Manchester City defeated the local rivals Manchester United in the League Cup semi-final this week. Mancini played an interesting starting line-up in the match. City are increasingly becoming a big powerful team. The starting line-up they played against United was: Kompany, Richards, Boyata, Zabaleta, Garrido, Wright-Phillips, Barry, de Jong, Tevez, Bellamy and of course Given. Plus they had the services of players like Robinho, Onouha and Ireland available on the substitute bench (only Onouha was used by the way).
Seems like Mancini had modeled the title winning sides who need a little physical presence here and there on the field. City has got so much attack and flare with the strikers they have in the squad that you can put any combination of three into the attack like the other night it was Tevez, Bellamy and Wright-Phillips. They also have Adebayor, Robinho and several others that can come in.
One suspects that Mancini has been looking through the history and saw what Jose Mourinho did at Chelsea and made them a very strong and a very powerful side and Chelsea are still very potent because of that. Maybe Mancini is consciously aiming Chelsea because there is a certain Chelsea factor to City at the moment.
Strong, powerful, quite a lot of lads in the midfield who like to tackle, etc. Although one lad, Stephen Ireland, is not as quick and as agile to be played up front with the kind of strikers City have at the moment and neither is like Barry or de Jong who like to tackle. He is more of a creative midfielder and it will be interesting to see how Mancini plays him when he is completely fit; he was on the bench the other night.
For more on the topic, follow the link and listen to the Episode 37 of the Soccerlens Podcast.