Straight from the dark heart of Italy
As exiles go it was beginning to take on Napoleonic proportions, but after 18 months sailing around the Mediterranean and healing the scars inflicted at Inter, Roberto Mancini is back.
Unfortunately, we won't see him in Italy reaping revenge on his old club – and how Juventus could use his fiery passion now.
But instead his equally suave ways are following the brain drain to England.
Fabio Capello, Carlo Ancelotti, Gianfranco Zola and now Mancio: the English have truly been blessed, and if things are not going well on the pitch at least Italian style is in vogue on the management front.
It's not just sartorial sense that Manchester City are buying into but the whole bespoke package that not only made Mancini a flamboyant character on the pitch, but also garnered three Italian league titles as a coach.
Along the way he dragged Inter out of the long shadow cast by city neighbours AC Milan – something he will attempt to repeat in Manchester - and in the process got the best out of the temperamental Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Not that the king of the back-heel has been immune from the odd public meltdown himself.
No doubt he has relived the outburst after the Champions League exit to Liverpool that enabled Massimo Moratti to seal his fate in favour of Jose Mourinho, and compared it to the way Mark Hughes looks to have taken the behind-the-back moves to oust him.
Hopefully our man will have learnt from the past that clothes alone do not make the man, but certainly his experience at turning around useless causes will be invaluable.
Fiorentina, Lazio and Inter were perfect proving grounds on what it's like to work under pressure.
He learnt a lot from Sven-Göran Eriksson, who promoted him from player to assistant at Lazio in what Italians would call predestinato – a double-edged word meaning either destined for greatness or someone who is taken care of and never has to want for anything.
The latter will certainly be true at City, but the Mancini of today is definitely his own man or more pointedly willing to listen to a select few within a close and guarded inner circle.
He will have his closest confidants Fausto Salsano and Andrea Carminati alongside him – the latter his tactical sounding board, the former a fitness specialist who worked with Eriksson during the Swede’s spell in charge of England.
Brian Kidd must attempt to exert some influence over this tight-knit triumvirate, who will no doubt be carrying out their most meticulous plans in their native tongue.
City may continue to entertain and play slick football but the devil will be in the detail as Mancini follows the old Italian coaching dictum that it is the result that counts.
Every player from Fernando Torres to Franck Ribery has been linked with City now, but people here are wondering if Mancini will not make a cheeky bid for Mario Balotelli – at least on a loan deal to the end of the season.
Then again, maybe not – Italian football cannot afford to start losing its brightest young playing talent, as well as the coaching faculty.
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It's really 2 titles, the first one Inter got because Juventus was caught cheating in the Calciopoli...
I never understood what was so good about Mancini, he pretty much kicked Recoba out of Inter while playing players with less match fitness than El Chino.
I don't think Mancini will last a whole season at Manchester City, he's too impatient, he'll probably have many rows with Carlos Tevez as well... stupid signing if you ask me.
This could be bad news for Italian teams as he will no doubt look to Serie A for alot of his signings. I'm sure a bid for the likes of Pato, De Rossi and Chiellini are not out of the question. Will the Italian teams be able to say no to huge bids for these players?
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