Monday, 23 January 2012
Should Roberto Mancini Backtrack on this Defender?
The loss of Vincent Kompany has made things difficult this month, but I think we have coped pretty well without him. Youngster Stefan Savic has come into the team and before yesterday was generally doing OK, he had a torrid time against Wigan but kept a clean sheet, he did give away the penalty against Liverpool but had a decent game otherwise. Throughout the first half yesterday his confidence seemed to be growing even more, but then, in the 2nd half his frailties were sadly exposed and I fear it could have a pretty big effect on the Montenegrin.
His woefully misjudged header that allowed Jermaine Defoe to half the arrears at Eastlands seemed to break the man, from that moment he was all over the place and looked like an accident waiting to happen. That accident nearly did happen right at the death as his dwelling on the ball let in Bale who's cross should really have been turned in by Defoe.
This leaves Mancini with somewhat of a quandary. At the time of writing we are waiting for a decision on Joleon Lescott's ridiculous forearm smash into the face of Younes Kaboul, but even if the Englishman is cleared of any wrong doing, would it be wise to go into the vital League Cup semifinal second leg against Liverpool with Savic at the heart of the defence?
Many have said all along that the ideal solution would have been switching Richards into the centre, and personally that is what I would have done, but it looks as if this is something Mancini isn't prepared to do, there is someone however that could fill the gap well, that man is Nedum Onuoha.
Clearly the academy graduate has never been flavour of the month with the Italian boss, their relationship deteriorated further when he spoke out against his manager on Soccer AM a couple of years ago. He spent last year on loan at Sunderland where he performed really well and it would appear City tried their best to find a buyer for him this Summer only to come up short, that fact could now be a real blessing.
It appeared towards the back end of last week that he was on the verge of signing for QPR, this never came to fruition though despite everything appearing to be in place. There has been suggestions that the player would prefer to stay in the North West with murmurings that Everton could be showing interest. What of the 3rd option however, the defender has been on the bench for our last 2 outings and he got a few minutes playing time at the end of the Wigan game.
Obviously one reason for that could be a lack of any other options, however we do have youngsters to cover that position Reece Wabara and Karim Rekik for example could do an adequate job if they had to be called upon. Onuoha's presence must suggest that he is doing something right in training, as well as a slight thawing in the relationship between manager and player.
The ultimate question is this, would you rather see Savic on Wednesday night or Neds? I am not saying Savic is a poor player, I genuinely believe he has the potential to be a really good defender but at the moment his confidence looks somewhat shot and even during his better performances I have not been entirely comfortable with him in there, there was always the feeling that there was a big mistake just around the corner.
I personally would love to see Onuoha brought in for a few games just to see if he could do us a job until the end of the season. Granted this could all be irrelevant as he could be an Everton or QPR player at any time, but if Mancini was willing to back down, I for one would be happy with that decision.