Roberto Mancini seems to have focused on his goalkeeper Joe Hart as he looks for someone to blame after City’s latest title chase slip up.
Granted, Hart made a massive error during the club’s defeat away to Southampton yesterday but City have several problems which are nothing to do with the goalkeeper.
Has Hart been at his best this season? No, he probably hasn’t but that’s not why City find themselves currently nine points behind Manchester United in the title race and possibly 12 by the final whistle of United’s clash against Everton later.
“Joe has made too many mistakes for us. He has not been good enough. It was a really bad mistake [for the second goal] from Joe. It was not good enough. It's not strange because he's done a few mistakes this year,” said Mancini after the game.
Remember, this is the guy who has been rated over the last couple of years as one of the best goalkeepers in the world so is City’s Italian boss really clutching at straws?
City have maybe been a little complacent this season, expecting results to come at grounds where they are now massive targets as the Premier League champions.
There have been examples of this all over the team and not just with Hart. This causes lazy play at crucial times which has cost City points where last season they were pressing their finger into the wound to secure their advantage.
It’s also fair to suggest that tactically Mancini can be a little bit naïve at times which increases the pressure on the defence.
Teams such as Southampton are superb on the counter attack and there are many other teams that use pace in wide areas and a big target man to counter City’s defensive lapses.
One of Mancini’s favourite tactics this season has been to play three at the back which simple does not work against sides that have pace and superb counter attacking ability.
A poor defence means more shots on goal from the opposition, which increases the pressure on the goalkeeper and the chance that he will make a higher number of mistakes.
Mancini’s frustration is understandable but he has to be careful that his words about a popular player don’t come back to haunt him.
City fans, is Mancini right or do you disagree?
image: © illarterate