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Roberto Mancini

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Roberto Mancini

Roberto Mancini (born 27 November 1964) is an Italian football manager, formerly an international player and current manager of English Premier League team Manchester City.

As a player he was best known for his time at Sampdoria, where he played more than 550 league matches, and helped them win the Serie A league title, four Coppa Italias and the Cup Winners Cup, whilst being capped 36 times by Italy.

In the latter days of his playing career he was an assistant apprentice to Sven Goran Eriksson at Lazio. Following the end of his accomplished playing career he moved into management and achieved success at both ends of the footballing spectrum. He began his managerial career at the deep end with a cash stricken Fiorentina at only 35 years old and managed to win a Coppa Italia but left with Fiorentina sliding towards inevitable bankruptcy. A few months later he then took over as manager at Lazio, where again, he inherited financial constraints and was forced to lose big players but still managed to win another Coppa Italia, a UEFA Cup semi-final, whilst securing a lucrative Champions League place with limited resources during his two season tenure.

Personality and reputation

Mancini is well known to be a tough trainer as manager, a reputation heightened at Manchester City. This has led to his training methods being criticised by some players[46] and fitness coaches, especially Raymond Verheijen who is a personal fitness coach for Craig Bellamy.[47] Nor is Mancini afraid to stamp his authority with rebellious players who are unhappy or are not performing and has previously stated "If a top player is not happy then it's better to go".[48][49]

It has been reported, although vehemently disputed, that Mancini has had frosty relationship with Craig Bellamy,[50] club doctor Jamie Murphy[51] and Emmanuel Adebayor[52] who was unhappy at not getting first team football. Manchester City players have previously revealed Mancini's ocsasional "hairdryer treatment" at half-time if he feels his team are not playing well.[53][54]

Personal life

Mancini has been married for nearly 20 years to his wife Federica and have a daughter and two sons, Filippo and Andrea who have both played in the Internazionale youth ranks where Filippo managed to play 10 minutes in a single Coppa Italia match for Inter. Both of his sons have at one point been a part of Manchester City's youth set-up - under the reign of Sven-Göran Eriksson Filippo trained with the City academy for several months of the 2007-08 season, while Andrea was signed by his father for the Manchester City under-21 Elite Development Squad in November of 2010 after being released from Bologna.



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Emmanuel Adebayor and Roberto Mancini in training ground bust-up

Emmanuel Adebayor is almost certain to leave Manchester City at the earliest opportunity after his relationship with Roberto Mancini finally boiled over this week.

The Togo striker had to be restrained by players and staff after bursting into the Italian's training ground office with proof of a torn muscle, an injury Mancini had initially brushed off as nothing more than a dead leg.

Former Arsenal man Adebayor was dismayed to his boss thought he was feigning injury.

He hasn't featured for City since coming on as a substitute in the defeat by Sunderland last month and claimed on the eve of transfer deadline day that he would welcome a move away.

'It all kicked off between them,' a City source told the News of the World. 'There is nothing worse than a manager accusing a player of feigning an injury.

'Adebayor might not be playing well, but he would never be so unprofessional. He was furious.'

This week's incident is not the first time the pair have clashed. Adebayor again had to be calmed by City staff after he was dropped from the side on the opening day of the season at Tottenham.

He is one in a long line of players who were bought in by former boss Mark Hughes and have struggled to adapt since the Welshman was replaced by Mancini almost a year ago.

Real Madrid are keen on Adebayor, with Jose Mourinho making tentative approaches in the summer.

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City to contest Zabaleta red card

Manchester City look set to appeal against the red card Pablo Zabaleta was issued during Wednesday's goalless draw with Arsenal.

Zabaleta and Bacary Sagna were both dismissed in the last minute of the Emirates Stadium encounter after the pair clashed by the touchline.

The Argentina star looked unfortunate at the time and TV replays appeared to back up that view.

So, facing a three-match ban that would rule him out of matches against Leicester, Wolves and Aston Villa, it seems certain City will appeal ahead of the 5pm deadline.

"We are a little bit disappointed with that decision," said assistant manager Brian Kidd.

"We are looking at it and will make a decision about whether to appeal before the deadline. It was very harsh."

