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The Italian is fighting for his job ahead of the meeting with Leeds on Sunday and Goal.com caught up with a selection of supporters to get their views on the 48-year-old's position

FANVIEW

It seems unthinkable that, after delivering Manchester City their first title in 44 years, Roberto Mancini would be on the verge of losing his job but that's exactly the position the Italian finds himself in just nine months later.

As exclusively revealed by Goal.com on February 11, the former Inter boss is facing a battle to remain in charge at the Etihad Stadium where defeat to Leeds in the FA Cup on Sunday could signal the end of the road for his tenure.

But just what do the fans think of Mancini and his performance? Do last season's heroics alone save him from the chop or is patience wearing thin after a failure to make strides in the Champions League, as well as bitter rivals Manchester United seemingly cruising to the title in the current campaign.

Goal.com canvassed the opinion of a selection of City supporters and asked if a failure to deliver the FA Cup this season should result in Mancini leaving the club...

'HIS POSITION IS BECOMING UNTENABLE'

RIC TURNER | BLUE MOON
MAN CITY DEFEATS IN 2012-13

Feb
2013
Southampton
Premier League
St Mary's Stadium
1-3
Dec
2012
Sunderland
Premier League
Stadium of Light
0-1
Dec
2012
Manchester United
Premier League
Etihad Stadium
2-3
Dec
2012
Dortmund
Champions League
Signal Iduna Park
0-1
Oct
2012
Ajax
Champions League
Amsterdam.ArenA
1-3
Sept
2012
Aston Villa
League Cup
Etihad Stadium
2-4 (AET)
Sept
2012
Real Madrid
Champions League
Bernabeu
2-3


City’s spineless capitulation at St Mary’s last weekend effectively ended our title challenge, and has heaped pressure on manager Roberto Mancini. Such a meek surrender of our title scarcely seemed believable in August, after we had comfortably defeated Chelsea in the Community Shield.

Sunday’s FA Cup tie against Leeds United offers some respite from our league travails, and a home tie against Championship opposition should ensure our safe passage into the quarter finals. Indeed, City remain joint favourites to win the competition with neighbours United. However, even if City were to reclaim the trophy they won in 2011, it remains questionable whether this will be enough for Mancini to keep his job.

Fans of most clubs would find it absurd to question the future of a manager who had delivered a trophy, but expectations at City are understandably high given the levels of investment in the squad. The aims at the beginning of the season were to retain the league title, and progress to the knockout stages of the Champions League. We have failed on both counts.

I’m keen for Mancini to succeed, as I’d prefer to see continuity and stability at the club, and am eternally grateful for his achievements over the past two seasons. I also think an important factor in this season’s disappointment was the failure to land Mancini’s main transfer targets in the summer transfer window (namely Daniele De Rossi, Robin van Persie and Eden Hazard).

However, it’s looking increasingly likely that he will move on at the end of the season, with a return to his native Italy the most likely scenario.

He has cut an increasingly dejected figure of late, and is making some bizarre team selections and tactical changes. His man-management, questionable at the best of times, is more fractious than ever with Mancini publicly questioning the ability and desire of his players who, in turn, are responding with a series of abject displays. To use the cliche, it appears from the outside that he may have 'lost' the dressing room, which would make his position at the club untenable.

'LACK OF REPLACEMENTS MAY SAVE HIM'

STEVEN ALLWEIS | VIEW FROM A BLUE


If Roberto Mancini were to be sacked, it would be as a result of City’s underwhelming league form and Champions League struggles, rather than any other factor. Success in the FA Cup would be another tremendous achievement and while it may seem inconceivable to even contemplate getting rid of the manager who guided the club to the Premier League title and FA Cup success after countless years of relative failure, should City’s domestic campaign peter out, then the Italian could be sent on his way.

Having lifted the title in such dramatic and enthralling circumstances last time around, much was expected this season but it has been one of frustration more than anything else. It might be churlish to criticise City as they currently lie in second place, but performances throughout the campaign have been underwhelming, lacking in intensity, purpose or tempo. How much of that is down to the manager or the players is up for debate, but combined with a fairly disastrous Champions League group stage, questions have to be asked as to whether Mancini has taken the Blues as far as he can.

What might work in the manager’s favour is the lack of alternatives. Pep Guardiola seemed the logical choice but he has decided to move elsewhere, while Jose Mourinho and his ego would epitomise everything Sheikh Mansour strives to avoid. There is no standout candidate to replace the Italian, so if City can finish the season strongly and close the gap to Manchester United, I’d expect to see Mancini in charge next campaign. If not, his European failures and disappointing Premier League season could see him leave.

'FA CUP AND TOP-FOUR FINISH OR BUST'

DAVE WALLACE | KING OF THE KIPPAX
MANCINI'S MAN CITY RECORD
PD W D L WIN%
177 103 37 37 58


After the euphoria of ending 35 years without a trophy by winning the FA Cup, then landing the League Title after 44 years, plus starting the season by lifting the Community Shield, all looked rosy at the Etihad as we awaited the ‘marquee signings’ our new status seemed to afford.

However, the signings didn’t materialise, City went out of the Champions League with a whimper, but maintain second place in the Premier League, though if the recent wobbles continue it looks like a top-four finish
could be in doubt even. Mancini has messed about with the team formation, key players have been out of form or injured, or off in Africa. Mario Balotelli left in January without a replacement and the three remaining forwards are hardly hitting the heights. Mancini is publicly criticising players without any reciprocal support
from the players or the management, which casts a shadow over his current position.

So progression in the FA Cup is crucial to the Blues and it really does depend on how it pans out. An FA Cup and Champions league place would make it very cruel if he was sacked, but anything less, with the likes of Mourinho and Jurgen Klopp lurking could mean the end for Mancini at City.

'MOURINHO IS THE OBVIOUS TOP CANDIDATE'

NAYIR CHOWDHURY | BITTER AND BLUE

Winning the FA Cup may not save Roberto Mancini's job, but it is most certainly a requisite for him to have any chance of retaining his position. A multitude of variables will play a factor in the ultimate decision.

Though the Premier League may be lost, City's performances through the end of the season will be an important factor. If City can hold on to second place respectably (no more horror shows like the one against Southampton), then he may end up staying. But if performances continue to be erratic, the trademark blue and white scarf may be absent from the touchline next season.

Considering Mancini's future is an emotional matter as well. It is not easy to sack a manager who helped deliver the club's first title in 44 years. He does not come across as a generally charismatic figure and his tactics at times have been questionable, but he is no Steve Kean either.

All things considered, this season has not been a complete disaster. If the club had fared better in the Champions League then Mancini would probably be safe. If he should leave, Jose Mourinho is the obvious top candidate, but another smart choice would be Guus Hiddink.

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