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Shay Given Lifts The Lid On Roberto Mancini's Weird Methods At Man City

Shay Given Lifts The Lid On Roberto Mancini's Weird Methods At Man City
By Gavin Cooney
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Pep Guardiola is on his way to making them one of the best teams in the history of the Premier League (well, Pep and hundreds of millions of Middle-Eastern petrodollars of morally ambiguous provenance) but it will have to be a majestic season from Guardiola if he is to displace 2011/12 at the apogee of City fans' memories.

You'll need no reminder of how City won the league that day, and it unsurprisingly enshrined Roberto Mancini in the memory of City fans forever. If extracts in Shay Given's new book are to be believed, however, it was achieved partly in spite of the Italian manager.

Given has a book coming out entitled Any Given Saturday, and Sunday Indo readers here yesterday were treated to extracts about the obvious: Saipan and the Henry Handball. Further extracts appear in the Mirror in England today, one of them focusing on Mancini's time at City.

Given reveals that Mancini's temper erupted on a daily basis at City, and by the time he was finished working with Mancini, Given says he was ready to throw a party in celebration.


Aside from the anger, however, some of Mancini's methods surprised Given. This was chief among them:

At most clubs I’ve been at, you do a bit of team shape on a Thursday to lead into the weekend and you play 11 v 11.

The two teams would be the rough starting XI v the ‘Custard Pies’ who were on the bench. But at City 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 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.

Fucking hell, even I’d score a hatful in those circumstances. It was weird because it wasn’t done at any great pace or intensity so I couldn’t work out the point of it.

Last time I checked, when you kicked off on a Saturday you had 11 men in front of you, but still we did it every week.

We've heard mention of this kind of mania in the Premier League once before: cheese-prescribing Felix Magath forced his Fulham players to do it once out of anger, which you can read more about here.

The full extract is available on the Mirror's website. 


See Also: Jose Mourinho Reveals He Won't End His Managerial Career At Manchester United




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