Kidd also defended manager Roberto Mancini over the tactics City employed last night, claiming the Blues had been forced onto the defensive rather than choosing to play that way.

"I realise this Italian tactics thing gets brought up because the boss is Italian, but I don't understand it," he said.

"We came back from the Emirates last night with a really good point.

"Arsenal were terrific for the first 25 minutes but we didn't capitulate when it would have been quite easy to go under."

Kidd could offer no update on the pursuit of Edin Dzeko from Wolfsburg, but it appears only a matter of time before the Bosnian is officially unveiled as a City player.

With a fee and personal terms agreed, it is thought the giant striker underwent a medical yesterday.

Although he must leave the country pending a work permit being granted, given the player's status as a regular international and one of the most sought-after strikers in Europe, that is regarded as automatic. He would then be clear to complete a deal worth an estimated £27million.

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Mancini denies negative approach

Roberto Mancini denied Manchester City were negative against Barclays Premier League title rivals Arsenal.

Second-placed City - who are expected to shortly complete the £27m signing of striker Edin Dzeko from Wolfsburg - failed to muster a single shot on target in the goalless draw, and clearly missed injured frontline duo David Silva and Mario Balotelli.

Arsenal remain in third place, two points behind City, with a match in hand, and four adrift of leaders Manchester United, who have played a match less.

The Gunners twice hit the woodwork in the first half through Robin van Persie and Cesc Fabregas, with England keeper Joe Hart then saving superbly from the Dutchman's 25-yard drive on the hour.

Both sides finished with 10 men after full-backs Pablo Zabaleta and Bacary Sagna were shown straight red cards by referee Mike Jones for a needless clash on the far touchline.

City drew plenty of criticism both from the television pundits for tonight's live match and also the Emirates Stadium faithful.

Mancini, though, was not concerned by the chants of 'boring, boring City'.

"It is not important for me," the Italian said.

"If one team plays well, it can happen that you must defend.

"I prefer boo in the end and to go home with one point than with three goals in our net.

"When you play here against Arsenal, it could be that Arsenal play better than you and you might defend, and this is football.

"Not all the teams can play like Arsenal.

"I think also that Arsenal won some games that they didn't deserve to win, maybe.

"We were lucky in the first 25 minutes when Arsenal have four or five chances to score but after, I think we defended very well.

"I think defensively we played well, offensively so-so but after four games in 10 days, this can be."

Mancini continued: "Arsenal is a good team, they play football very well.

"It's the same when you play against Barcelona, you play in Barca, you must defend very well if you don't want to lose the game.

"I think that if we had Silva, Balotelli probably it might have been a different game."

Mancini believed referee Jones could have shown restraint rather than go straight for his red cards.

"At the end of the game the players are tired and ref must understand that. Two Yellow cards were enough, a red card is so much," the City boss said.

United are now very much in the driving seat, but Mancini feels the title race is far from over.

He said: "We are in a good position, like Arsenal and Manchester United. The season is very long.

"Also, although Chelsea and Tottenham both lost tonight, I think they can still arrive on the top."

Arsenal beat Chelsea here on December 27, and Arsene Wenger insists his team remain very much in the hunt for the championship.

"We had the performance, but not the result," he said.

"However, I take a lot of encouragement even if mathematically we are all frustrated and the players are disappointed.

"There is no way we should lose courage or belief in our team.

"We should come out with more belief in our quality and be more resolute because we have shown we have what it takes to compete in the championship."

Wenger continued: "The regret I had was that we didn't take our early chances because an early goal would have changed the game.

"They came for a 0-0 and they got what they wanted. We played for long periods against 10 men, even Carlos Tevez, I never seen him so deep.

"But I wasn't surprised, they came here last year set up to play for a 0-0."

Wenger, though, refused to berate City's supposed negative attitude.

"We always try to win our games always. Maybe it was their way to try to win, to defend deep and catch us on the break," he said.

"We have to respect that and sort out the problems we face. Even if a team defends deep we have to find a way to score."

On the sendings off, Wenger said: "I hoped it would be two yellow because the game was not full of hate. Both teams respected each other. You could only do two reds or two yellows and he chose red."

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Arsenal vs Man City Player Ratings

We rate the players in the Premier League game between Arsenal and Manchester City at the Emirates which ended 0-0.


