Michael Farrow's sports blog

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…on Mancini’s “kamikaze spending”

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James Milner - The cherry on the cake, the sixpence on the Christmas pudding, the... oh, you get the idea

It’s all over folks. Roberto Mancini has said that James Milner is Man City’s last summer signing.  Alex Ferguson has lambasted them for “kamikaze spending”, with Sheikh Mansour now having committed over £1bn to Manchester City since he has arrived. Ferguson can talk, spending £7m on a player he’s never seen play. We’re now approaching the end of the second year since Mansour purchased the club via his investment vehicle and they still appear to be buying whomever they can lay their hands on. A Man United fan said to me recently that only Man City could be given all the money in the world and conspire to mess it up. He may be eating his words soon, I’m not sure it’s all that bad.

Like Chelsea when they first started, we are still going through the period where players are bought without an idea of the squad structure. With the haggling with Aston Villa over Milner, you could con yourself that a bit of realism has crept in. Then you remember the lunacy of paying £24m for Yaya Toure and then paying him £10m per year. I’m not sure he’s even as good as his brother.  Mancini has made some very good signings. Kolarov seems a very sensible buy, as does Jerome Boateng but then you have the signings of the inconsistent Yaya Toure, the impetuous Mario Balotelli and the enigmatic David Silva. For 24m each, you would expect a bit more proven quality and a little less unknown quantity. Well, at least he’s not signed another head scratcher like Patrick Vieira. It’s an improvement over the work they’ve done in the last two transfer windows. Mark Hughes paid £17m for the injury-prone Roque Santa Cruz, who is still living off one good season under Hughes at Blackburn, £25m for Emmanuel Adebayor and a scary £22m for Joleon Lescott.

However, there’s the Craig Bellamy affair hanging over Mancini and the feeling that he should have done better by Bellamy.
Bellamy has buggered off home for six months, pleasing Cardiff’s players and fans, notably Michael Chopra, who previously threatened to leave if there was no movement on the transfer front. Bellamy’s nature has often proved elusive to pin down. He is clearly a man whose abilities on the field stem from a self-centred approach off it. In many ways, he is the model professional because he approaches it as a career at which you need to work hard. Tactically, he has come on in leaps and bounds and, arguably, his stock has never been higher. However, it is also clear that Bellamy is only good for the coach when he’s with you and when he’s against you, you need to remove him from the situation quickly. Given the trigger-happy nature of the Emiratis, he probably fancies himself to outlast Mancini at Man City.

Ultimately, Ferguson is wrong.  Mancini has been linked with the world but his actual buys are improving the squad.  Just now they question is does Mancini actually have the vision and ability to get this squad moving in the right direction.


Written by Michael Farrow

August 19, 2010 at 4:33 pm

Posted in Football

Tagged with ,

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