How bad is Roberto Mancini? The only creative midfielder in your midst and he is sidelined. Sure, he is a bit surly and not given to the warm fuzzies but no one can deny Ireland is a talent that needs to be nurtured.
Mancini is even worse than Hughes. He will buy all this attacking talent but his mindset is all about preventing goals which means that the three man holding midfielder set – Nigel De Jong, Yaya Toure, and Gareth Barry is his centerpiece. Slow, slower, and slowest.
On the day of his trade to Aston Villa, Ireland unloads on the Italian and it does not make for a pretty sight. He has undoubted baggage but if you ever saw Ireland play under Hughes you were treated to some sublime stuff (see above video).
Hopefully at Villa he gets his opportunity to shine – nothing would be sweeter if Villa takes out City and Ireland scores the winning goal or sets it up. He is capable of both. In multiples.