Lukasz Fabianski - 5

Had no worries in goal at all.

Laurent Koscielny - 6

Probably one of the most under-worked players on the pitch, along with Johan Djourou. Kept the high balls out.

Johan Djourou - 6.5

Stuck to Tevez like a limpet and made sure the striker was kept on his toes at all times. Not his busiest night either.

Gaël Clichy - 7

The Frenchman put in one of his better defensive displays of the season. Not that he had much to do, but did press play the likes of James Milner and later Adam Johnson very well.

Bacary Sagna - 7.5

Linked up well with Walcott and put in some decent crosses. Sent off after a silly altercation with Zabaleta.

Alex Song - 7

Did what Yaya Toure did for City i.e. some great runs right through the heart of the opposition - but just could not land the killer blow. Solid in defence.

Jack Wilshere (off 82') - 5

Played very well actually, but was guilty of missing some of the best Arsenal chances - once when he should have squared the ball to van Persie and second when he scuffed his shot right in front of goal.

Samir Nasri - 5

Not as heavily involved in the game as he is when playing through the centre. Had to contend with waves of blue shirts every time he got the ball and just couldn't find his way through.

Theo Walcott (off 69') - 5.5

Got into some good areas on the right, but failed to carve any clear opportunities for himself - largely because of some good defending by Pablo Zabaleta.

Cesc Fábregas - 7.5

Started off with trademark panache in midfield - pulling the strings with ease and making it seem as if Arsenal would simply wipe the floor with City. His effectiveness dwindled as City found their defensive feet.

Robin Van Persie - 8

Probably enjoyed one of his best game for the Gunners this season. Was involved in almost every potent Arsenal attack and could have had a couple had it not been for Joe Hart and the upright.


Andrei Arshavin (on 69') - 4

Poor. Offered far less than Walcott did.

Nicklas Bendtner (on 82') - n.a

Manchester City

Joe Hart - 7.5

Kept his side in the game with some assured keeping. One save off a van Persie pile-driver was particularly eye-catching.

Vincent Kompany - 7

Another steady performance by one of City's best players this season. Broke up the intricate Arsenal play time and again, frustrating the Gunners no end.

Kolo Touré - 7.5

Was good with balls in the box, sliding in to stop them finding Arsenal players and picking out the tricky Gunners' runs almost every single time.

Pablo Zabaleta - 7

Had had a great game until a very strange sending-off. Nonetheless, he controlled Walcott for large parts of the game - making sure the winger did not get too many chances to get his crosses in.

Micah Richards - 7

Was the most pro-active of the City defenders, closing down any Arsenal player in his zone - forcing them to go back. Made some powerful runs down the flanks as well.

Nigel De Jong - 6.5

Looked like he was caught in a tornado early on, such was the pace of Arsenal's passing. But creditably, he settled down very well and did not allow Arsenal to dominate the midfield exchanges like they had done early in the match.

Gareth Barry - 7.5

Put in a good, hard defensive shift - doing exactly what was asked of him by Roberto Mancini.

Yaya Touré - 7

The most dangerous City player on the pitch. Unlike the rest of his side, was not afraid to run at Arsenal and really stretch the defenders. A couple of lung-busting runs could really have hurt the Gunners.

James Milner - 5

Good defensive work, almost nothing going forward.

Carlos Tévez (off 90')- 7

Was isolated up front most of the game and tried his level best to drop back in order to win the ball. Unfortunately for the Argentinean, he rarely had any teammate ahead of him to pass it to.

Jô (off 65') - 2

Completely ineffective.


Adam Johnson (on 65') - 5

Didn't see much of the ball

Jerome Boateng (on 90') - n.a

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Arsenal 0-0 Manchester City

Arsenal twice hit the woodwork as somehow title rivals Manchester City left Emirates Stadium with a point.

Robin van Persie and Cesc Fabregas both saw their first-half shots come back of the base of the same post.

City then had goalkeeper Joe Hart to thank after he produced a wonderful fingertip save to deny Van Persie on the hour as Arsenal had to be content with only a point.

The teams each finished with 10 men after full-backs Pablo Zabaleta and Bacary Sagna were shown straight red cards by referee Mike Jones for a needless clash by the touchline.

