At the time Manchester City sacked Mark Hughes, I honestly felt the world’s richest club had made a good decision. I mean, what’s the point in keeping a manager who just keeps drawing games, right?
The decision to appoint Roberto Mancini so soon after the departure of Hughes was questionable in my opinion, however after Mancini’s first 4 games in charge, no one was complaining. A comfortable 2-0 win at home to Stoke, a 3-0 away win at Wolves followed by a 1-0 away victory against Middlesbrough in the FA Cup and finally, an emphatic 4-1 home win against Blackburn had City fans singing the Italian’s name.
11 games on and things are certainly different around Eastlands. Mancini has won just 4 games since the Blackburn victory and the chances of them finishing in the top 4 have dimished somewhat. City are now out of the Carling Cup following the semi-final defeat to neighbours United and tonight, the club’s last chance of silverware this season disappeared when Stoke knocked them out of the FA Cup.
Off the field there has also been rumours of unrest at the club. Several key players, including Craig Bellamy and Stephen Ireland are said to be unhappy at the way the Italian manager deals with the players in training.
So where does this all leave Mancini?
Well as we have seen, the men behind the scenes at City aren’t afraid to get rid of the manager if things aren’t running smoothly so my feeling is that they will wait until the summer to see if Mancini can somehow turn things around and lead Manchester City to the Champions League. If that doesn’t happen (which I really am starting to doubt) I can honestly see City starting next season with a new manager in the hot seat. Who that might be is a whole different question.