Roberto Mancini became a legend in English football for mentoring and coaching Manchester City’s 2011/12 league win, which earned his side the first top-flight crown in 44 years. He also won the 2011 FA Cup and 2012 Comunity Shield.
The players bought by the Italian are still an important part of the City squad currently under the leadership of Chilean Manuel Pellegrini- the side won the title last season as well, after they kept their cool towards the tail end of the season and leapfrogged Liverpool to the first place. The somewhat self-involved Mancini believes that without his influence, City would not be in such a strong position.
“I feel this City is still mine,” Mancini told Gazzetta dello Sport.
“The strength points are the players with whom I won three trophies in Manchester: Yaya Touré, Pablo Zabaleta, Sergio Aguero, Edin Dzeko and David Silva. I have good feelings for almost all players I’ve coached at City. I’m proud of my job. We changed the football history in Manchester. They (City board) asked me to do this in three years and I did it in a season and a half.”
Mancini was speaking ahead of City’s Champions League encounter with Roma on Tuesday, and highlighted his old side’s potential weaknesses which could be exploited by the Italian team.
“Roma play with the ball, as once before,” Mancini added.
“City are not the Manchester United of a few years ago, all running and competitiveness. And this could be an advantage for Roma. The best tactic against City? The key is a fast start and to take advantage of the opportunity that City will grant them.
“They have to be careful in defence, concentrate for the entire 90 minutes, and be clinical in attack. A complete Roma can beat City, but the absences of De Rossi, Castan and Astori make them more vulnerable as a squad.”
Manchester City will face in in-form Roma, who have won all six of their games to date this season, including a 2-0 win over Hellas Verona that took them level on points with Juventus ahead of this weekend’s showdown between the top two in Turin.
Meanwhile, Joe Hart will return for Manchester City for the Champions League clash, after being replaced by Willy Caballero at the weekend.