Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Mancini's Claim Fact Not Fiction in ; It Was a Bold Statement, but City Manager Might Be Right to Say He's the Best

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Mancini's Claim Fact Not Fiction in ; It Was a Bold Statement, but City Manager Might Be Right to Say He's the Best

Article excerpt

ROBERTO Mancini has been in English football long enough to have expected a heap of abuse for making a simple claim.

"In the last 15 months I am the best manager in England," said the City boss, in response to the unholy clamour about whether he is, or is not, about to get the sack.

Of course City critics, one-eyed fans of other clubs and certain invidious media outlets 'trimmed' the quotation slightly, so it appeared that Mancini was suggesting he is the best manager in England, full stop.

Why let the five qualifying words at the start of the sentence ruin the second part, which has led to Mancini being branded 'arrogant' and 'delusional'? Here is the quote in full, putting it in context: "In the last 15 months I am the best manager in England. Someone says for six months that Manchester City would change manager, (Pep) Guardiola would come in, and after Guardiola went to Bayern Munich, now another manager.

"I won one Premier League, one FA Cup, one Charity Shield (Community Shield), there is not another manager that's won like me in the last 15 months. I can do nothing but it is the reality."

Mancini's real view on the best manager in the country is documented - he has said more than once that Sir Alex Ferguson, in charge of neighbours United, is the 'top manager in the world'.

That is disputable, but Ferguson's record in England bears no comparison, and Mancini would not dispute that.

Claim Mancini also did himself no favours by arbitrarily snatching the '15 months' time-scale out of thin air. Had he given it a little more thought, he might have said 19 months, as the FA Cup triumph to which he referred took place in May, 2011.

But that is a detail. Mancini's claim to be the best in England over the last 15 months stands up to scrutiny, certainly in terms of trophies won - and that is the bottom line, when it comes to top managers.

Indeed, the only manager who could dispute Mancini's assertion would be another Italian, Roberto di Matteo, who guided Chelsea to the FA Cup and Champions League - and was sacked within six months, another victim of Roman Abramovich's crazy revolving door policy. …

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