Roberto Mancini's criticism of his players off-putting

Laurence Griffiths

What do you do after a tough, heartbreaking derby loss? Criticize your own players, of course.

Watch just about any post-match press conference in the career of Alex Ferguson, Arsene Wenger, Jose Mourinho or Pep Guardiola. While all have their own distinct style of dealing with the media, there are some common themes across the words they choose to use in public.

The most common one is that they're very hesitant to openly criticize their own players in a post-match press conference. They will often come out as very critical of the team's performance as a whole, or will say that a position group did not play well, while occasionally pointing out that an individual error was bad, but they're generally unwilling to deride their players in public.

Roberto Mancini has a different man-management style. He slammed Mario Balotelli after the Manchester Derby, essentially calling him a waste of talent.

"I love Mario like a guy, and as a player, but I think it's important for him to start to think about his job if he wants to play well. When you have a player with Mario's quality, you can't believe that he throws his quality out of the window."

He also threw Samir Nasri under the bus with the sort of passive-aggressive criticism usually reserved for high school students. Nasri turned away from Robin van Persie's game-winning shot, and was a big part of the reason why the ball sailed past Joe Hart to give United the victory.

"In the last free-kick, we put only three players there. Were there three? We had two and a half."

This isn't productive, it's not going to help Balotelli or Nasri play better, and it's certainly not going to get the rest of the locker room behind him. These read like quotes from a broken and frustrated manager who has lost control of his own emotions, and possibly one who knows that his days as Manchester City manager are numbered.

Mancini won a title last season, but with City out of Champions League and six points behind United in the league, no one would be surprised to see the Citizens ownership make a change before the new year. The richest team in world football, with the most expensive squad in world football, can probably do a lot better than this.

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