Manchester City: Why Javi Garcia Is Another Roberto Mancini Transfer Bust

Allan JiangTransfers CorrespondentFebruary 13, 2013

Manchester City: Why Javi Garcia Is Another Roberto Mancini Transfer Bust

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    Manchester City’s 26-year-old Spaniard Javi García is just another one of Roberto Mancini’s countless transfer busts.

    Sheikh Mansour gave £16 million to Benfica in return for García.

    This article will outline why the former Real Madrid player has failed to live up to expectations in the blue half of Manchester. 

Benfica Screwed Manchester City over

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    Javi García averages 1.3 tackles per league game, meaning there are 811 players across Europe that complete more tackles per game than the Manchester City midfielder—£16 million for this? 

    City, you've been had. You've been took. You've been hoodwinked. Bamboozled. Led astray. Run amok. This is what they do

    They being Benfica, who hoodwinked Chelsea into thinking they were receiving a defender with immense promise called David Luiz.

    £21.3 million later, the Blues found out he was a forward pretending to be a defender. 

    What about the king's ransom Benfica took from Zenit for Axel Witsel? 

    Or, when the Portuguese club led Real Madrid astray and ran amok as they not only inflated Fábio Coentrão's transfer value to epic proportions, but managed to coax the Spanish giants into giving them Ezequiel Garay—a defender with elite potential—in a separate deal.

    Manchester City management succumbed to Benfica's overvaluation of García, who was an asset they wanted to sell. 

    What City thought they were getting: a leader, who would dominate midfield proceedings, and was an upgrade from Nigel de Jong. 

    What City got: a meek player, who prances around midfield, avoids 50-50 confrontations, and doesn't have a top gear. 

Javi García the Screener

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    "You just don't understand Javi García's role. He bypasses the need to enforce in midfield due to his position as a screener, which demonstrates high football IQ."

    The Guardian's Barney Ronay spoke glowingly about Javi playing that position: 

    The screener is instead a highly specialised agent of constriction, engaged in a process of frictionless ushering and shuttling. 

    García's interpretation of the role is more controlled, the latest stage in a wider response to the eradication of tackling and the challenge of how to defend in a manner that is still just about on the right side of the laws.

    The screener isn't a tackler, who plays the ball, or a presser, who plays the man.

    He is a player who plays the space, an expert, basically, at getting in the way. García doesn't "rise to the physical challenge". He expertly sidesteps it.

    I like Ronay but I disagree. 

    García won back the ball 14 times in two UEFA Champions League games vs. Manchester United last season. 

    He didn't exactly "expertly sidestep" physicality on those occasions, did he? Maybe, the two games against United were the peak of his career. 

    You can't just call him a screener now because he avoids tackling in the Premier League. 

    The truth is, he's struggling to read play, and it doesn't help that he's so slow that he probably wouldn't even keep up with Ricky Álvarez. 

    If Javi was such a good screener, why has he committed more fouls (21) than completed tackles (20) in the EPL? 

    "García's interpretation of the role is more controlled."

    Granted, the Spaniard isn't going in two-footed like Glenn Whelan, Javi has picked up eight yellow cards in EPL/UCL play, which suggests he isn't as controlled as he should be. 

    GQ's Oliver Franklin hasn't been impressed with the former Real Madrid player: "Mancini failed to sufficiently strengthen his squad over the summer and that is starting to show ... notably the woeful Javi García." 

Javi García Was a Panic Buy

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    Javi García wasn't Roberto Mancini's first or second choice central midfield transfer target.

    February 8, 2012 (via Ian Hawkey at The National): "De Rossi opts for Roma over Manchester City. It has been a long courtship, with anxious moments, some flirtations elsewhere, but there was no huge surprise in hearing that Daniele De Rossi has committed his long-term future to Roma."

    August 29, 2012 (per The Manchester Evening News): "Bayern Munich have beaten Manchester City to the signing of Spain midfielder Javi Martínez."

    September 1, 2012 (from The Telegraph's Mark Ogden): "Manchester City sign Javi García as they hit deadline day record of nearly £40 million."

    The fact that Roberto has used García as a makeshift centre-back shows how desperate the Italian is in trying to justify his £16 million panic signing.

    Mancini knows that the former Real Madrid player is a passenger in midfield and offers next-to-nothing for City. 

    In fairness to the Spaniard, a hamstring injury early in the season coupled with a lack of confidence are two tangible reasons why he isn't playing at an acceptable standard. 

    If there is any consolation for Javi, at least he'll always be better than Ousmane Dabo, whose tenure with City would have been remembered as one of the worst in recent Premier League memory, if not for Joey Barton going crazy

    Just when you think the Spanish are footballing supermen along comes Javi Garcia. Not a bad player but certainly an ordinary one

    — Jonathan Northcroft (@JNorthcroft) February 9, 2013

    Comment below with your thoughts of García as a City player. 

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