Sport language expert David Yeoman believes Roberto Mancini’s recent comments are a clear sign Manchester City will last the distance in the Premier League title race.
Mancini raised eyebrows earlier this week with some ultra-positive comments in the wake of Manchester United moving five points clear at the top of the Premier League. “We will win the title, we will win. We will do everything to win the title. We need to think positive, always,” he said.
Ahead of games against Chelsea and Stoke City, the Italian’s comments appeared somewhat brave, but City came from behind to beat Chelsea 2-1 on Wednesday night and can return to the top of the table with victory at Stoke this weekend.
Sport language and behavioural strategist David Yeoman, who we spoke to last month about how managers’ language can affect results, is impressed by the City chief.
“He’s believable, I’m believing what he’s saying. I’m very, very impressed with him, ” Yeoman told Footyplace.
“There’s a small glitch with Mancini’s comments when he says ‘we need to think positive’ as need is a necessity and the word positive could suggest there’s actually some negative thinking.
“It it was an English manager saying then I’d have jumped on it but I’m giving him a bit of slack because Mancini is Italian and English is not his first language. He’s got City back on track after a blip, he didn’t cave in to Carlos Tevez, he’s obviously a stronger leader than may come across.”
Mancini, however, has a formidable opponent in his Manchester United counterpart Sir Alex Ferguson.
Yeoman added: “You’ve got two different styles, the young pup and the old dog, in terms of English experience. Sir Alex Ferguson is the master of the understatement. He’s very difficult to read.
“He views every game as if it’s his first and last. Without using the words ‘cup final’, he treats every single game as a cup final and manages to weave that into his words. That will come across to his players.
“He’s not distracted by board fall-outs, managers being sacked or talk of managers being sacked, he ignores all of that noise and just focuses on what is his best 11 to beat the opponents’ best 11.
“But I think for the first time Ferguson is seeing a real contender and I little anxiety might come in because all of a sudden not only does he have a viable contender but it’s Manchester City, the club’s closest rivals.
“If you said to me here’s a fiver, put it on one team to win the league, my gut is saying City could do it.”