Does City’s pursuit of Aguero highlight Mancini’s weaknesses?


Roberto Mancini’s much publicised pursuit of want-away Atletico Madrid striker Sergio Aguero will probably be met with celebration by the majority of City fans and neutral supporters of the Premier League. This is understandable as Aguero looks like a fantastic player with great potential who could improve just about any team in world football. But with the rich and abundant array of offensive talent on show at Eastlands, is a £38 million striker really a priority for Mancini and just why is he in the market?

Maybe Mancini just cannot handle some of the big egos on show in Manchester. Tevez and Mancini’s disputes are relatively well documented and Carlos has made it perfectly clear that he intends to leave as soon as a club closer to home stumps up the cash but it looks at the moment as if Tevez might be staying put for another season.

Adebayor was signed just two years ago after a successful spell with Arsenal and cost City around £25 million. On his day he is a fantastic striker, big in height and ego, but he has not really been given that opportunity under Mancini and was shipped out on loan last season, to Real Madrid. Bellamy is another player who was flourishing before the arrival of Mancini (culminating with two great strikes against Manchester United.) However, under Mancini, he is another player who has found opportunities with the first team hard to come by.

Balotelli is perhaps the biggest ego of them all but, love him or hate him, he is a sensational young talent and with the right guidance he could be a world beater. Does lowering him down the pecking order by signing another big money striker really show faith? Mancini will have known all about Balotelli from their shared time at Inter and was willing to pay £24 million for his services. For this kind of fee you would expect Mancini to utilise ‘Super Mario’ more often than he has and really build the team around him.

Then there is of course the small matter of Edin Dzeko, the Bosnian target man who has just been signed by City in January for around £27 million. Admittedly he has had a slow start to his Premiership career but anyone who has seen him play in the Bundesliga or Champions League for Wolfsburg will believe that there is a lot more to come from this man.

Add to this the neglected pair of Jo and Roque Santa Cruz, who cost a combined total of around £36 million and it’s clear that City are about as short on strikers as the owners are on fivers.

Mancini’s stubbornness with his defensive minded formations also does not help get the best out of his players. Playing with a combination of any two of those players previously mentioned up front would be feared by any team and there is even enough offensive midfield talent to provide for a one man strike force, with a target man like Dzeko, Adebayor, Santa Cruz or Balotelli playing off the likes of David Silva, james Milner et al.

A more attacking and fluid style of play would suit the talent at City’s disposal and at times last season when they counter attacked and committed men forward they played some fantastic football but too often the Italians defensive strategy made for flat performances. Mancini and the board’s solutions seem to be to spend even more money on players when a little less caution and a bit of tactical variation could be all his side needs.

However, with the seemingly endless amounts of money at Mancini’s disposal will he be held accountable for these transfer flops or failing to get the best out of the players he inherited. If any other manger had spent £25 million plus on a striker in January, failed to get a decent performance out of them and was now tabling a £38 million pound replacement he would have been much more heavily criticised than Roberto Mancini and, in the case of another Italian Premier League manager in Chelsea, been sacked. are seeking new writers to join the team! If you’re passionate about football, drop us a line at “” to learn more.

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  • Sean says:

    Mancini doesn’t rate Adebayor(lazy and disruptive), Santa Cruz (almost always injured) or Jo (never good or strong enough). None of which were his signings.

    He hopes to have Aguero, Dzeko, Balotelli and Guidetti as his four forwards with Johnson, Silva and hopefully Nasri as wingers/attacking midfielders.

    In ‘central’ midfield we have Barry, Milner, De Jong and Toure.

    Hopefully if we can sign Aguero and Nasri-we’ll have the kind of squad even you will see that the players you complain Mancini has ‘neglected’ would not be good enough to get into. He is not the first manager to want to buy his own players and sell some of those he inherited.

  • anton says:

    total nonsense mancini did not buy adebayour bellamy santa cruz and jo has already been sold.

    • Toby Jordan-Brown says:

      The article was written just before Jo left for the record but fair enough if you don’t agree with the article.

  • Steve says:

    What utter tosh this article is. Oblivious to fact is an understatement.

  • frothy says:

    another load of bollocks thats wasted 3 mins of my life ctid

  • Blue says:

    City fan here but to be honest I have some sympathy with this article. There is an array of attacking talent not even in our squad that most other top teams would be happy to have. I understand we have money to burn so these guys can effectively rot ( on £100k per week!) but it does feel weird as a city fan that we can collect these players and not have to get rid.

    Then again who cares before last year I had never seen them win a trophy ( born in 77) and no one cam take that away from me! Ade, Craig, Santa you can continue to rot with your 100k!

  • Kaptain Kompany says:

    I see the point he has here, and I really do not think we need Aguero either. I think it is a bit harsh to blame Mancini for Tevez wanting to leave. Tevez has stated over and over again that he loves playing for City, but his family cannot live here and that is tough on him. I mean, Mancini made him the captain in order to coax him into staying. He cannot be blamed for that. Santa Cruz and Jo are not even good and have both had 1 good season about 5 years ago…. I think we are fine up front with Balotelli or Dzeko leading the line, and if for some reason they are injured then Guidetti is an ample replacement. I think we do need to buy Nasri though, as we need more help from our 3 attacking midfielders. We have Silva, Johnson, Yaya, Wright-Phillips, and Milner who are capable of playing there. I think we need just one more player who can slot into those attacking positions if need be. If we buy Aguero, which is looking ever more likely, we can place either him or Balotelli in a winger position as well

  • Laugher says:

    We knew when we bought them that these players were gambles, but as we were not in the CL or winning trophies we had to pay over the odds to get what we could. We are now past that phase, and bringing in players at market value, and able to attract top players who would not have considered us before. It’s called a strategy.

    Btw I remember that the Arse fans couldn’t wait to get rid of Ade.

  • It's Grim Oop North says:

    You still don’t get it do you?

    Mancini’s brief for next season is to win the Premiership, and go as far as possible in the Champions League, if not win that too.

    The Sheikh wants it all, and is prepared to bankroll the signings, and take a loss on the players no longer good enough for the season ahead.

    Better to ask yourself, could City beat Barca with the current squad, or does it need strengthening, then you get your answer.

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