Arsenal almost snatched an early lead when Samir Nasri played Jack Wilshere into the left side of the penalty area - but his cut-back was just too far ahead of Van Persie, with Theo Walcott's cross from the goalline then hacked clear.

City - expected to shortly complete the £27million signing of striker Edin Dzeko from Wolfsburg - broke quickly down the right and James Milner drilled a low shot across the area.

Van Persie again went within inches of putting Arsenal ahead when, after nine minutes, the Dutchman created space for a shot from the edge of the City box - and promptly drilled the ball against the base of Hart's right-hand post.

After such a frantic start, it was no surprise to see the tempo of the match drop.

Gareth Barry was cautioned after 21 minutes when he clattered into Arsenal defender Bacary Sagna as the right-back looked to break clear.

At the other end, a deep free-kick found its way through to Carlos Tevez at the back post, but Alex Song was able to divert the loose ball behind.

After 27 minutes, Arsenal again hit the woodwork after a quick break through Nasri and Fabregas down the left, with the Arsenal skipper cutting back inside to wrongfoot Heart only for his shot to bounce off the base of the same post as Van Persie's did.

From the rebound, Walcott smashed an angled drive against the other upright, but the offside flag was already raised.

There was a warning for Arsenal when City broke quickly down the right and Tevez drilled the ball just over from 20 yards.

Arsenal were calling for a penalty when Walcott's cross hit Vincent Kompany's trailing arm, but the referee instead gave a only a corner.

The Gunners continued to press as half-time approached, yet were thwarted by some brave last-gasp defending Arsenal soon were back on the offensive following the restart.

Walcott was almost released, but Wilshere's pass ran through to Hart.

On the hour, City's England number one made a fantastic save to send a goal-bound 25-yard drive from Van Persie over the crossbar.

City boss Roberto Mancini then made a change, replacing the ineffective Jo with England winger Adam Johnson and the visitors looked much more balanced.

As the match entered the final 22 minutes, Walcott was replaced by Arshavin.

Gunners boss Arsene Wenger then sent on Nicklas Bendtner, for Wilshere, with 10 minutes left, looking to give Arsenal more presence in attack.

Both teams finished the match with 10 men after full-backs Zabaleta and Sagna were shown straight red cards after pushing their heads together.

Despite four minutes of stoppage time, the breakthrough would not come and City held on for a point which keeps them second, but sees leaders Manchester United the night's big winners.

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Mancini demands Citizens learn lessons

Roberto Mancini felt Manchester City learnt "an important lesson" from their 2-2 draw at Leicester.

Mancini believes the excellent performance of the Foxes spelt out the need for his players to be at their best against non-Premier League sides to achieve their dream of reaching the final.

A second-half blunder from Eastlands keeper Joe Hart gifted Andy King the equaliser, but Mancini's side looked vulnerable all evening against set-pieces after Leicester newcomer Sol Bamba scored inside 50 seconds.

Mancini said: "For us, it is an important lesson, that if we want to win the FA Cup we must always play at 100% because every game is difficult.

"We conceded a goal after one minute which was very strange. I think we slept for two or three minutes.

"They caused a lot of problems from set-pieces and Bamba is good in the air, very tall, and a big problem.

"We will have to work on that for the replay. When we play at Eastlands, we must pay attention.

"I think we played 100% but maybe sometimes, when you play a team in the Championship or the third division (League One), you think 'that is easy'.

"In the FA Cup there is never an easy game. We want to go to the final.

"It is important when we play other teams, we must focus on the game like when we play in the Premier League.

"But it is important we have another chance."

New £27million striker Edin Dzeko looked on from the stands and will make his debut against Wolves next weekend.

Mancini said: "He will be an important player for us. He is different from the other strikers we have.

"He is one more choice for me.

"He will be very important for the rest of the season, important in the next match.

"He will be available for Wolves in the next game."

Leicester midfielder Richie Wellens ended the game with his hand bandaged up after he tangled with Nigel de Jong.

But Wellens believes De Jong's actions were of an accidental nature.

Wellens said: "It was just a little stamp on my hand (by De Jong). I don't think it was deliberate.

"I hope it wasn't but you've just got to take the bumps with the bruises.

