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By Mangosuthu Buthelezi
Memories of a long brotherhood tempered in common struggle
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Topic - Roberto Mancini
One third of the way through the Champions League group stage, it's no longer too early to start drawing some conclusions. As expected, Europe's big teams are already starting to pull ahead. Here are five thoughts to chew on from this week's matches:
Manchester City delivered a ruthless attacking display to rout Manchester United 4-1 in the Premier League on Sunday, the first derby between the rivals since the retirement of United manager Alex Ferguson.
Manchester City hired Manuel Pellegrini as manager Friday, entrusting a man nicknamed "The Engineer" with constructing a team to reclaim the Premier League title and become a force in the Champions League.
Frank Lampard earned the top spot in the weekly Associated Press global soccer poll for the first time after setting Chelsea's career goals record.
The Italian is departing after less than four years in charge. He ended the club's 35-year trophy drought by winning the FA Cup in 2011 and in 2012 led the team to its first league title in 44 years.
Manchester City fired manager Roberto Mancini on Monday, exactly one year after he delivered the club's first English league title in 44 years.
Manchester City fired manager Roberto Mancini on Monday, exactly a year after he delivered the club's first English league title in 44 years.
Wigan won the FA Cup for the first time in its 81-year history by beating big-spending Man City 1-0 on Saturday in one of the biggest final upsets the tournament has seen.
Any professional soccer player who doesn't want to take on Manchester United should change jobs. United manager Alex Ferguson would surely say the same to any player of his who didn't relish the challenge of being part of the team that everyone wants, or should want, to beat.
"A riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma:" Winston Churchill's famous description of Russia easily could be applied to Mario Balotelli.
Actor Tom Cruise was in the crowd, but Robin van Persie was the top gun. He supplied the Hollywood ending on a day of thunder for English soccer because it suggested the Premier League title will move across Manchester again at the end of the season, but this time from City back to United.
Jose Mourinho should send his dry-cleaning bill to Roberto Mancini, with an attached note: "Roberto, will you pay this? It was, after all, partly your fault."
This weekend, the two kinds of football played on opposite shores of the Atlantic for once have a shared fascination _ handshakes.
Carlos Tevez is no stranger to the golf course _ he spent a lot of time on one while on a five-month strike from Manchester City last season.
Manchester City's players are champions of England _ yes, that is a phrase we're all going to have to get accustomed to _ because they believed in themselves like those at Manchester United used to.
"When you have a player that has Mario's quality, you cannot understand why he continues to throw it out of the window. It is incredible," Mancini said. "I have seen players in my life with fantastic quality. But in the end, they did nothing. I don't want Mario to finish like these players."
In firing Mancini, City said it wanted a coach who could "develop a holistic approach to all aspects of football at the club," and Pellegrini proved at Villarreal and Malaga that he could integrate youth and spot targets in the transfer market.