes, a real love and passion for your team is what can spur you on; we certainly saw it with Bayern Munich. While City’s self-absorbed hara-kiri wasn’t the only power at work in Germany (the hosts, and especially Franck Ribéry, were sensational), it robbed Mancini of the chance to tactically manœuvre his ailing team’s fortunes in the match.
In England, the media and neutrals alike have been encomiastic in their salutations for this new-look, offensively-tilted Manchester City team, but the first test of their domestic season has not come from heinously efficient and resilient opposition. It has come from within. Roberto Mancini’s selection woes might give way to medical maladies; a migraine he doesn’t yet have a transfer window to fix. Until then, Manchester City, for all their potential, could be their own worst nightmare.

From one recalcitrant to another, we have Mancini’s first test: curing a suicidal Manchester City malaise (by Darshan Joshi

At least Roberto Mancini’s selection headaches are thinning. The petulance of Edin Džeko will see the Bosnian left out of City’s weekend clash with Blackburn, while Carlos Tévez’s latest insipid tirade has seen Mancini finally pull the plug on last season’s top goalscorer. It says a lot about a club when Mario Balotelli ranks amongst the manager’s favoured fowards; formerly the bad boy of Eastlands, he even afforded Mancini a hug at the weekend. Given the sights radiating from the away dugout at the Allianz Arena last night (involving Balotelli’s seniors no less), the lack of a united club identity is wholly apparent. Sometimes, a real love and passion for your team is what can spur you on; we certainly saw it with Bayern Munich. While City’s self-absorbed hara-kiri wasn’t the only power at work in Germany (the hosts, and especially Franck Ribéry, were sensational), it robbed Mancini of the chance to tactically manœuvre his ailing team’s fortunes in the match.

In England, the media and neutrals alike have been encomiastic in their salutations for this new-look, offensively-tilted Manchester City team, but the first test of their domestic season has not come from heinously efficient and resilient opposition. It has come from within. Roberto Mancini’s selection woes might give way to medical maladies; a migraine he doesn’t yet have a transfer window to fix. Until then, Manchester City, for all their potential, could be their own worst nightmare.

City under the spotlight as the Community Shield is reborn

By Darshan Joshi

Once the foundations have been laid, the stage is set for rapid success. It has been three years now since the Abu Dhabi United Group acquired Manchester City from the scandal-clad palms of Thaksin Shinawatra, and progress has been steady. Financial outlays in past off-seasons have entered the three-digit mark with consummate ease, with managers not quite needing to embrace their inner miser (we refrain from the phrase ‘wheeler-dealer’ to avoid a Redknapp-style, profanity-ridden outburst), but this time, the suave Roberto Mancini has parted ways with barely £50m and yet managed to bring in two established stars, and one highly-touted youngster. Time remains, of course, for further spending.

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Manchester City finally sign Barcelona reject Assulin

Premier League super spenders Manchester City announced the capture of 19 year old Gai Assulin for an undisclosed fee. The former Barcelona player has been training with the English club since his summer release but was unable to complete the deal earlier due to injury. Despite being labelled as a free agent, the Spanish giants were legally paid compensation due to developing the winger through their elite youth ranks.

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Man. City to smash the British transfer record for Pastore

The transfer window recently closed and Premier League super spenders Manchester City already targeted their next signing. Roberto Mancini is believed to be deeply interested in Javier Pastore, Palermo’s flamboyant and talented playmaker. The 21 year old would cost the club approximately €48m (£40m) which would be a record Biritish transfer free smashing their previous milestone when they paid €42.5 million (£32.5m) for Robinho in 2008. However, money is not an issue for the club and a deal could be struck in January.

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Why Manchester City Won’t Win The Premier League

By Dominic Vieira, writing from Portugal

Can money buy a team glory? No.

The media, fans and players thought Manchester City were going to win the title last season after spending over an astronomical £100m buying the Premier League’s top players. They purchased Carlos Tevez, Gareth Barry, Joleon Lescott, Emmanuel Adebayor and Kolo Toure amongst others.

However, Roberto Mancini who took over from Mark Hughes in late December guided The Citizens to 5th place, their highest Premier League finish. Manchester City qualified for the Europa League, but not the Champions League where Europe’s biggest stars and best teams stars perform on the most competitive stage. 

Bearing in mind that City appointed a new manager in mid-season and signed a range of foreign players who need time to adapt, 5th place was a noble achievement. The team will build and develop from last season’s performances by constructing a team which is physically and mentally ready to challenge for the title which they’ve not won since 1968. And how do you think Man City prepared for the 2010/11 season?

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