Does Mancini’s depleted squad headache only exist in his mind?
Roberto Mancini believes only Barcelona could cope with the lengthy absentee list that has crippled his Manchester City squad.
The likes of Yaya Toure, David Silva and Vincent Kompany were all missing during City’s midweek first-leg defeat to Liverpool in the Carling Cup.
Defender Kolo Toure did not feature while Italian striker Mario Balotelli was substituted before half time due to an ankle problem.
Only Silva is expected to be fit for Monday night’s game away to Wigan Athletic and Mancini admits it is a ‘difficult’ time for all concerned.
City’s boss has spent vast amounts of money in the transfer market in recent seasons, but he thinks the club are still up to five years away from having the strength in depth to match Barcelona.
“Maybe Barcelona could. Manchester City no,” Mancini said of his depleted City squad.
“In four or five years, Manchester City probably yes. But not now.
“When I said one month ago that December and January would be the crucial months it was because I know football.
“Every year in every squad you have one difficult moment. At the moment we are not strong and we have lost important players, so it is difficult.”
SOURCE: Sky Sports
It’s a bit rich for Roberto Mancini to complain about a lack of strength in depth considering he has a squad of 27 players along with another 16 players out on loan deals. Whilst the Italian may struggle with some injuries he has clearly assembled a huge squad that would be the envy of any club in Europe.
Indeed we calculate that Man City have the largest first team squad in the Premier League, when you factor in players on professional contracts as well as those youngsters who have been loaned out to further their footballing education.
Also his assertion that Barcelona have the strength in depth to cope with the problems Man City face is a tad disingenuous given that Pep Guardiola actually has a fairly small squad numbering just 20, if you don’t include youth team players who have been drafted in on occasion.
In fact if you read the story from Sky Sports they only refer to one actually injured player, Mario Balotelli, one suspended player, Vincent Kompany, and two players away on African Nations Cup duty, Yaya and Kolo Toure. David Silva will apparently be fit for tonight’s match at the DW Stadium so that still leaves Mancini with a huge array of international level players to pick from.
So in fact Man City very much have ‘rich people’s problems’ that Mancini would do well to acknowledge otherwise it appears he is just making excuses for loaning out far too many of his squad on long term deals.