Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Roberto Mancini

It's quite tough to come to any conclusion on the rights and wrongs of Roberto Mancini's sacking as all the parties involved seem to be at fault. It is however ironic that in a week when their illustrious neighbours are dealing with the retirement of their greatest ever manager, that City are doing their best imitation of Chelsea by firing theirs.

If ManYoo have taught everyone one thing (other than the commercial value of changing your playing strip each season), it's that continuity counts for a huge deal. Arsenal have not won much lately granted but they appear a hugely stable institute of which there will be no doubt that their time will come again, such is the platform they have built.

City have indicated that one of the reasons that Mancini was fired was that he missed 'this season's targets', which granted that the Champions League was a failure, means that he was fired for not winning the league.

Between 2004 and 2006, Ferguson and ManYoo failed to win the Premiership for three years running and only made minor dents in the Champions League. They stuck with Ferguson and have won three of the following five Premierships and threw in a Champions League to boot.

So why is it so hard for clubs to see what is apparent to everyone else? The answer may reside in the simple fact that the people in charge are not 'football people' and that they've pumped in an ordinate amount of money and so basically they will do what they want, and it's hard to argue with.

City fans will have the same conundrum that Chelsea fans have. Five seasons ago they were just happy to be in the Premier League full stop, now they're disappointed when they don't win it. How do you complain about that?

The other issue with the Mancini sacking is that despite the criticism of the short term sacking, there will be a huge amount of people who in this instance - as opposed to as an example when Chelsea fired Ancelotti - agree with Mancini being fired.

Mancini has never cut anything else other than a bitter figure, quick to criticise and blame his players at the drop of a hat, something you would never see Ferguson or Wenger do. It is hard to imagine those two or a Mourinho wrestling with a player on the training pitch, no matter what the player had done or whether he was Mario Balotelli.

There is little doubt that there were and are problems at Manchester City outside of Mancini's control. He didn't buy Carlos Tevez and he wasn't the one who failed to negotiate deals for Robin Van Persie or Eden Hazard last Summer. City bought atrociously before the season started and have paid the price. The likes of Jack Rodwell, Javier Garcia and Scott Sinclair have added nothing.

Mancini however is at fault on several levels. Bringing Balotelli into what was already a hugely combustible dressing room was nothing more than madness. Mancini also clearly has a tactical deficiency in the Champions League as he has failed miserably with both City and Internazionale. Yes the groups were tough but City were not even competitive.

The other issue is not that City finished second this season but HOW they finished second, distantly. In the past two seasons, City's only real competition has been ManYoo, they have been handed a top two spot on a platter by the dysfunction - that they seem so keen to replicate - at Chelsea.

Had Chelsea's fans possibly not been so tough on Benitez between November and February, City could easily be in third place. They gave up their crown without so much of a whimper.

There is little question that hiring and firing managers is not the answer and the idiocy of the owners is again there for all to see, handing him a five year contract last Summer despite all the various rumours and then firing him twelve months later with a huge compensation package. City are not immune from the FFP regulations.

Ferguson's retirement may have opened the door ajar for the competition to put an end to ManYoo's dominance but both City and Chelsea need to function far better to be able to squeeze through it - No Nonsense.