Sport Soccer

Monday 23 April 2018

McCarthy blast for 'ignorant' Mancini

Chris Bascombe

Wolves manager Mick McCarthy has accused Roberto Mancini of cultural ignorance in waving an imaginary red card in an effort to get opposing players sent off.

Mancini has been caught twice on camera demanding referees to show cards -- once when he asked for Liverpool's Glen Johnson to be dismissed for a two-footed challenge on Adam Johnson during last week's Carling Cup semi-final, and then again in City's victory over Wigan on Monday following a handball by Maynor Figueroa.

McCarthy believes that overseas coaches should adapt to show more "understanding" of English football's culture and revealed he once threatened to "break the fingers" of former Queens Park Rangers assistant manager Bruno Oliveira when he indulged in the practice in a game against Wolves.

"None of us should do it -- it is something I don't like," said McCarthy. "There is a cultural difference, but Roberto is in this country now.

"We have to give people a bit of credence for different culture and different places. But when they come here they have to understand that, just as when I go anywhere else, I have to understand their culture.

"I was asked the other day, should we be teaching players coming into this country to behave?

"I said 'No, I know how to behave and I've been all over the world in my capacity as Irish manager and not upset anyone'."

The hand gestures have been a rare blemish on Mancini's reputation in England, but there is a potential for touchline disturbances with rival coaches if he persists in the habit.

"It is a little blip on a really good career for him because he handles himself with such good dignity and grace," said McCarthy.

"I'm sure if it is pointed out, Roberto won't do it again.

"I had it with QPR a while back and took real offence to it. Bruno Oliveira did it and I think I said I would break his fingers.

"Paolo Sousa was in charge and he was really apologetic and he explained that is their culture. But I said: 'You are in our league and our culture. Don't do it and we will get on'."

The English FA is keeping a watching brief on Mancini's behaviour, which it believes contravenes the Respect agenda. It will contact City if the Italian persists with the habit.

Mancini, who criticised Wayne Rooney for similar card-waving gestures, was also criticised by Wigan manager Roberto Martinez after City's 1-0 win at the DW Stadium.

"I've been here long enough to understand that trying to influence the referee is not accepted in the British game," Martinez said.

"When a player tries to simulate or buy a decision from the referee that is regarded as cheating. I understand that in Italy, France and Spain it is acceptable to try and get a decision from the referee, but it is different here."

Asked if he was surprised to hear Mancini say the practice was "normal", Martinez replied: "Not really, no."

Mancini, whose gesture at Wigan prompted Rooney to tweet, "Was manchini asking for a red card????", has built up a large store of credit with his conduct during his two years in England. But the furore may make referees or fourth officials more aware of his conduct.

Though this gesture does not contravene any law of the game, it does constitute placing pressure on a referee, which goes against the Respect campaign.

The unwritten code that one manager will not seek to get another's players sent off has not generally been broken by English managers.

Mancini said on Monday: "I don't want to talk about the referee and that situation. I used to do this, but I don't want to say anything. Wayne Rooney did this."

Meanwhile, Joleon Lescott insists that City are more concerned about Manchester United than the burgeoning title credentials of Tottenham Hotspur.

City face Spurs at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday, with Harry Redknapp's side trailing the Premier League leaders by just five points and enjoying their best domestic campaign since the 1989-90 season, when they finished third.

Lescott's comments will undoubtedly add an edge to the fixture and follow Mancini's rejection of claims, made by Alex Ferguson, that Tottenham are playing the most entertaining football in the league.

Spurs have radically improved since their last meeting with City, when they were crushed 5-1 at White Hart Lane in August, but Lescott believes Redknapp's team would struggle to keep pace with the Manchester clubs if they were beaten on Sunday.

"Beating them would open up a big gap between us and them," said Lescott.

"No disrespect to Spurs, but we see Manchester United as our main rivals because they're second in the league."

Lescott dismissed suggestions that tension is taking its toll within the City camp.

"We've read a lot about pressure, people have said we were cracking -- stuff like that. But we haven't mentioned any other teams this season -- we've focused on ourselves," he said.

"It's crazy. None of the boys even thought about us cracking up or that something was going wrong.

"All of a sudden it's being said in papers or on TV that things are going wrong. We were like, 'Wow, we must have arrived if people want us to fail'.

"You can't go through the season without having a dip in form, we're aware of that, but the main thing is to pick up results when you're not playing so well." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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