I liked Joe Royle as a manager even though I thought he was, and is, a limited boss who is capable of getting a team out of the Championship but finds the Premier League a step too far. Keegan I adored. No defense, all attack, lets win the game 5-4 if necessary. Great entertainment and the mind boggles, just boggles, at what he could do with our owners money. Stuart Pearce was probably a bit over his head although honestly was in a no win situation and that he got the club close to Europe was a fairly commendable achievement. I mention all this because I'm aware I've not been a fan of the club's most recent managers.
Sven Goran Eriksson was someone I found morally bankrupt and when combined with an odious owner in Thaksin Shinawatra it was a recipe for disaster. Which was a shame because I liked the players that the former England national team boss brought into the club and I liked the tactics that saw the club become a fortress at home with a stingy defense.
I got awfully close to getting on the Sven bandwagon before the Swede became completely enamored with Darius Vassell. Which did it for me. Hughes continued that mistake.
And now the club has turned over the helm to Roberto Mancini. In many ways Eriksson's protege. I loved Mancini's reaction after the Blackburn game yesterday when he was annoyed that the defense had given up a goal even though the team had won by three clear goals. Lest you think defense is not important, Portsmouth who are bottom of the Premier League have let in only 4 more goals all season than City. Such is the difference between a team with proven goal scorers and those that are not. The club may not have lost at home but the 14 goals it has let in are way too many at this point in the season.
The focus is going to return to making Eastlands a fortress with few goals conceded. I think this is also the lesson in the Patrick Vieira signing and the constant press stories about a new emphasis on defense in training. The tone is being set again. We are returning to the Sven era, but without the baggage that accompanied him.