Roberto Mancini Signs Three-Year Deal With Turkish Club Galatasaray

Roberto ManciniRoberto Mancini has now been out of a job since he was sacked by Manchester City’s board in May for failure in the Barclays Premier League last season, as well as in the domestic and continental cup competitions. There were mixed reactions to this from a lot of people, but the deed was done, and City are now playing under the rule of Chilean Manuel Pellegrini.

After his sacking, perhaps for not being ‘holistic’ enough, some reports suggested that the Italian would take a break from the game in order to regain some energy after a turbulent spell in England. However, this appears to have not been the case; just five months on and he is back in a job, this time with Turkish giants Galatasaray, who sacked Fatih Terim last month after Real Madrid’s mauling of the Turks in the Champions League just days earlier.

It is fair to say that most people were not shocked by Terim’s departure from his third spell with Gala. Sure, they may not have had the best start to the season under the current Turkish national team boss, but he brought success back to the Turk Telekom Arena, and to sack him so early into the season is a bit harsh. There was allegedly a two-hour meeting between the man and his board, and at some point Terim rejected a new two-year contract, with his current one due to expire in June of next year. After this, a unanimous decision was passed by the board, and the 60 year-old was sacked from his position.

Gala have appointed someone just as good, if not better, in Mancini, as well as a lot of pedigree. Having won domestic trophies in both Italy and England, along with league titles in both too, he’s obviously a very good manager, which is hard to deny no matter who you support. He may not have had the most gracious time with City, especially during the Carlos Tevez saga, but he still brought success to the blue half of Manchester and did so in style.

Fans of Galatasaray can expect to see a fantastic and enthralling style of play under their new Italian manager. It’s almost like Barcelona – although obviously not as good – the way Mancini tried to get his charges at City to play, and this was typified in his title-winning Premier League season. Some of the play in that season was absolutely exhilarating, and if he can reproduce half of that in Turkey, the Cimbom fans are in for a treat.

Roberto ManciniHaving some very good players plying their trade with the club at his disposal, this certainly won’t harm Mancini’s task either. Along with established stars like Didier Drogba and Wesley Sneijder - both of whom are stars for their respective countries - there are also some high-quality players who are only really being noticed recently, such as Burak Yilmaz. Yilmaz has starred in attack for the Turkish side in the last couple of years and is now being linked with what would probably be a dream move to the Premier League, with Liverpool lined up as possible suitors.

There are a couple of niggling worries for both Galatasaray supporters and followers of Mancini though. Firstly, he may find it quite hard to win over the supporters. When the last coach was sacked recently, a large amount of fans went to the Gala training facilities to protest the decision, and also call for the resignation of the entire board. This shows their loyalty and respect for Fatih Terim, and means it could be a bit more difficult for Mancini to come in and be under no pressure. We’ve seen before how much the fans not getting behind a new manager for whatever reason can do, and the damage it can cause. Mancini can succeed with his new team, but only if the fans aren’t too pressurizing.

Another worry is that Mancini doesn’t exactly seem to be the best man-manager in the game - we saw this with the infamous Tevez situation. Whilst that may not entirely have been his fault, he didn’t exactly cover himself in glory with the whole thing, and it was a big dampener on his most successful season with the Blues. If this continues as a trend in Turkey, and he loses the dressing room like Andre Vilas-Boas did in his short spell at Chelsea, it could prove very costly indeed for Roberto.

But overall, Mancini brought success to Manchester City and played a good brand of football along the way. Just to see it in action is something fans will treasure for a long time to come, and most have enjoyed the majority of his spell here. Last season may not have been his best, but he wasn’t exactly treated fantastically by the board. He constantly asked publicly for their backing, yet time and again they didn’t give it to him, which cost Manchester City dearly. Hours before the FA Cup Final at Wembley, stories broke that Pellegrini had reportedly agreed to join the Blues at the end of the season, which didn’t exactly help Roberto in his final days at the club. This is one aspect which easily could have been prevented.