"I just felt his studs go into my hand. I don't think he meant it. You will have to ask him that but I'd like to think it was just an accident.

"He didn't say anything to me. Just a little smile! He caught me right on the knuckle so it was painful.

"He is a physical player and if I get the chance to be physical with him, then I will be.

"These things happen. I'm not accusing him of anything."

After Sol Bamba's instant impact on his debut, the visitors seized control with James Milner - with his first goal for the club - and skipper Carlos Tevez netting before half-time.

But Leicester rallied and Hart failed to collect one of many dangerous crosses from Paul Gallagher - and King did the rest for his 10th goal of the campaign.

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Mancini expects duo to leave

Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini has confirmed Roque Santa Cruz is almost certain to return to Blackburn within the coming days.

Mancini has already stated that Edin Dzeko will probably be the only new face arriving at Eastlands during the current transfer window, so most of the attention around City this month is set to be on the players who will leave.

Wayne Bridge was first man out of the exit door yesterday, joining West Ham for the remainder of the season.

Santa Cruz's departure was always on the cards and it seems Shaun Wright-Phillips will be leaving too.

"It is the same situation for Roque and Shaun Wright-Phillips," said Mancini.

"He has two or three options."

Both players came in during Mark Hughes' brief tenure, so it is little wonder Fulham has been suggested as an option for Wright-Phillips, along with Birmingham and West Ham.

Having tried so hard to get Santa Cruz from his former club Blackburn, Hughes would doubtless be interested in the Paraguayan as well, although it appears his preference is to remain in the north-west.

"Roque will probably go to Blackburn," confirmed Mancini.

"Every player wants to play. I understand that. But it is difficult for me.

"If an opportunity for either of them to play came up, then it would be better for them and I hope for Roque that in one or two days, he will have that."

The situation with Emmanuel Adebayor is not quite so clear cut.

With Mancini re-stating his belief that it will be a couple of weeks at the earliest before he knows whether Mario Balotelli will need an operation on his knee injury, the Togo forward's future remains on hold.

A number of different clubs, both at home and abroad, have expressed their interest in the former Arsenal man.

But Mancini is wary of leaving himself short of options.

"A lot of teams want Emmanuel but at the moment we have to wait for Mario Balotelli," confirmed the City chief.

"Maybe Manu will leave but we have another 20 days, so we have time to make a decision.

"If we lose three or four, we might end up in a situation where we don't have enough players for the remainder of the season."

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Mancini: Even I've fought before

Manchester City chief Roberto Mancini has laid down the law to his feuding superstars by fining them for their bust-ups.

According to English newspaper the Daily Mail, the Italian confirmed that he docked the wages of Kolo Toure, Emmanuel Adebayor, Jerome Boateng and Mario Balotelli after their training-ground scuffles.

The four players were disciplined after photographers caught pictures of them in fisticuffs at the club's Carrington training ground.

The former Inter Milan manager has already clashed with several members of the first-team due to his hardline approach to training but his act of display now further epitomizes Mancini's ruthless streak.

Asked if he fined the players, Mancini said: 'Yes. We fine them because we mustn't do this (fight) but sometimes it can happen and we fine the player, the player pays and in the end any money may go to charity.

'It's never serious because it starts and finishes in two minutes and in the dressing room everything is finished.'

Mancini then joked: 'Sometimes we fight for them (the photographers) so they can sell their pictures.'

He added: 'Seriously, this happens in every team. The difference is that here we don't have a big wall around the training ground.

'I played football for 20 years and I know that in every team sometimes these things can happen, because you train and play at 100 per cent.

"Did I fight with team-mates? Yes, about five times. One time, when I was young at Sampdoria, I had a fight in training against Trevor Francis. I don't remember the cause of it because it was about 25 years ago but I remember very well the fight.

'It's important that afterwards it [the argument] was finished. Am I bothered about the pictures or headlines in the newspapers? Absolutely not.'

Boateng and Balotelli went toe-to-toe on the training ground last month while former Arsenal teammates Adebayor and Toure had to be separated after clashing in training.

Meanwhile, Mancini, whose side face off with Wolves on Saturday at Eastlands, hinted that new £27million signing Edin Dzeko might require another week of training to hit peak match fitness.


