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Mancini's Tactics

Roberto Mancini may have only been at Manchester City for two weeks or so but I have already noticed big changes in our tactics.

Mancini`s tactical nouse:

This is the thing I have been most impressed with about Mancini is his ability to change tactics in our favour mid-way through the game. First of all, against Stoke things weren`t going that well. So Mancini decided to switch the formation - moving Ireland into the middle and Petrov to the right. The switch work almost instantly as Ireland linked with Bellamy who squared it across the box to Robinho who`s failed shot fell into the path of Petrov who buried it.

Having a Plan B was Hughes` main problem; he only appeared to have one route of thought and could only make substitutions like for like. Mancini appears to have a Plan B and a Plan C.

Zonal marking:

It`s not the most popular tactic in the world but when practised enough it is very effective. Collectively, we dealt extremely well with the set pieces delivered by Wolves. Zonal marking has been used very badly by Liverpool. Andy Gray often argues against the system, as he believes a jumping runner will always beat a standing jump when competing in the air.

Men on posts:

Another quick thing I noticed was that we had men on both posts for both matches. In fact, Tevez cleared a header off the post despite calls from Shay Given telling him it was going wide.

Closing down:

Another important thing that I noticed during the Wolves performance was the fact that we were closing them down as if we were playing a Top 6 side. People often say that defending from the front is key. Bellamy and Tevez were running at the back four and the goalkeeper with real intent. Add to this Barry, de Jong and even Petrov pressing it forces Wolves to hit a hopeful long ball up to their strikers.

It is easily to get motivated and pumped up against the likes of Chelsea and Man United. We closed Chelsea down really well, which you would expect. Mancini apparently thrives himself on motivation and concentration.

Full backs:

Hughes allowed Wayne Bridge to roam around the pitch and encouraged Micah Richards to get forward. Mancini however is taking a completely different approach. He doesn`t really want the full-backs to travel beyond the half way point, arguing the fact that we should have enough attacking-minded players to break the opposition down without having to call upon your full backs.

I watched him have a go at Micah Richards after he took the ball too far without support and gave away possession. Mancini is like Eriksson in the way that he wants his teams to keep possession. I also saw him tell Sylvinho to get back into position in the dying seconds of the match.

Players thriving under Mancini:

Barry - He has been allowed to venture forward more whilst having specific defensive duties.

Tevez - Has become the man who is given the ball when we are breaking to ship it on to Bellamy. Three goals in two appearances speaks for itself - he is full of confidence.

de Jong - He has been allowed to make passes into more meaningful positions because the full backs are more disciplined.

Petrov - The Bulgarian has been given his chance. Mancini apparently regards him as an important player.

Garrido - Another given his chance who is set to start at Middlesbrough after scoring a scorcher at Molineux.

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

The journalist

Writer: bigal84 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday December 31 2009

Time: 3:14PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
Good shout. I'm glad Mancini understands that Micah, for all his speed and muscle, doesn't need to be in front of the centre line. I complained all too often about Richards' performances when he roams too far up field and then shuffles back into defensive duties like he's been told by his mum to go clean his room.
Report Abuse
31/12/2009 15:40:00

i agree richard don t have the tactic or the speed dribling or good cross like zaba or alves or maincon he is more effective in his own zone
Report Abuse
31/12/2009 15:56:00

It isn't just the change in tactics when we all see they are needed, he notices things that may not be self-evident and immediately sorts it. We were missing this for so long under Hughes, and I am glad to see a man who is not afraid to do the right thing, even if it is not popular.
Report Abuse
31/12/2009 16:16:00

get a grip u've played wolves and stoke hahaha
Report Abuse
31/12/2009 16:34:00

Liamyid- Did you watch the games? No, thought not, now jog on.
Report Abuse
31/12/2009 16:44:00

liamyid - not only did you not watch our games , you forgot your crappy little (just a suburb of a bigger town called arsenal) teams results against the same oposition. come on l'yid , remind us how Harrys mighty white ****e did against wolves and stoke.
Report Abuse
31/12/2009 17:54:00

liamyid, it not who you play, but the way you play it.and your quote it was only Stoke and Wolves, both teams you appear to have lost to this season.does your mum know you're up this late?
Buzz Lightyear
Report Abuse
31/12/2009 19:31:00

Liamyid, no doubt you popped on here just to post nonsence just to get a reaction, with no thought as to that post. Hopeless, utterly hopeless.
Report Abuse
31/12/2009 20:45:00

Vital SpursCity in the area yet again! They love us!!
Johnny Baguette
Report Abuse
31/12/2009 21:20:00

Espescially Yid, i remmeber him commenting on how there going to get bellamy. Delusional
Once a Blue
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01/01/2010 17:44:00


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