But there is much to look forward to in seeing how Mancini copes with his new team in a completelynew league. Currently, Gala sit in a unimpressive 13th place in the Süper Lig after 7 games, managing just one win. However, there is still a long way to go in this season, and we could well see Gala top of the tree for what would be a 20th time by May of next year. There’s going to be a lot of other clubs gunning for the title though, and it’ll be an interesting battle, that’s for sure.

Written by Ben Warner

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Underdogs Wigan Athletic Defeat Manchester City to Win First FA Cup Trophy

Wigan AthleticYet again the underdogs have triumphed in a cup final after Wigan beat Manchester City 1-0 through a 90th minute goal from Ben Watson. This is the first time Wigan have won the FA Cup in their 81-year history.

No-one can say that Wigan didn’t deserve the trophy today. Manchester City started the game with some fast, flowing football and were obviously looking for an early goal. They had a couple of chances in the first 10 minutes but nothing that really troubled Joel, the Wigan keeper, too much. Just before the 10 minute mark though, Wigan really started to get into the game with a lovely move on the 9th minute which left McManaman with a great opportunity that just went wide.

McManaman was involved in nearly every Wigan attack in the match and ultimately should have scored. He and Maloney on the wings really troubled the Man City full-backs, especially Clichy, who struggled to handle McManaman throughout the game.

Throughout the first half, City had short bursts of attacks but most of the football was played by Wigan. They controlled the match during most the first 45 minutes and started to look like the favorites to win. Manchester City struggled to really get into the game and looked very nervous with the ball.

Yaya Touré repeatedly tried to get something going in midfield, but the City attackers failed to turn chances into goals. Samir Nasri had an especially average game in attacking midfield. He failed to get involved in the attacks and his passing was a bit off. City were trying to play down the wings, but unfortunately, Nasri isn’t exactly a winger, but more of a playmaker who prefers to play in the middle. Mancini had pushed him on the right though, while Tevez played in the middle as a deep lying forward behind Aguero.

As the half time whistle was blown, Wigan will have been walking down the tunnel feeling pretty confident about the next 45 minutes. They finished the half with more attempts and slightly more possession against a team who finished second in the league. Many expected City to come out much stronger and grab a couple of goals during the second half as the first half simply wasn’t good enough. Before the match, there were reports Mancini would be replaced by Malaga coach Pellegrini, and a bad performance or failing to bring back the trophy could result in a sacking.

Manchester City 0-1 Wigan AthleticSo the second half started and Wigan continued to dominate and attack the City back four. But after about 10 minutes, City decided to finally get into the game and had a couple of decent attacks. Nasri finally came off in the 55th minute for Milner, and in what could have been a sigh of relief to most City fans, the Frenchman failed to impress.

Just after the arrival of Milner, there was a penalty appeal for City as Scharner seemed to clip Aguero’s heels. Fortunately for Wigan though, nothing was given and the replay seemed to show Aguero offside anyway. Milner seemed to also improve the quality of City’s attacks with a couple of good crosses and even a chance of his own on the 60th minute.

But again Wigan began to press and a couple of McManaman’s runs helped to create some more chances. The Wigan youngster managed to dribble past Silva and Clichy easily at one point to give himself a chance on goal, but Kompany managed to stop him with a last-ditch tackle.  The City captain dealt with most Wigan attacks during the second half and looked like one of the more assured Manchester City players on the pitch.

The match continued in the same way for the majority of the second half with Wigan pressing and Man City having a couple of their own attacks. The match became more even and both teams looked like they could score at any point. But then in the 84th minute Zabaleta prevented McManaman from striding through on goal and received his second yellow. Wigan now had a real chance against 10-man City. Milner then moved into right back, which gave Wigan less to worry about on the right wing so they continued to attack, beginning to believe they could win this game in normal time.

