Balotelli exposes Mancini’s fatal flaw
By Larry Ryan
Forget the midweek sideshows that only tease the blue half of Manchester with cruel hope; we now know that Roberto Mancini is doomed to failure at City.
The boy Aristotle — a better Greek reader of the game than Theo Zagorakis — tells us so.
You might recall, back in October, the moment we knew Mick McCarthy’s race was as good as run in Wolverhampton. It was, of course, the day Mick eyed the forgotten, regurgitated cake on the Wolves terraces and suggested a goodly proportion of those fans were ‘mindless idiots’.
‘Hamartia’, Aristotle called it; the gallant hero’s fatal flaw, with tragedy the only possible outcome. In Mick it is, and always was, an inability to handle criticism. And so, he lost his people just when he needed them most. And now tragedy stares out at us through Terry Connor’s desperately sad eyes.
The flaw which will undo Mancini, has undone him, is selfishness or, more accurately, a thirst for self-preservation above all else. And after he sold Mario Balotelli down the Po last Sunday, his players now know — if they didn’t long ago — exactly where Mancini stands. We never knew a manager yet who bounced back from that position.
While Mario and his baggage rushed into challenges against Arsenal like his Emirates flight had been called, Mancini had, at all times, an easy solution at his disposal; the curly finger. It was a resolution Alex Ferguson availed of on Wednesday night after Wayne Rooney casually waved Shaun Maloney past him to score Wigan’s goal. Fergie got no immediate payoff but the standards that will take them over the line were reinforced.
But with the game up for Mancini last week, did he leave Balotelli on so he could kick off the one game at which he truly excels; the blame game? He tells us now he’s finished with Mario, but it is Mancini, you suspect, who is finished.
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