Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Mancini's first press conference (and Cook's last?)

Roberto Mancini was officially unveiled as Manchester City manager in a press conference at around 4am Tuesday our time.

The purpose of the conference was obviously to introduce Mancini, however there was only one thing on the minds of the assembled media pack — the dismissal of Hughes.

Garry Cook began proceedings by asserting that he would not answer any questions, only reading out a lengthy prepared statement.

Cook was adamant that the target had now shifted from sixth place to 70 points (The improved target was alluded to in a previous post, but is often overlooked. Sixth place is unambitious considering out squad). He also believes City were not on a trajectory to reach that target, nor can he see that changing. Hence, the decision was made to appoint a different manager.

The only problem with this is that does it not take into account the possibility of success in the Carling Cup (our first semi final since 1981 of course). And if City were to defeat both Stoke and Wolves in the coming week, we would sit on exactly 35 points from 19 games — bang on target, with a transfer window to come.

Mancini did his best in the conference, and his weakness in English was preyed upon by the media in the room (especially this specimen). Barely a question asked about his ambitions, just petty snipes about our owners and the sacking of Hughes. By the time Cook found it necessary to intervene (and bang the table for emphasis), it had descended into a farce.

In between all the crap however, it gave us a good insight into Mancini for the future. He believes we can make top four this season, with a view to win the league next year. And if he can stay as cool under pressure as he did in that conference, he'll have no problem in the pressure-cooker that is the managerial post of Manchester City. Forward with Mancini.

You can watch Cook make a fool of himself here, or watch Mancini answer some questions about football here.

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