Roberto Mancini will always be a hero at Manchester City.
The Italian delivered the first taste of major success to the Etihad in the modern era, winning the FA Cup and the Premier League, City’s first in 44 years.
You won’t need reminding, but this should refresh your memory.
But one of the players who played under Mancini has claimed that the former Inter Miland and Sampdoria playmaker wasn’t the most popular with anyone at the club by the time he left.
Mancini was sacked by the higher-ups at City after an ill-fated FA Cup final where he saw his side lose to Wigan in 2013. But weeks before his dismissal, the writing was already on the wall for Mancini, with a number of stories in the press detailing the board’s displeasure with the former Sampdoria and Leicester playmaker.
Shay Given, who played the role of back-up goalkeeper behind Joe Hart during Mancini’s reign, claims that Mancini managed to fall out with everyone from the star players to the workers in the canteen.
“And when I say everyone, I mean everyone. The players, the back-up staff, the physios, the kitman, the press officers, the canteen workers, the car park lads, the lot.”
“Every single morning, he’d sit on an exercise bike and the physio would come to him to report what condition the squad was in. That was the start of World War Three every day. The physios would deliver a standard list of who was and wasn’t fit and he would erupt in anger, accusing them of shielding fit players or not working hard enough to get injured players back.”
Given believes that Mancini did make City a better team defensively, but remains perplexed by some of his methods.
“It would just be the starting XI against nobody. Ghosts. Nothing. I’d roll the ball out to the right-back, he’d pass it back. I’d pass it to the centre-half, and he’d pass it back. I’d kick to (Craig) Bellamy or Stephen Ireland and he’d dribble, at walking speed, towards their goal. Then they passed it to Tevez or whoever and he’d have to score. Into an empty net. F***ing hell, even I’d score a hatful in those circumstances.”