Given: Mancini made Man City players train against ‘ghosts’

Date published: Monday 30th October 2017 11:00

Roberto Mancini argued with everyone at Manchester City and made players train against no-one, according to Shay Given.

Mancini spent four years in charge of City from 2009, winning the Premier League title, an FA Cup and a Community Shield.

Given was at the Etihad Stadium for the first two years of the Italian’s reign, and has opened up on his rather strange routines.

“It was weird because he used to come in on his bike every morning and the physio would give him a report – who’s training and who is not training. You would just see him go into one, fighting and rowing and cursing,” he told Off The Ball.

“The guy is obviously a professional physiotherapist who has studied all of these different things and he’s telling him: ‘You’re wrong.’ It was weird.

“If you’re a manager at any level, you want to get the best out of people and I don’t understand why shouting at people and putting them down all of the time gets the best out of people.

“He was very argumentative with everyone, not just myself, and in the end, I think that is what cost him his job at Man City. I don’t think there was anybody else in the building speaking to him by the time he left.

“You should be getting on with more people because you want these people to run through walls for you and he was having the opposite effect.”

Given also discussed Mancini’s penchant for playing against ‘ghosts’ in training.

“You couldn’t make it up,” he added.

“His very first training session he go the ball and threw it to me and I had to pass it to the full-back, back to me, back to the other side.

“Then we would go through the lines of the pitch and Carlos Tevez or whoever goes in and finishes it into an empty net, there’s not even an opposition goalkeeper. Then we would do it again.

“It was all a bit weird. I don’t even know from a coaching point of view what the benefit was from that. There weren’t even mannequins, you were playing nobody!

“We were brilliant against nobody on a Thursday and it got a bit more complicated when there were some players against us on a Saturday.”

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