Was a lack of faith in youth a key reason behind Manchester City sacking Roberto Mancini?
In the wake of Roberto Mancini’s sacking from Manchester City there has been a flurry of opinions and justifications as to why the FA cup and Premier League winning manager was shown the door.
One reason, which has been glossed over by most of the papers, that certainly caught my eye was an accusation that Roberto had never set foot inside the Manchester City academy throughout his 3 year reign as manager.
I found this particularly interesting as I have long been championing several youngsters on the fringes of the Manchester City squad who have not had a chance to prove they can cut it at the top level.
When I look back at the season which saw City hand the title back to United without any real fight I wonder if a young man trying to break into the first team would have showed more heart and spirit than the likes of Samir Nasri who appeared to be on cruise control all season. With Pellegrini on the horizon I thought I would share a couple of potential stars which I am hoping will get a chance to show what they are made of under the Chilean or whoever takes the reins at City.
When City sold Balotelli in January and left no time to purchase a replacement I assumed it’s because they had one readymade waiting in the wings in the form of 21 year old John Guidetti. The Swedish ‘Wunder Kid’ has been in around the City squad since arriving in 2008 thanks to fellow Swede Sven Goran Eriksson. However he never even made the bench.
John spent the 2011/12 season on loan at Feyenoord and was one of the first names on the team sheet netting 20 goals in just 23 games! His season there was cut short by a month when he was struck down by a mystery virus which caused him to lose all sensation in this right leg, and without his goals Feyenoord only managed to finish second in the league. The virus had the doctors puzzled and took so long to treat that he also missed out on joining Ibrahimovic up front for Sweden in Euro 2012 after originally being named in the squad.
However they did indeed beat the bug and he has spent the 2012/13 season hammering in the goals in City’s reserves but still went without a single 1st team appearance all season.
Now this young man is only 19 and was snapped up by City in 2011. Since then he has been plying his trade in the reserves at City and the odd pre-season appearance. Suarez was a regular in the Spanish U17 squad and now in the U19s.
Many City fans see him as a mini David Silva as he plays as an attacking midfielder and has a touch and vision for passes to rival ‘Merlin’ himself. He picked up the 2012 young player of the year award but has still not been able to show his stuff in the Premier League.
Marcos is the youngest ever goal scorer in Manchester City history after coming on as a sub in the FA Cup against Watford, he managed to find the net after only 2 minutes on the pitch. The 17-year-old Portuguese attacking midfielder was signed from Benfica in 2011 but even after sealing that 3-0 win which helped City on their way to the FA Cup final he was still unable to force his way into the squad.
Will any of these players catch the new manager’s eye next season? We will have to wait and see but with City building a state of the art £100 million, 80 acre football academy surely the youth will start to make themselves known?
image: © markhillary