All eyes on Mancini after Cup defeats turn up heat

 

It's only 10 days since Roberto Mancini described so presciently why the next five months would grant Manchester United the easier ride. "They have won trophies for many years so they are quiet," he said. "They understand that they can play without pressure. For us it's different."

Even he didn't foresee the events of a mere week demonstrating his point, though Manchester City's FA and Carling Cup defeats in that time have undoubtedly transferred all the sound and fury across town. City had not lost two successive home games since February 2008 before United and Liverpool departed as conquistadors and now a fixture which might have seemed like a release mechanism – at Wigan Athletic tomorrow night – brings a pressure to demonstrate that those results do not belong to a more significant malaise.

When the Italian's assistant, David Platt, says he expects the world see a different Mancini from tomorrow night, he is not expecting a change in demeanour. He means that the cameras will hunt out signs of stress. "There will be more views of him on the bench during a game," Platt said. "People will look at him and be able to comment on a visual of him on the bench, depending how the result is going."

If those lenses discern negative emotion then the English game will finally see the real Mancini. "He gets angry," Platt explained. "I've seen him get angry when we're winning 3-0 at a misplaced pass, the fact somebody has a shot when there is somebody in a better position. He will put it away. The speed at which he puts things away is for the benefit of the next game. But the perception [of Mancini] will change from now."

How much of the pressure City's superficially serene manager can take is one of the most intriguing unknowns at the top of the English club game. Remember, he quit the Internazionale job in the Anfield press room, after a defeat in 2008 – albeit with boardroom machinations whirring in the background. Platt insists the idea of Mancini relinquishing this challenge is unthinkable. "His idea is not to win. It is to continue to win year-on-year, year-on-year. I know for a fact one of the things that floats his boat is the ability to come and change a club from not winning to winning – not just once but to have a behaviour of winning. He was involved very deeply with Sampdoria [for 15 years] and he had suitors left, right and centre to go to bigger clubs – the Inters, Juventuses etc, when he was playing. But he enjoyed the factof building something; of changing behaviour, changing the pattern. I don't think he's a typical Italian manager where people coach two years here, two years there. He didn't leave Inter. They got rid of him."

It is United's mental aspect which, Mancini also insisted a week ago, keeps them "two years" ahead of City. Now – with David Silva restored to the ranks at Wigan – comes the time to reveal that he can match them psychologically, even if his side cannot yet. "I've known him since he was 26, 27," Platt said. "I don't look at it and think to myself that this is somebody who will lose his head at all. Unfortunately we can't do anything about [events]. If we think we can stop what gets written year on year about title runs-ins we're sadly mistaken.So we might as well accept it's going to happen and focus on the games and continue to do what we've already done. That's what he will do."

Wigan Athletic v Manchester City is on Sky Sports 1 tomorrow, kick-off 8pm

Arts and Entertainment
Banksy's 'The Girl with the Pierced Eardrum' in Bristol
art'Girl with the Pierced Eardrum' followed hoax reports artist had been arrested and unveiled
News
Pistorius leaves Pretoria High Court to be taken to prison
news

Voices
Stephanie first after her public appearance as a woman at Rad Fest 2014
voices

Life and Style
tech

Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
James Blunt's debut album Back to Bedlam shot him to fame in 2004
music

Singer says the track was 'force-fed down people's throats'

News
news

Endangered species spotted in a creek in the Qinling mountains

Life and Style
tech

Company says data is only collected under 'temporary' identities that are discarded every 15 minutes

News
peopleJust weeks after he created dress for Alamuddin-Clooney wedding
Life and Style
A street vendor in Mexico City sells Dorilocos, which are topped with carrot, jimaca, cucumber, peanuts, pork rinds, spices and hot sauce
food + drink

Trend which requires crisps, a fork and a strong stomach is sweeping Mexico's streets

Arts and Entertainment
George Lucas poses with a group of Star Wars-inspired Disney characters at Disney's Hollywood Studios in 2010
films

George Lucas criticises the major Hollywood film studios

Sport
football West Brom vs Man Utd match report: Blind grabs point, but away form a problem for Van Gaal
Life and Style
health

Some experiencing postnatal depression don't realise there is a problem. What can be done?

Arts and Entertainment
Gotham is coming to UK shores this autumn
tvGotham, episode 2, review
News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album