Paul Parker

No need for stingy City to panic

Paul Parker

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I was interested to hear Roberto Mancini's response when asked about Manchester City's lack of signings this summer.

"Speak to the man in charge," he said, referring to director of football Brian Marwood. "I am not in charge of this."

It sounded very much like he was passing the buck, while publicly putting pressure on Marwood to bring in some players.

I don't think fans of rival clubs will have much sympathy with him, but Mancini may have looked with some alarm at Chelsea's impressive summer spending and decided he had to try to stir things up.

Mancini's English is not yet perfect, so it may just have been a straightforward statement - in much the same way that Harry Redknapp always used to claim that transfers at Tottenham were Daniel Levy's department.

However, the comments do not come across like that, and his follow-up remark that it is important City sign players quickly hints at a certain amount of dissatisfaction.

The one thing you cannot afford to do in any job is antagonise the people above you. Yes, City won the Premier League last season but it was a remarkably close-run thing against a Manchester United side that was inferior on paper.

Then there is City's failure in the cups, particularly the Champions League.

City got what they wanted last season, which was a domestic league title - as such it must be viewed as a success.

However, if he starts to rock the boat with a board that acted ruthlessly in their disposal of Mark Hughes, then these less successful ventures could come into the conversation.

City are in a difficult position where their squad is now so strong, it is hard to identify the right players.

It was easy for Chelsea to point out weak spots that needed filling, but it is not the same for Mancini's side.

If somebody of the very highest calibre became available, they would go for him, but they are not going to throw money at anything but the best because they have internationals in every position.

In some cases, they still have too many players - and is it thought the delay in selling Emmanuel Adebayor is holding up a City move for Robin van Persie because they want to comply with Financial Fair Play rules.

City have painted themselves into a corner by paying far too much money to players who can hardly be blamed for rejecting a 50 per cent pay cut by moving elsewhere.

Adebayor is often described as greedy, but he gives a huge amount of money to charities in his native Togo - why should he jeopardise that? City are simply reaping the consequences of some pretty reckless spending, and face a similarly tough task offloading Roque Santa Cruz.

The good news for Mancini is that his side are already in pretty good shape, and will only improve if Carlos Tevez spends his time on the training ground rather than the golf course.

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