The big story over the past twenty-four hours - and no doubt a relief to Nigel de Jong in the process - are the reports of a bust up between Carlos Tevez and Roberto Mancini at half-time of the win over Newcastle, when the game was very much in the balance following a lacklustre and frustrating opening forty-five minutes.
The argument began when Mancini overheard Tevez making a derogatory comment in Spanish and challenged him about it. The argument quick escalated while other team-mates watched in silence as the two men lost their temper. Tevez blamed Mancini for a poor first-half performance, complaining about his tactics and saying the Italian was getting it wrong by being too negative. Tevez has been playing as the lone attacker in a side featuring three holding midfielders and, despite scoring five times, the striker is believed to be increasingly frustrated about the lack of chances coming his way.
Mancini, who has shown an increasingly tough edge this season, saw it as his authority being undermined and responded aggressively, reminding Tevez that he was under orders to follow team instructions and should not be questioning his manager in such a way.
The issue of Tevez butting heads with Mancini is not a new development; there was Tevez's outspoken comments in the lead up to the derby at the end of 2009/10 in which he was critical of the training schedule in particular. They are both fiery and combative personalities. But this does not mean they cannot co-exist quite happily, and I'm sure Tevez was as equally frustrated with the sluggish performance as much as being exacerbated at Mancini's tactics.
That said, Mancini's brand of 'risk free' football does mean less chances are created, particularly so if Mancini doesn't operate Emmanuel Adebayor as part of a two-pronged strike force which although adding an extra body and in theory more attacking, does at times squeeze Tevez out wide more - which I'd imagine is far more of a frustration.
I've written a lot about Mancini's approach and methods this season, mainly focusing on the 'buy in' from the squad. Having made the savvy move to install Tevez as captain in the hope that the added responsibility would act as a catalyst for a more team-orientated approach, you have to say Tevez has not shown any outward displeasure at the approach or tactics deplited and has remained an extremely professional member of the side.
From what we have witnessed of Mancini so far, he does seem to have the wherewithal to able to deal with 'personalities' within the squad and appears to have a strong belief in his approach; having the capability to be very forceful to back this up as well.
The issue of course will be whether the incident is something that will simmer below the surface and linger on, which could then have a detrimental effect on Tevez and the squad, or whether it was simply a build up of a number of frustrations and is now done and dusted.
One to keep an eye on either way.