|'A DEPARTURE WAS INEVITABLE'|
|RIC TURNER | BLUE MOON
How do you rate Mancini's City reign?
Mancini will be fondly remembered by most supporters as the manager who turned City's fortunes around. He promised us that he would tear down 'that' banner at Old Trafford, and was true to his word as City won the FA Cup in 2011, our first trophy for 35 years. The subsequent title success, and the dramatic way in which it unfolded, has ensured his place in City folklore as the second most successful manager in our history, after the late Joe Mercer.
While Mancini undeniably had great resources at his disposal, it still required strong management to forge a team capable of competing with more established clubs in a relatively short space of time. His team was resolute and difficult to break down, but also capable of playing sublime football at times.
However, there was clearly unrest behind the scenes, and Mancini was cutting an increasingly detached and isolated figure in recent weeks. A departure was inevitable.
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Should he have been given another season?
Some think he was unfairly dismissed after finishing second and reaching a cup final, but his position had become untenable and it was no great surprise to see him dismissed on Monday night. If things weren't right behind the scenes, and there is plenty of anecdotal evidence to suggest that was the case, then I think it would have been a mistake to carry on for another season. Txiki Begiristain, the new director of football, was always likely to want to bring his own man in, and will stand or fall by the decision.
Why do you think he was sacked?
I think City's failure in Europe ultimately cost Mancini his job. There were extenuating circumstances (namely two extremely difficult qualifying groups), but City fell short on the biggest stage and there was no suggestion that Mancini was capable of turning it around next season. In addition, he had alienated a number of senior players and was openly critical of the board. His confrontational approach had worked in the early years of his reign, as the cub required a shake-up after Hughes' tenure, but that style of management rarely has longevity. He lived by the sword and died by the sword.
|I think the influence Ferguson carried with officials and the media was a big asset to United, and it will be interesting to see what happens next season.
Was the FA Cup the straw that broke the camel's back?
I think he would've been sacked regardless, although the abject display against Wigan hastened his departure. Domestic cup success is obviously great for fans, but I suspect our European profile is a greater priority for the owner, and at that level you have to say Mancini fell short.
Have the City board made a mistake by sacking him and starting again?
It's difficult to say until we know for certain who his successor will be. I presume the club have someone lined up, and much of the evidence points to Manuel Pellegrini. His lack of silverware in Europe is a concern for some, but he has a good reputation and I trust Begiristain's judgement. His two appointments at Barcelona (Rijkaard and Guardiola) were perhaps unconventional choices, as Pelligrini would be, but were ultimately successful.
How much of an advantage will it be that Sir Alex Ferguson has left United?
I think the influence Ferguson carried with officials and the media was a big asset to United, and it will be interesting to see what happens next season. Moyes obviously isn’t of the same calibre, and there will be a lot of pressure on him next season. With City, United and Chelsea all changing managers, it could be the most open title race for years.