In praise of Nastasic
- Sat 24 Nov 2012, 8:44AM
- Posted by Mark Booth
City’s Serbian defender Matija Nstasic has started life in Manchester promisingly and it hasn’t escaped the attention of the nation’s media.
“In their rush to condemn Roberto Mancini for “tinkering with a winning formula”, few have given him any credit for that remarkable, calculated show of faith and the long-term agenda underpinning it,” McGrath writes.
“Sure enough, by the time the return fixture was played on Wednesday, Nastasic had quietly carved a niche in both the starting XI and the affections of City fans. Only this time, in neutralising an ego as extravagant as that of Cristiano Ronaldo, it proved impossible to continue incognito.
“Mancini’s gamble should not be underestimated. He deserves congratulations for taking a long view – tolerating short-term risks to develop Vincent Kompany and Nastasic as the future bedrock of his team.
“And already the boy is cruising through games, preternaturally taking positions and choices that might otherwise reflect years of experience.”
Elsewhere, as per every Friday, Mancini’s quotes in the pre-match press conference at Carrington have been carved into very similar headlines across all of the newspapers.
This week, they reckon that the Italian has taken a ferocious swipe at a “jealous” Jose Mourinho.
"Mourinho is not my chairman. He is not my owner. What Mourinho said is for me not interesting. Mourinho wants to talk about everything. For me it is not important," Mancini said.
Like a ball to the side of Sami Khedira's head, I'm not sure there's much in that one.
Toure is named on the five man shortlist to win the award along with Didier Drogba, Andre Ayew, Demba Ba and Alex Song
Finally, Rafa Benitez has been settling into the managerial hotseat at Sunday’s opponents Chelsea, stating that he believes he knows how to get them playing again.
'I’m sure they will be pleased like they were with Di Matteo who, by the way, was doing a great job,' the Spaniard diplomatically said.
“It’s a good squad, a good team. If I’m here, it’s because I think we can win with them.”
Hopefully not starting Sunday…