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Mancini demands full focus from City

Roberto Mancini has warned Manchester City that they must get rid of their superiority complex if they are to win the title.

The most expensive squad in English football welcomed another addition earlier this week when giant striker Edin Dzeko checked in after completing his £27million move from Wolfsburg.

With so much quality at his disposal, Mancini appears best placed to challenge Sir Alex Ferguson for the championship this season, and create what promises to be a thrilling all-Mancunian duel.

However, the visit of Wolves to Eastlands on Saturday is a reminder of the obstacles that lie in City's path.

Even though they went in front at Molineux earlier this season, Mick McCarthy's men rallied to snatch all three points. It was the kind of setback Mancini acknowledges could prove very costly in the final analysis, and one which the Blues must learn to avoid.

"If you beat all these teams; the ones like Wolves, Blackpool and Aston Villa and draw against those like Chelsea and United, you win the title.

"But it is not easy.

"The problem comes when you meet a team that, in your head, you think are easy.

"Against Arsenal, United or Chelsea, you don't need to remind yourself to concentrate. You are there a week before.

"But if you think a game is going to be easy, that is when you lose. It happens here and in Italy. In 2011, there is no such thing as an easy game."

There are countless examples to prove Mancini's theory. Sometimes games turn out to be easy, but only when attitudes are spot-on. Any deficiency can be exposed.

"Why did Chelsea lose against Wolves recently? Because Wolves ran for 95 minutes and fought for every ball. For them it was the game of the year. It is something we must understand." the Italian continued.

"Maybe against Leicester on Sunday, we thought it was easy.

"Yesterday, Arsenal lost against Ipswich. In the FA Cup, Newcastle lost against Stevenage, Derby lost against Crawley.

"These results do not happen in Italy. Here, every game is very strange. If you don't play at 200%, you are at risk."

The added incentive for City to avenge that October loss to Wolves is the knowledge that they can clamber back to the top of the table for a longer period than the five hours they were there for over Christmas.

Although the gap would be a single point and Mancini's side would have played three extra games, with United's unbeaten record getting a severe test at Tottenham 24 hours later, the Blues could find themselves top for a week at least.

Not that Mancini is paying any attention.

"We should not think about it," he said. "We should only think about our games.

"The season is very long and we have another 17 matches to play.

"The table could change every three days, so we must focus only on Wolverhampton, nothing else."

Dzeko may yet be forced to make his debut from the bench.

However, the Bosnian's arrival is set to release Roque Santa Cruz from his personal torment, and probably Shaun Wright-Phillips, who has been eased out of the first-team picture since Mancini's arrival.

"If an opportunity for either of them to play came up, then it would be better for them," said Mancini.

"Probably Roque will go to Blackburn in one or two days and Shaun has two or three options."

But the situation with Emmanuel Adebayor is not quite so clear-cut.

With Mancini restating his belief that it will be a couple of weeks at the earliest before he knows whether Mario Balotelli will need an operation on his knee injury, the Togo forward's future remains on hold.

A number of different clubs, both at home and abroad, have expressed their interest in the former Arsenal man.

But Mancini is wary of leaving himself short of options.

"A lot of teams want Emmanuel but at the moment we have to wait for Mario Balotelli," confirmed the City chief.

"Maybe Manu will leave but we have another 20 days, so we have time to make a decision.

"If we lose three or four, we might end up in a situation where we don't have enough players for the remainder of the season."

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Man City: Stop Toure comments

Manchester City have branded comments about Kolo Toure's failed drugs test as "unhelpful".

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger outlined the circumstances behind Toure's situation on Friday after a telephone conversation with his former player on Thursday night.

Wenger confirmed Toure's belief that the failed test emerged after he had taken a slimming tablet belonging to his wife and stated his support for the 29-year-old.

Yaya Toure has also defended his brother, whilst comments from Valere Gouriso have emerged in which he claims to be Toure's agent.

City have no intention of breaking their own silence on a case which could end with Toure having to serve a two-year suspension - and they have made it clear they do not welcome the outside interference either.

"The football club has noted public comments by a number of parties connected to Kolo Toure, regarding the ongoing matter of his current suspension," said a statement posted on the club's official website.

