Mancini starting to show strain as players feel pain

Manchester City 1 Wigan 0

There are many ways to look at Kolo Touré's plight. You could see at it as a morality tale; how great footballers are brought down by an act of stupidity. How they are undermined by their own insecurities into taking their wife's diet pills because they fear for their place in a high-octane team. You could even wonder at a world in which a man called Valerie Gouriso, a man of whom Manchester City had never heard, could claim to be Touré's representative in all this.

But viewed through the eyes of Roberto Mancini, there is only one consequence of Touré's suspension – he is deprived of a fine defender at a time when Manchester City are starting to run out of footballers.

The City manager did not employ Harry Redknapp's "down to the bare bones" line, which in any case sounds much more elegant in Italian – "sono ridotto a pelle e ossa" – but the sentiments were the same.

This barely deserved 1-0 win at home to the Premier League's bottom club, achieved through a goalkeeping blunder, was shot through with tiredness and on Wednesday they endure a three-and-a-half hour flight to Kiev to face Dynamo in the Europa League.

Mancini said he had 16 available players and unless they wanted him or his assistant David Platt to play, he could not afford to leave anyone behind to recuperate. Some, like Carlos Tevez, who had been irresistible here against Wolverhampton Wanderers and West Bromwich Albion but anonymous against Wigan, needed more work on the training pitches at Carrington. City's schedule, said Mancini, made that impossible.

"Carlos needs to work harder on his conditioning but when you play every three days it is hard to do that work," said Mancini of a man who scored a hat-trick in a dozen minutes in the corresponding fixture last season. "Carlos needs to work but we can't do this because we are playing, then recovering, then playing. It is impossible at this moment. Carlos is always playing every game when sometimes it would be better if he stayed on the bench and recovered."

One of the reasons Tevez is playing every game is because Manchester City authorised the loan deals that took Emmanuel Adebayor to Real Madrid and Roque Santa Cruz to Blackburn. As Chelsea discovered, it is wrong to equate the spending of vast sums of money with a deep squad.

When Carlos Queiroz managed Madrid it was under the policy of 'Zidanes y Pavones' – his players either had to be galacticos or products of the youth team and sometimes Queiroz would look at his bench and find himself amazed by the thinness of his team.

"Until January we didn't have any problems," said Mancini. "We played every three days, changed four or five players every game and played well. After January we started to have problems with injuries." And the man who has spent a fortune on footballers knows that all players, however much they cost, are all the same when hurt.



Scorer: Manchester City Silva 38.

Subs: Man City Kolarov 5 (Balotelli, 68), De Jong (Silva, 83), Dzeko (Tevez, 86) Wigan N'Zogbia 5 (Moses, 60), Gohouri 5 (Lopez, 69), Sammon (Diame, 84). Booked: Man City Richards, Kompany, Barry. Wigan G Caldwell.

Man of the match McCarthy Match rating 6/10. Possession Man City 44% Wigan 56%.

Attempts on target Man City 3 Wigan 5.

Referee S Attwell (Warwicks). Att 44,864.

Voices
Lucerne’s Hotel Château Gütsch, one of the lots in our Homeless Veterans appeal charity auction
charity appeal
Arts and Entertainment
Tony Hughes (James Nesbitt) after his son Olly disappeared on a family holiday in France
tv
News
people

Jo from Northern Ireland was less than impressed by Russell Brand's attempt to stage a publicity stunt

Sport
Scunthorpe goalkeeper Sam Slocombe (left) is congratulated by winning penalty taker Miguel Llera (right)
football
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
The Apprentice candidates Roisin Hogan, Solomon Akhtar, Mark Wright, Bianca Miller, Daniel Lassman
tvReview: But which contestants got the boot?
Life and Style
A woman walks by a pandal art installation entitled 'Mars Mission' with the figure of an astronaut during the Durga Puja festival in Calcutta, India
techHow we’ll investigate the existence of, and maybe move in with, our alien neighbours
Arts and Entertainment
Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels ride again in Dumb and Dumber To
filmReview: Dumb And Dumber To was a really stupid idea
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Ian McKellen tempts the Cookie Monster
tvSir Ian McKellen joins the Cookie Monster for a lesson on temptation
News
i100
Travel
Tourists bask in the sun beneath the skyscrapers of Dubai
travelBritish embassy uses social media campaign to issue travel advice for festive holiday-makers in UAE
Arts and Entertainment
Jennifer Saunders stars as Miss Windsor, Dennis's hysterical French teacher
filmJennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress
Life and Style
tech
Sport
Nabil Bentaleb (centre) celebrates putting Tottenham ahead
footballTottenham 4 Newcastle 0: Spurs fans dreaming of Wembley final after dominant win
Voices
Jimmy Mubenga died after being restrained on an aircraft by G4S escorts
voicesJonathan Cox: Tragedy of Jimmy Mubenga highlights lack of dignity shown to migrants
Life and Style
Sebastian Siemiatkowski is the 33-year-old co-founder and CEO of Klarna, which provides a simple way for people to buy things online
tech
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

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum