Mancini tips Barry for England captaincy
Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini believes Gareth Barry would make a good England captain. The national team will have a new skipper for this summer's European Championship following the controversial decision to relieve John Terry of the armband last week, which ultimately led to Fabio Capello's departure as England boss.
Liverpool talisman Steven Gerrard and Tottenham's Scott Parker are thought to be among the favourites but Mancini thinks in-form City midfielder Barry is an excellent candidate. The Italian said: "He could be [captain] because he is a good man, a clever man on and off the pitch. He is a really good player.
"For me, like for Capello, he should play always for the national team because he is a very intelligent man. He has played a lot of games for the national team but I think there are two or three players who could be captain."
Barry, 30, has become an England regular in the past four seasons and now has 51 caps to his name. Mancini has been impressed with his performances at club level this season, feeling the former Aston Villa player has had a key role in City's Premier League title challenge.
Mancini said: "Gareth is a strange player. In every team there are some players who seem not important but, in the end, they are the most important players. These players are quiet but they can play in every position, they help the manager, their team-mates. They are always available and fight for every ball. Gareth is a player like this. He is really important."
Barry is set to feature against his old club at Villa Park tomorrow. City got their league campaign back on track with a home victory over Fulham last week but their away form remains a concern. While City have won all 12 of their matches at the Etihad Stadium, they have lost three and drawn three on the road.
Those losses - at Chelsea, Sunderland and Everton - have all come in the past two months but Mancini insists he is not overly concerned. He said: "It is impossible to win away always, like we did at the start of the season.
"You can win away but sometimes you can lose these games. Away games are difficult, not only for us, for all the teams. There are some games you lose away that you deserve to lose, but I don't think we deserved to lose any game away. If you go away and deserve to lose 3-0 it is different but never did any team deserve to beat us away."
City should be boosted by the return of captain Vincent Kompany from injury but striker Mario Balotelli is still missing as he completes a four-game ban.