Forget Tevez, Consider the Psychological Progression of Being Top at Christmas

Ieuan BeynonCorrespondent IIIDecember 20, 2010

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 21:  Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini gestures with Fulham manager Mark Hughes during the Barclays Premier League match between Fulham and Manchester City at Craven Cottage on November 21, 2010 in London, England.  (Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images)
Scott Heavey/Getty Images

Every article that has been written about Manchester City over the last fortnight has involved Carlos Tevez, and the infamous transfer request.

Well, let's take a look at a far more important matter.

If Manchester City defeat Everton in Monday night football tonight, they will enter the Christmas period as the league leaders.

It will be the first time since 1929 that the club would enter the all-important festive period top of the league, two points clear of Manchester United.

This would be a massive boost for Roberto Mancini, the players and the fans psychologically.

With the team under constant scrutiny from media and opposing fans alike, going into late December on top of the table, will surely make people sit up and take notice.

Okay, the first half of the season may not have been one of the better starts to an English Premier league season, and no side has really taken advantage of others slip-ups.

City may not even be the best side, in what looks like a very even 'top five'. But they are definitely good enough to be considered title contenders.

If they can defeat Everton though, it does show significant progress in the 12 months under the Italian.

This time a year ago, Manchester City under Mark Hughes were nowhere near the team they are today.

Defensively Mancini has improved the side tenfold. The emergence of Vincent Kompany and Kolo Toure as one of the top two central-defensive partnerships in the country, has been down to the Italian and his methods.

He is now beginning to stamp his own mark on the team and has shifted out some of the deadwood brought in by Hughes.

So if City do become the new leaders tonight, it is wholeheartedly down to the class of Mancini.

With all the other challengers facing each other within the same period, City have a chance to make a play for the title between now and the new year.

City have the squad to sustain a solid title challenge, Mancini has instilled a mentality of grit and determination.

He demands perfection, he does not like anything but the best.

After the recent 3-1 victory over West Ham, assistant manager Brian Kidd gave an interview stating that the team were furious because "they had conceded a goal."

So hopefully when we open the newspapers/Internet link tomorrow, we'll see a picture of a smiling Roberto Mancini and not the sight of a stropping Carlos Tevez.


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