Roberto Mancini: Why City handed him his marching orders

The sacking of Roberto Mancini has raised many an eyebrow these past 24 hours as to why exactly he was sacked. Are we the new Chelsea or Real Madrid? Do our owners know nothing about football? Of course not.

The reasoning behind the Mancini departure expressed by the club is that they needed to develop a holistic approach. Mancini certainly has not been holistic at City. He often criticised the board members such as Brian Marwood and even City’s PR Vicky Kloss. Regardless of whether they have actually done a bad job or not, in criticising these members of the board, Mancini makes City look weak and therefore makes the image of the club look bad.

If he has a problem with these members of City’s boardroom and PR he should speak with them quietly and individually, rather than publicly shaming them. It’s embarrassing for our club.

Mancini also seemed to have lost the faith of the players, I don’t know when this happened, but performances like the one against Wigan have occurred far too frequently throughout our season. Games like the Aston Villa (Capital One Cup) game, the Borussia Dortmund away game and the dismal away game against Southampton spring to mind.

Clearly, Mancini seemed to be unable to inspire and motivate his players to the extent by which he should of been doing. It is the manager’s job after all, to motivate and bring the best out of his players. For the last few months, even stretching back sometimes into last season, Mancini has failed to do that.  Mancini’s constant failure in Europe – albeit having only a couple of cracks at it – also comes to mind.

We couldn’t get past an average Dynamo Kyiv or Sporting Lisbon side in the UEFA Europa League and we failed, despite our “Group of Deaths”, to get out of the Champions League Group Stages two seasons running.For our board with their aspirations of City being as good as Bayern are now, or Barcelona were just a few seasons ago, this is just simply not good enough. Real Madrid should have been beaten by City twice in the Champions League, they were there for the taking, and we didn’t do that.

Performances matter to our board as much as results do. Claiming a 2nd place in the Premier League whilst being FA Cup Runners Up may have been good enough for Mancini, had the team looked like a World Class side frequently this season. The game against United away and the first 65 minutes against Chelsea aside, I don’t think City have looked anything like World Class this season.

The board has wielded the axe now, in order to make sure next season is a much better season on and off the pitch. Manuel Pellegrini, the man in line to take the job at City, has many of the traits City may be looking for. He has been known to be a man of principle, one who will not criticise the board, and he will take a more “holistic” approach to Manchester City Football Club.

He has stayed at Malaga despite the numerous crises throughout this season. He has dragged a side, who sold most of their best players last summer, to 6th in the Spanish La Liga and very nearly to the Semi-Finals of the UEFA Champions League, barring two offside goals in added time from Borussia Dortmund. He did the same with Villarreal in 2006, lifting them from obscurity to the Semi-Finals of the Champions League.

In his one season managerial stint with Real Madrid, Pellegrini was deprived of his wishes as coach and forced to work with players given to him by Florentino Perez. Whilst Pellegrini wanted to keep Wesley Sneijder and Arjen Robben, Perez sold them off and bought Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and Kaka. Pellegrini had seen Robben and Sneijder integral to his plans and even though Pellegrini did get one of the world’s best players in Cristiano Ronaldo, he failed to convince Perez to get the defensive players he wanted.

A famous quote by Pellegrini at the time; “It’s no good having an orchestra with the 10 best guitarists if I don’t have a pianist”, meaning that Perez was obsessed with buying attacking players, rather than the players he actually needed. However, in that season Pellegrini got Real Madrid’s highest ever points total of 96 points. He was second, only to the greatest ever Barcelona side of 2010, who amassed 99 points. Consequently, Pellegrini was sacked, as is Real Madrid’s hostile approach to managers.

Mancini is still loved by most of the City faithful, me included, for what he achieved during his 3 and ½ year stint here. Despite the dismal way Mancini has been treated and sacked in the last week of his tenure, it should be remembered that the board, including ex-Barca chiefs Txiki Begiristain and Ferran Soriano will have thought Mancini’s job through extensively and won’t have made any rash decision.

City were in an impossible position on Monday, in that if they hadn’t sacked him, they would have been slated as “classless” for allowing a dead man walking to carry on his job. (What City should have done is squashed the rumours of Mancini’s departure on Saturday morning by releasing a statement along the lines of “It is entirely false that Man City have sacked Mancini and both Roberto and the club are committed to winning our third major trophy in as many years”. If that had been said, I believe we would have won the Cup Final).

However, as they did sack him, they were branded as “classless” for the way Mancini was sacked, it was a no-win situation. Nevertheless, at City, Pellegrini will be given time to develop and integrate his ideas into the City side. Pellegrini has repeatedly said that the idea of playing entertaining football is non-negotiable and so expect a much more exciting, early 2011-12 season like, City next season.

Don’t worry if Pellegrini hasn’t won any major trophies in Europe, he hasn’t had the proper platform to be able to. At City, he will get just that.


Written by Henry Francis

Follow Henry on Twitter @TheHenryFrancis

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