Roberto Mancini

Discussion in 'General football forum' started by Tez Tosterone, 24 Jul 2016.

  1. Prestwich_Blue


    26 Jan 2006
    Wherever I lay my hat that's my home
    You don't get the success and longevity he enjoyed without knowing how to take people with you rather than pissing them off for no good reason.

    Anyway, happy birthday Roberto.
  2. Claytop


    12 Jan 2012
    Wasn't it mentioned that we had planned to get rid of him at the end of THAT season after the Arsenal defeat but obviously what followed made that pretty much impossible to do?

    Probably bullshit but who knows.
  3. [​IMG]

    Mancini in his Zenit bobble hat, scarf and gloves combination during last night's game, when it was minus 5 in Moscow. He doesn't need such items for home matches because the roof is closed and the temperature is at least 18C in the stadium even when it's freezing outside. (Seeing their new stadium with the roof makes me regret that we can't build a state of the art new one of our own and give the Etihad over for rugby, but that's a pipe dream - and a digression for this thread).

    Anyway, Zenit last night seem to have played pretty well as far as I can gather and Mancini himself asserted quite forcefully that the defeat was undeserved. However, you always have problems if you give the opposition a two-goal start and it's not as if dropping points is an isolated event of late. Not only are they now six points off the pace, but they have three powerful teams, who trailed Zenit by a distance not long ago, coming up behind them: CSKA are one point back in third, Spartak are a further point back in fourth and Krasnodar are one more point adrift in fifth. The brilliant start seems a long time ago and the last eleven league games have brought three wins, five draws and three defeats, which can only be seen as a very disappointing haul given the playing resources at Zenit's disposal.

    Russian football Twitter - or at least the parts of it that I follow - don't suggest that the knives are out for Roberto yet. However, they really need to win at home next week to mid-table Ural Ekaterinburg in the last league game before the winter break. Nor would it do Mancini any harm if he could get the draw his team needs in San Sebastian in the final Europa League group game if they're to top the section ahead of Real Sociedad.

    Then they can regroup. There's quite a bit of speculation over what they may do in the transfer market this winter: Mancini was presumably unfamiliar with many of the players he took over, but will now have seen which ones don't fit into his plans. If they can be moved on, it may give him the wherewithal to make an addition or two, including perhaps by bringing back players who were loaned out in the summer but who now look better bets that some of those kept on. He has a challenge on his hands, though.
  4. Zenit have beaten Ural 2-1 this afternoon in the last league game before the winter break. They went behind early on but levelled midway through the first half, both of the goals being own goals scored from free kicks whipped into the box. They got the winner they deserved through a cracker by Kokorin on 76 minutes.When fixtures resume at the start of March, they have 11 matches to make up the deficit on Lokomotiv, which will stand at six points if Loko get their expected win at home to Rubin Kazan later on.

    Meanwhile, Mancini's side have one last engagement before the layoff. They're away to Real Sociedad on Thursday needing a draw to top their Europa League group.

  5. So, a terrific 3-1 win for Zenit last night away to Real Sociedad sees them top their Europa League Group. A couple of cracking second-half goals, too, not least Branislav Ivanovic's overhead kick to restore their lead after Sociedad had levelled just before the hour mark. Zenit will now be away in the first leg of the last 32 knock-out tie on 15 February, with the return in St Petersburg a week later.

    They go through as top scorers in the entire Europa League group phase with 17 goals (ahead of Sociedad themselves on 16 and Dinamo Kiev with 15). That's a measure of how excellent Zenit have generally looked in this tournament - quite noticeable that they prosper when teams allow them to play. Most of the problems domestically have stemmed from a failure to break down teams that park the proverbial, which seems to be the tactic most Russian opponents now adopt against them.

    Anyway, that's now that in terms of competitive fixtures until February because of the winter break. The Europa League last 32 signals the resumption for Zenit, with domestic fixtures starting up again on the first weekend in March.

    I don't know exactly what the plans are during their time off, but if they do what they and other leading Russian clubs normally do, they'll give the players about four weeks off to enjoy the festivities, then in January head to sunnier climes for warm-weather training (Cyprus, Israel, Turkey, the UAE and Spain are all perennial favourites). And they'll no doubt play a few friendlies against local opposition and other teams from countries with long winter breaks or summer seasons (i.e. eastern Europe and Scandinavia).

    So this is my last regular update for more than a couple of months. I'll post occasionally with news of signings or the winter training camp, plus anything else that happens to put Roberto in the spotlight. In the meantime, a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all!
  6. citytilllidie


    14 Apr 2011
    Merry Christmas and New Year Kamerad
  7. acton28


    3 Jul 2010
    Ged Brannan's agent.
    On the Blue Moon.
    Mancini....woooahhhh... always welcome in Manchester. Always. Hope all continues well with Bobby Manc.
  8. Vienna_70


    18 Jun 2009
    rag hater
    12/8/17 to 27/12/17
    Thanks for the continuing updates, @petrusha.

    They are very welcome.
  9. Thanks to the posters who offered kind words. However, I must confess to having misled you with my statement that the winter break starts now. Apologies for that. This was the originally scheduled timing and still held good when I checked about 4 weeks ago but in fact they've now decided to play another round of fixtures this weekend and then have the winter break.It's highly unusual for them still to be playing at this juncture and, as I look out of my window at a heavy blanket of snow, I can't be sure it's well advised. I assume, though, they want to finish the season a week earlier with a view to preparing for the World Cup.

    Zenit and Lokomotiv, whom Mancini's team trail by six points, both play on Monday after having Europa League matches on Thursday. Zenit are in Chechnya to face 9th-placed Akhmat Grozny, while Lokomotiv travel to St Petersburg, where they'll be hosted at the Petrovsky by relegation-threatened Tosno. As for the chasing pack, the standout fixture is a Moscow derby on Sunday between CSKA and Spartak, who are third and fourth respectively. This is definitely the spiciest of the Moscow rivalries in the modern era, and Spartak have pride to salvage after shipping seven at Anfield in midweek. The heaviest defeat ever suffered by a Russian side in European competition, that was a result that caused considerable consternation here.

    On Monday evening or Tuesday morning, I'll post news of the results and their impact on the table. Then we'll be off for the winter and the league will resume on the weekend of 3/4 March with ten fixtures left for all teams in a 30-game season.
  10. Pam


    19 Aug 2004
    Come on our Bobby.

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