Royle calls for Mancini to take Man City back to basics

Former Manchester City manager Joe Royle has called for the current occupant of the position, Roberto Mancini, to take the club back to the ideas that won the Premier League title last season, the Daily Mirror has reported.

City sneaked past Manchester United on goal difference to pick up their first title since 1968 but have started the season in sluggish form, and had Joe Hart to thank on Wednesday for preventing a second consecutive defeat in the Champions League. The England goalkeeper made a series of saves to keep City in the match with Borussia Dortmund, having been part of the side that turned a lead into a defeat against Real Madrid.

Royle questioned a number of Mancini policies and decisions, such as the change in formation and the absence from the side of Gareth Barry and Joleon Lescott, two stalwarts of last season’s team who have been in and out of favour in the new campaign.

The former Everton striker added: “I can’t remember the last time I saw them dominated in midfield like they were and one or two of them weren’t at their best. Add to that his decision to leave Gareth Barry out completely, and I was surprised by one or two things he did.

He made it clear what he thinks of Lescott when he left him out for the Real Madrid game…Lescott might not have been the quickest, but I thought his partnership with Vincent Kompany was the best in the league last season.

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