City just about did enough to secure fifth place at West Ham. The next four weeks are likely to be very interesting at SportCity as transfer deals are prepared…
Dapper City gaffer Roberto Mancini will have noted a handful of names for Eastlands taxi’s at Upton Park. In particular, he will not have been at all impressed by the way City conceded so softly through central defence or how toothless The Citizens were up front:
‘Fifth is a big improvement on last season. I have enjoyed my first half season at the club and I am now looking forward to working hard this summer to make sure we get better again. It was difficult coming in the middle of the season when I didn’t know the players but we have done well and Europa League football is a good thing.
‘We have done well to finish above very good sides, top sides, like Liverpool, Everton and Villa but now we must improve again to challenge the top four. People have to remember that Spurs have been building their side for some years.’
All the indications are that City are already in negotiations with several major clubs in a bid to secure signings early in June:
‘There is hard work ahead because I would like players in before the World Cup starts. I think that we will be able to attract top players to City in the summer, players that will improve the group. I will be looking for young players with experience. We want players who will come here and play here for a long time so we can build an important team.
‘I am looking forward to building my own team; that is important for a manager.’
Finally, spare a thought for The Hammers’ boss Gianfranco Zola who has been very publicly crapped on by the East London club’s owners in recent weeks. You get the feeling he will leave West Ham within days:
‘It’s been a long, exhausting season. Circumstances and mistakes didn’t allow us to give what we wanted to give.
‘I was wishing we could have played for the whole season with the same freedom. For me football has always been a joy, a pleasure. I played until the age of 39 and never considered it a job, but this season there has been pressure. Managers such as Giovanni Trapattoni, Bobby Robson were always joyful about the game and this is what I want to be. I still consider it a game.
‘Mr Sullivan should have a bit more composure when he talks to the press to hammer the players. It’s not helping anyone. The fact you have money doesn’t mean you can say and do whatever you want. I’ve been playing football for 15 years and I’ve never had a board like that.’
VMC City Video Link: Mancio Post Match at Upton Park