Manchester City announced late last night that they have sacked boss Roberto Mancini, a year to the day that the Citizens claimed the Premier League title.
The decision has not come as a major surprise, as speculation has been rife since their FA Cup defeat to Wigan that the Italian would leave Eastland’s.
A statement on the Manchester City website confirmed Mancini’s exit. Here is that statement:
“It is with regret that Manchester City Football Club announces that Roberto Mancini has been relieved of his duties as manager.
“This has been a difficult decision for the owner, Chairman and Board to make and it is the outcome of a planned end of season review process that has been brought forward in light of recent speculation and out of respect for Roberto and his extensive contributions to the football club.
“Despite everyone’s best efforts, the club has failed to achieve any of its stated targets this year, with the exception of qualification for next season’s UEFA Champions League.
“This, combined with an identified need to develop a holistic approach to all aspects of football at the club, has meant that the decision has been taken to find a new manager for the 2013/14 season and beyond.”
Unfortunately, I predicted this outcome a few months ago in an article and City fans berated me. I was not the Italian’s biggest fan during his early time in England, but I have to say I have really warmed to him in recent times.
The decision to sack him is part of a growing epidemic of trigger-happy owners. In my opinion as a neutral, the decision to fire Roberto Mancini was a harsh one.
The Mancini sacking stems from the fact that the Manchester City hierarchy did not back him in the transfer market last summer. The likes of Javi Garcia, Scott Sinclair and Jack Rodwell are not good enough for a top European club, and that is where City what City aspires to be.
I would argue that in fact City’s team and squad was far stronger last season than this. The exit of Nigel de Jong weakened the centre of the City midfield and made the defence more vulnerable in the early part of the season.
I have always had the feeling that despite handing Mancini a long-term contract that the owners never really had faith in Mancini to deliver what they wanted and at the first sign of failure they have sacked him.
Despite the perceived failure of this season, Roberto Mancini is still a very popular person amongst the City faithful. Most of the forums have the majority of Manchester City fans stating their disappointment at Mancini’s sacking.
Mancini was the one that ended a 35-year trophy draught at City and brought City their first league title in 44 years. Surely, that success had earned him slightly more leeway, not in these days of clubs sacking their bosses at the first sign of a setback I am afraid.
Manchester City have apparently been trailing Malaga boss Manuel Pellegrini for the last few months. The Chilean has done an excellent job at Malaga, guiding the relative minors to the Champions League quarter-finals this season, amid the club being on the verge of financial collapse.
Pellegrini also did a fine job at Villarreal, guiding the Yellow Submarine to unknown heights, reaching the semi-final of the Champions League and finishing second in La Liga. Pellegrini was also slightly unlucky that Real Madrid sacked him, after finishing second in La Liga to a Barcelona team at the top of their game.
I do not doubt Pellegrini’s managerial talents. He seems like a good motivator and a nice gut to boot. However, Manchester City had the opportunity this season to consolidate with both Manchester United and Chelsea bringing in new bosses this summer.
Who knows maybe Pellegrini will be the answer to Manchester City’s problems. I just hope for City’s sake that they do not end up a club that changes managers every season, as Manchester United have proved stability breeds success, not short-term thinking.
Roberto Mancini will not be short of options this summer, should he wish to jump right back into football management. There is talk that he maybe the replacement for Jose Mourinho at Real Madrid.
Wherever he goes, I am sure that Manchester City fans are greatful for what he has done for the club and wish him all the best.
The manager merry-go-round in the Premier League should be very interesting this summer. Managerial changes this summer will have a major effect on what happens next season. With so many managerial changes at top clubs who knows what will happen in the title race.
Did Roberto Mancini deserve more time at Manchester City?