Mancini: City need big squad

Samir Nasri is due to complete his big-money move from Arsenal

ahead of Sunday’s meeting with Tottenham after it was confirmed

City had agreed terms with the France international. Nasri will

become the latest expensive new recruit to join the City

revolution, which has cost Sheikh Mansour well over £1billion

since he completed his buy-out four years ago. This summer alone,

Mancini has bought defensive duo Gael Clichy and Stefan Savic, in

addition to splashing out a club record £38million on Sergio

Aguero. Nasri’s arrival will swell his squad even further, and

cause more head-scratching among supporters in debates over what

Mancini’s preferred line-up is likely to be. The whole selection

issue would appear fraught with difficulty given the huge

reputations involved. Emmanuel Adebayor and Craig Bellamy head a

list of players already told they have no future at City – but have

thus far resisted the temptation to leave – and even if they depart

Mancini will have far too many players for the available places in

his team. However, after starting the Premier League campaign with

two impressive wins, Mancini only needs to think about Thursday’s

Champions League group stage draw, when City are set to be named

among the third seeds, and know on Saturday he will discover who

his side’s opponents will be in the Carling Cup third round to know

why such options are essential. “It is no problem for me,” Mancini

told mcfc.co.uk. “The problem is if you don’t have good players.

“For the manager it is not easy because all the players want to

play every game. “But when you play in four competitions and have a

match every three days, there is space for everyone. “Sometimes it

is important that you rest. It is impossible to play a top game

every three days. “And the Champions League is very hard. It is

different from the Europa League. “For this we need a good team,

with good players and a good mentality.” The additional problem for

City in relation to the Champions League is that unlike Chelsea and

Manchester United, whose top seeding guarantees an easier draw and

an opportunity to rest key men, they will have to face one of

Europe’s elite. In a worst-case scenario that would be holders

Barcelona, and in the best it would be Europa League winners FC

Porto. Yet both would require key men to be involved, with points

at stake in the Premier League on either side of European games.

That is why Mancini was so desperate to get Nasri. Although he did

not get his wish of having the midfielder signed at the start of

pre-season, he has finally managed to push the deal forward enough

to ensure Nasri did not board the plane to Italy for Arsenal’s trip

to Udinese despite training with the Gunners on Tuesday morning.

“We need to improve,” reflected Mancini. “We need to work. “After

just one year it is difficult to think we can be 100 per cent as a

team.”