Would never have happened in the days of Chapman, Paisley, etc…
You can usually rely on any Spoiler opinion piece to be greeted with accusations of bias. What is rarer is to read an admission of guilt right off the bat, so let’s mix things up by admitting right here, right now that Roberto Mancini is probably my favourite Premier League boss.
Wow, so this is what life on the edge feels like and, phew, what a weight off my mind that dirty secret is.
Anyway, last night, Mancio committed – and not for the first time either, the scamp – what has been anointed the big no-no of dugout etiquette. We’re talking using the knife third furthest away from the serviette to butter your roll levels of bad here.
Did he refuse to shake a fellow manager’s hand? Deck his team out in shirts supporting a player just found guilty of racist abuse? Was there a “that’s all folks” signal as his team went ahead?
No, what happened at Wigan was far worse. Mancini, after a decision that he quite justifiably disagreed with, twice raised a closed fist hand in the air and, for a period of no more than three seconds, held it there. Oh, the scandal.
Various Sky Sports commentators have taken turns to be sickened by this lack of respect for the lofty moral values of the British game. And, in a double whammy, it has seen him dubbed a hypocrite having criticized Wayne Rooney’s role in getting Vincent Kompany sent off eight days earlier.
But here’s the thing. Yes, it is discomforting to see a player try to get an opponent carded before a referee has acted on an incident, and ideally we would like to see managers lay off him (wait, don’t we love the passion…).
However, there is a huge difference between that and a manager gesturing his way into the debate to express his dismay at a decision from afar, pretty much in the aftermath of the ref taking action.
And surely using the continuously undervalued art of mine to air such grievances is better than firing off a volley of Fs and Cs at the poor uninvolved official forced to operate between two bile-filled benches?
Are we missing the point? Is Mancini a disgrace to football? Then tell us why in the space below…