Mancini puts case for change and seeks to get one over 'cousins'


Roberto Mancini, the Manchester City manager, declared yesterday that it would benefit the Premier League to have a new club crowned champions and that he hoped to end a hard half-century for his club's supporters by changing the balance of power in Manchester tomorrow.

"Sometimes if there are other teams – and not the usual ones like the last 10 years – it is good for the championship," Mancini said. "[As an Italian] I understand [what this means]. We haven't won the title for 50 years and we are in a city where our cousins win every year. That is very difficult for our supporters. I hope I can change this."

City's owner Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al-Nahyan may attend what would be only his second City game at the Etihad Stadium since buying the club in September 2008, in the hope of watching the team lift the trophy for the first time since 1968. It is also expected that Garry Cook, the former chief executive dismissed in September and whose work persuaded the Abu Dhabi owners to make an investment which has totalled £983m in four years, has been invited and is expected to be present.

The supreme advantage of being the Premier League manager holding the keys to the title is that you can agree with everyone else's critique of you, as Mancini demonstrated yesterday ahead of a match which he enters with no injury concern.

The Queen's Park Rangers manager and former City manager, Mark Hughes, who by one of those football twists can ruin it for the man whom the club's owners preferred to him, has said Mancini "comes across as autocratic... it's either his way or the highway". Mancini happily accepted this. "I agree with him," he said. "He's a good manager and he knows the Premier League better than me."

Sir Alex Ferguson was not being pejorative when he described Mancini as typically Italian, though the 47-year-old accepted the title with alacrity. "I agree with him," he said. "I'm Italian and I can't change my mentality. He's Scottish. He's the best manager in the world. I agree with him. It's important that we score enough goals to win the title. That's more important.

"We have played for six months and played very well. The best football in the Premier League. But it's impossible to play well every game for one year. We had one month when we had a problem. We conceded easy goals and didn't score. That's normal. Maybe after Sunday we still won't have the title but we will have played the best football."

With only one club – Sunderland – having deprived City of tomorrow's requisite three points at home, Mancini could reflect on the prospect of "maybe a glass of wine" if his side defeat a club who will need points to survive if Bolton win at Stoke City. "The winners [of the title] always deserve to win," said Mancini. "We have played the better football, even if we don't win."

Hughes can point out that he signed Vincent Kompany, the captain who was yesterday named Barclays Player of the Season. His successor reflected: "It's not Mancini against Hughes or Hughes against Mancini, it's Manchester City versus QPR. One team plays for the title and the other plays to avoid relegation. I think Manchester City now is one of the top teams in England and Europe. After, if Manchester City can win the title for three or four years, it is possible. Now, I don't know but now it's important to win the first and the second afterwards." All Mancini is certain about is his desire to avoid Mario Balotelli's celebrations if City prevail. "If we win its better to stay far from Mario. It will be dangerous," he said.

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
Pistorius leaves Pretoria High Court to be taken to prison

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

Life and Style

Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift

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

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


Endangered species spotted in a creek in the Qinling mountains

Life and Style

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

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

George Lucas criticises the major Hollywood film studios

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

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
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

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