"Whilst the club will continue to make no comment on the nature, status and possible outcome of this case until its conclusion, it would like to stress that public statements from such individuals are unhelpful and in some cases untrue.

"The club would like to make it absolutely clear that until comments made by a Mr Gouriso in particular appeared in the public domain, officials of Manchester City knew neither of his existence nor even of his purported connection to Kolo Toure.

"Suggestions that he has spoken to club officials are wholly without foundation."

Yaya Toure earlier said in The Sun: "Kolo is a sane person - he did not use any substance that was illegal.

"My brother is damaged. And the squad is affected because Kolo is an important man for us and one of our captains. So we want a quick solution to this problem.

"We all have confidence in Kolo. I am at Manchester City due to the insistence of my brother. For me it will be very hard to play without him in the team."

Wenger spoke to Kolo Toure soon after the City centre-back discovered he had returned a positive drugs test.

"He is devastated but legally, what is forbidden is forbidden," Wenger said.

"The mistake he made is not to have asked the Manchester City doctor whether he could take it or not.

"It was completely the kind of stupid thing that can happen when you're punished in life.

"Cross the road, don't look right or left and boom. Half the people don't ask if you deserve it, if you're caught, you're caught.

"He wants to control his weight a little bit because that is where he has some problems and he took a product belonging to his wife.

"I don't think there's a desire there to do something wrong and hide it."

Gordon Taylor, chief executive of the Professional Footballers' Association, believes Toure has been "unfortunate".

Taylor said: "I feel convinced he has not been seeking to gain any advantage or to be cheating. He has just been unfortunate.

"Players have got to be so, so careful these days. When it (the substance) is on the list it can be anything from a warning to two years (suspension).

"Things have now got to take due process, so we have to be mindful of that fact."

Blues boss Roberto Mancini confirmed the Ivorian was struggling to come to terms with the situation.

"We are disappointed because we love Kolo as a man and as a player," the City manager told ESPN.

"We know him very well. We are very disappointed for him because he is a serious professional player and a family man.

"I have spoken to him and he is not great at this moment. It is important to try and win this game for him."

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Citizens back troubled Kolo Toure

Gareth Barry has backed team-mate Kolo Toure, who missed Manchester City's 1-0 Barclays Premier League win over Wigan.

Toure, whose former manager Arsene Wenger had reported had taken a slimming tablet belonging to his wife, watched from the stands at the City of Manchester Stadium as David Silva scored the only goal.

Barry told ESPN: "Something like this doesn't happen too often.

"We're all behind Kolo and supporting him, we're backing him 100%."

Barry admitted Wigan had caused City problems after the break.

"In the second half they really pinned us back," he added.

"There were signs the amount of games we've played in a short period of time might have caught us up."

Team-mate Micah Richards added: "That's why you need a big squad and that's what we are trying to do here. The three points is what we deserve in the end."

City manager Roberto Mancini admitted his players had lagged in the second half.

"We played well and we had four or five chances to score but in the second half we were tired," he said.

"I think Wigan played very well in the second half."

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Silva: I joined City to help Valencia

Manchester City midfielder David Silva has admitted he left Valencia in order to ease the club's financial woes.

City bought the tricky playmaker for £27 million from the La Liga side - an offer Silva says Valencia could not refuse.

In comments quoted in the Daily Express, Silva remarked:"Why did I leave Valencia? Because the club needed me to. I was happy there and wouldn't have left, but the situation the club was in demanded it.

"It was a big injection of money and it was good for them. My life has always gone step by step. It was time to take the next one.

"City showed a great interest and I wanted to settle it quickly. It was a very interesting offer, a good club , and I didn't have to think too much."

Unlike teammate Carlos Tevez, Silva appears to be happy with life in Manchester. Describing his life in England he observed: "A lot of games, a lot of tranquility.

"My life in Manchester is very tranquil. I live in the suburbs. The little free time I have I spend at home and walking around the town.

"The worst part has been the cold but I'm happy and comfortable with everything else.

"The tranquility is incredible and the passion with which the fans love football is wonderful. British people are fun."

Silva was one of the two marquee names to leave Estadio Mestalla in the summer. Striker David Villa was sold to Barcelona for a fee of £35 million.

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