Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini tells defenders to adapt or sit in the stands

‘‘The next time we play this system [a back three], Micah Richards can stay on the bench”

Roberto Mancini risked stirring further unrest among his Manchester City squad by insisting that those who do not fall into line with his methods have a limited future.

Micah Richards, who suggested his fellow defenders were unhappy with the way City resorted to a back three in the catastrophic defeat to Ajax on Wednesday, was told he could expect to watch from the bench if he did not understand the system.

"With this system we have got a result every time," Mancini said. "Maybe Micah doesn't know this because he has been out for two and a half months.

"He has probably worked on it less than other players but the next time we play this system Micah can stay on the bench and we will use another player who understands the system."

Mancini's observation that three central defenders "get a result every time" does not bear much scrutiny. The results they achieved against first Liverpool and then Aston Villa were a 2-2 draw and a 4-2 defeat that pitched them out of the League Cup.

Nevertheless, Mancini made it clear that he expects some highly-paid defenders to be able to adapt to their manager's instructions. "If you are a top player, it is not important what system you use," he said. "If you don't understand that, then you are not a top player and you cannot play for a top club."

Facing yet another failure in the Champions League, a competition in which he has never gone past the quarter-finals as a manager, Mancini, whose side face Swansea at home today, was as agitated as many had seen him at a press conference.

When it was suggested to him that it was not a coincidence that City's defensive performances had begun to slide since the appointment in the summer of Angelo Gregucci, who speaks no English, as a defensive coach, Mancini said "stop, stop, stop" before pointing out that Gregucci had taken "maybe one" session.

Nevertheless, it may be significant that the men who appear most unhappy with City's direction are English – Joleon Lescott, Gareth Barry and Richards. However, if there is dressing-room unrest as some have alleged, the man who brought the first championship to the club since 1968 appears indifferent to it.

"People tell me what is in the newspapers yesterday and this morning but I am not frustrated by it and I am not interested in it," Mancini said.

"I respect your job but I have my opinion about everything. My head won't go down after one or two defeats. I give my opinion and, like everyone else, I can make a mistake."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Nick Clegg on the campaign trail in Glasgow on Wednesday; he says education is his top priority
peopleNick Clegg remains optimistic despite dismal Lib Dem poll ratings
Arts and Entertainment
Déjà vu: David Tennant returns to familiar territory with Anna Gunn (‘Breaking Bad’)
tvReview: Something is missing in Gracepoint, and it's not just the familiar names
Arts and Entertainment
Buttoned up: Ryan Reynolds with Helen Mirren in ‘Woman in Gold’
filmFor every box-office smash in his Hollywood career, there's always been a misconceived let-down. Now he says it's time for a reboot
News
people
News
Actress Julianne Moore wins the Best Actress in a Leading Role Award for 'Still Alice' during the 87th Annual Academy Awards in Hollywood, California
people
Sport
Ross Barkley
footballPaul Scholes says it's time for the Everton playmaker to step up and seize the England No 10 shirt
News
'We will fix it': mice in the 1970s children’s programme Bagpuss
science
Life and Style
2 Karl Lagerfeld and Choupette
fashion
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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

War with Isis: Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria's capital

War with Isis

Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria
Scientists develop mechanical spring-loaded leg brace to improve walking

A spring in your step?

Scientists develop mechanical leg brace to help take a load off
Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock: How London shaped the director's art and obsessions

Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock

Ackroyd has devoted his literary career to chronicling the capital and its characters. He tells John Walsh why he chose the master of suspense as his latest subject
Ryan Reynolds interview: The actor is branching out with Nazi art-theft drama Woman in Gold

Ryan Reynolds branches out in Woman in Gold

For every box-office smash in Ryan Reynolds' Hollywood career, there's always been a misconceived let-down. It's time for a rethink and a reboot, the actor tells James Mottram
Why Robin Williams safeguarded himself against a morbid trend in advertising

Stars safeguard against morbid advertising

As film-makers and advertisers make increasing posthumous use of celebrities' images, some stars are finding new ways of ensuring that they rest in peace
The UK horticulture industry is facing a skills crisis - but Great Dixter aims to change all that

UK horticulture industry facing skills crisis

Great Dixter manor house in East Sussex is encouraging people to work in the industry by offering three scholarships a year to students, as well as generous placements
Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head

Hack Circus: Technology, art and learning

Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head. Rhodri Marsden meets mistress of ceremonies Leila Johnston
Sevenoaks is split over much-delayed decision on controversial grammar school annexe

Sevenoaks split over grammar school annexe

If Weald of Kent Grammar School is given the go-ahead for an annexe in leafy Sevenoaks, it will be the first selective state school to open in 50 years
10 best compact cameras

A look through the lens: 10 best compact cameras

If your smartphone won’t quite cut it, it’s time to invest in a new portable gadget
Paul Scholes column: Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now

Paul Scholes column

Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now
Why Michael Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

Why Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

Manchester United's talented midfielder has played international football for almost 14 years yet, frustratingly, has won only 32 caps, says Sam Wallace
Tracey Neville: The netball coach who is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

Tracey Neville is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

The former player on how she is finding time to coach both Manchester Thunder in the Superleague and England in this year's World Cup
General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?