It was now the 90th minute and Wigan had a dangerous corner. Maloney whipped it in for substitute Ben Watson to head past the helpless Joe Hart. Wigan fans and players went wild as they had surely won the FA Cup but there were still 4 added minutes of time. City attacked, but failed to find anything and finally Andre Marriner blew his whistle, and Wigan Athletic were the 2013 FA Cup Champions.

Written by Elliot Bourdais

Everton 2-0 Manchester City: Osman and Jelavic Kill off City’s Title Chances

Everton 2-0 Manchester CityBoth teams went into this game under very different circumstances. Everton needed a victory to put their fans back on their side following their disappointing 3-0 defeat to Wigan in the FA Cup last weekend. Manchester City on the other hand, well, they knew only a win would keep their faint title hopes alive. Everton’s team looked very attacking, whereas City’s looked rather defensive. This certainly showed throughout the game.

Everton started the brighter of the two and had the majority of the possession for the opening 20 minutes or so. They were creating chance after a chance and putting the visitors under pressure.

Seamus Coleman was causing Aleksander Kolarov numerous problems down the right. This mostly came from City’s starting formation, the 3-5-2. Everton recognized this was their formation, and so therefore were out to exploit it. Kevin Mirallas had his goal wrongly disallowed for offside, when it was clear to see that Kolarov was playing him onside.

Everton’s pressure continued and were finally given their just rewards for it. Leon Osman put the home side ahead with a 30-yard screamer, following great work yet again down the right from Seamus Coleman.

This all came just as City were finding their way in the game. Victor Anichibe was also proving to be a handful for the City defense with his physical presence and work-horse like attitude to get on the ball. City boss Roberto Mancini would have been disappointed to have not seen the like of Silva, Tevez, and Dzeko not in the game enough to have an impact during the half. This was all down to a great defensive performance from Heitinga and Distin, by not allowing the striker time on the ball to have an impact.

Everton also thought they had a good claim for a penalty when Fellaini was blocked by young Nastasic. But the referee Lee Probert deemed the challenge acceptable, although even Everton fans can admit that Nastasic was just standing his ground. The half drew to a close and Everton lead the champions’ by a goal to nil.

Everton 2-0 Manchester CityCity came out in the second half more attacking, although no changes were made to their system. They began to see more of the ball, and this allowed James Milner to get down the right wing more often.

But Everton stood their ground, and there was still no way through for City. In the 61st minute, a potentially game changing incident occurred. Steven Pienaar was sent off for a second bookable offence after his late lunge on Javi Garcia right in front of the referee. After that, City grew in confidence and stature. They were more involved in the game and creating a lot more chances than in the first half.

Milner, Tevez, and Zabaleta all had great opportunities to put the visitor’s level but were denied by a much inspired Jan Mucha in the Everton goal. Then, Samir Nasri came on as a more attacking option for City, replacing Gareth Barry, whilst Steven Naismith replaced a tired looking Kevin Mirallas for Everton to freshen up the side. While City were creating chances, Everton’s heroics continued and they were being inspired by a deafening Goodison Park. City then also had a penalty claim of their own when the ball clearly hit Fellaini’s hand, but Lee Probert gave a free-kick instead of a clear penalty. City were right to be unhappy about the decision, and were left to rue that missed opportunity, leaving City players and manager alike fuming that the penalty wasn’t given.

In to stoppage time and City were attacking, trying everything they could to find an equalizer  Steven Naismith robbed Gael Clichy of the ball, which set up a final attack for Everton. Fellaini received the ball in the middle of the park and made a surging run towards the City goal. The ball was given to Jelavic, who saw his shot loop over Joe Hart into the back of the net via a deflection off Kolo Toure to give Everton all 3 points and another win over Manchester City at home. This defeat left City 12 points behind leaders Manchester United before they had even played, and more-or-less killed off their title challenge for this season.

Written by OneFutbol