Joe Royle has questioned Roberto Mancini’s decision to leave Carlos Tevez out of his starting line-up for Sunday’s Manchester derby.
Mancini opted to play Mario Balotelli alongside Sergio Aguero but the Italian produced a poor display and was replaced by Tevez early in the second half with City 2-0 down.
The introduction of Tevez sparked City into life and he helped the champions draw level before Robin Van Persie struck a late winner.
And Royle believes it could have been a different outcome had the tenacious Argentine been on the pitch from the start.
"If I were manager, Tevez would be the first name on my team-sheet,” said Royle, who managed City from 1998-2001.
"I couldn't care less if he never scored, he creates things for other people by his movement and energy. He creates the pace of the game.
"You can't play a pressing game if one player isn’t pressing because there is always a get out. The great sides play pressing football and you can't do that if one [Balotelli] is not pressing."