Ex-Man City boss Roberto Mancini would ‘swing punches at players over nothing’

Former Manchester City player Stephen Ireland has claimed that Roberto Mancini would throw punches in frustration with some of his players.

The attacker spent five years at the Etihad Stadium – but he has admitted that he did not see eye-to-eye with the Italian coach who led the side to their first-ever Premier League title.

Ireland exclusively told Ladbrokes: Fanzone: “I honestly believe that if it was anyone but Roberto Mancini, my career at Man City would've gone differently; I'd have been fine. Don't get me wrong, he's a great manager with a fantastic CV and he's achieved a lot; I'm not knocking his ability as a manager, but I think he was brought in with that brief of getting success as quickly as possible, and he didn't care who he upset in the process."

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Ireland continued: “It's not just me; I know there's a handful of players who would say the same… he was just not a good guy. The squad was so good, the players won the trophies for him; it wasn't him.

“The amount of arguments and fights and fists I saw in training, honestly, if only there was an Amazon documentary back then, with some of the stuff he was doing. Honestly, it was just incredible; the amount of times him and Carlos Tevez would go head-to-head, swinging for each other.. mental stuff. And it was over literally nothing. I don't know if that was just his tactic to constantly p*** people off.

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The fallout between Mancini and Tevez has been well documented. The then-coach declared the striker was ‘finished’ City after the Argentinian refused to come on as a second-half substitute in the 2-0 defeat by Bayern Munich in September.

He held emergency talks with City's owners and the player was eventually shipped on.

When Mancini was asked if he will ever pick Tevez again, he replied: "No. If we want to improve like a team, like a squad, Carlos cannot play with us. With me, no – it is finished."

As for Ireland, he began his professional years with City, starting in 2015 and leaving after the 2009-10 season after featuring in 30 games across all competitions.

His best campaign in Manchester, scoring 13 goals in 50 games. But the player never hit that total again, and subsequently played for Aston Villa, Newcastle on loan, before a move to Stoke City.


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