Mancini: If I was English they’d be praising me to the skies

Roberto Mancini is a man under pressure to win and win well against Wigan in Saturday’s FA Cup final.

Outpointed in the Premier League and knocked out in the first round in Europe, Manchester City are left with the FA Cup as a consolation, but Mancini insists the pressure is entirely down to the media.

“If I was English they’d be praising me to the skies,” he told the Gazzetta dello Sport, “but I’m Italian and so they’re hypercritical.

“They forget that United added [Robin] van Persie and [Shinji] Kagawa to the squad we beat on goal difference while our transfers were more limited.”

His future is apparently under threat, with reports of club bosses making an approach for Malaga coach Manuel Pellegrini, but Mancini claims these are “fictional tales of the English newspapers”.

“It’s absolutely untrue and I’ve never felt under threat. They criticise me for second place, but if this theory were true then everyone should be sacked apart from Ferguson who won the Premier League and Laudrup who took the League Cup. The truth is they act this way because I’m Italian and because City broke up the cartel. Until a couple of years ago English football was in the hands of Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal. Now we’re there as well and it annoys them.”

As for next season City have had their eyes on several possible reinforcements in summer, among them Luis Suarez. Mancini is a big admirer of the Liverpool striker who he named as his player of the year, but may be cautious after his experience with Mario Balotelli.

“Suarez reminds me of Balotelli,” he says. “Partly he looks for trouble but there’s aggression towards him too. There’s no argument about him as a player though: he’s world-class.”


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