Before I kicked the existential bucket, I spent seven years of my life as a teenager. And as a teenager, I did all the things most teenagers do. I drank disgustingly cheap booze in public places, I wore clothes that were spectacularly ridiculous, I stringently avoided any form of both exercise and personal hygiene, and I rebelled against the loving attention and affection of my long suffering parents.
However, it’s not just spotty teenagers that indulge in a touch of rebellion from time to time. Ask Roberto Mancini. Even after their 2-0 victory over Roberto Di Matteo’s West Bromwich Albion side on Sunday, rumours continued to swirl around football’s Valhalla this week that an uprising is on the horizon at Manchester City as rotten results, a brutal training regime and more incompetent millionaires than your average bank boardroom threaten to throw the club into turmoil.
Fortunately, the afterlife has its fair share of souls who know a thing or two about rebellion, and one of those restless spirits has offered to share their expert opinion on events at the City of Manchester Stadium with In Off the Ghost. We spoke with legendary political leader and revolutionary figurehead Ghandi to give us an insight into the turbulent events in the Eastlands dressing room.
“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony” spoke Ghandi, “and it seems that what Mancini thinks, what the players say and what the team does on the pitch are all very different indeed.” Ghandi said pushing his spectral spectacles back onto his nose.
“The overbearing rigidity of Mancini’s regime will be his undoing if he does not change his ways. I wanted freedom for the full expression of my personality, and why shouldn’t footballers want the same? Carlos Tevez, Adam Johnson and the exiled Craig Bellamy have all been begging to throw off the shackles of Mancini’s prescriptive rules and Emmanuel Adebayor and Gareth Barry seem to have perfected the art of non violent, passive protest with their performances this season. This is in contrast to Mancini’s trusted midfield marshalls Nigel De Jong and Yaya Toure’s more violent approach. Mancini must learn that a victory attained by violence is tantamount to defeat, for it is momentary. However, the after effects of City’s 2-1 victory over Newcastle in October are more likely to last a few months for poor Hatem Ben Arfa. ”
I asked Ghandi what he thought was the root of the unrest and what advice he would offer Mancini if he was the Manchester City manager.
“Mancini must give his players more freedom if he wants to end the dressing room rebellion. However, freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes, and let’s face it, if you play with Lescott and Bridge at the back, mistakes are bound to happen sooner or later. It is unwise to be too sure of one’s own wisdom, especially if you have lost three out of your last four games. Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will and not playing three defensive midfielders in one team.”
Despite their 2-0 victory over an impressive West Bromwich Albion side on Sunday afternoon, it is clear that unless results continue to improve, this dressing room unrest won’t be the last rebellion that Mancini will have to deal with.
(All material in this blog is entirely fictional and does not represent the views or opinions of anyone, alive or dead, other than those of the author.)
The restless spirit of In Off the Ghost has possessed fellow football website Football Farrago! Click here to read the views of your favourite posthumous pundits and other great articles!