By Russell Stoddart
Former Manchester City player and director Dennis Tueart believes Roberto Mancini paid a heavy price for an abrasive style that caused a breakdown in unity at the club.
The Italian was dismissed on Monday night after two-and-a-half years in charge despite delivering City’s first league championship in 44 years and a first FA Cup in 43 years.
However, he has come under pressure after being a distant second in the league behind Manchester United and again failing to progress past the Champions League group stage, with an embarrassing defeat in Saturday’s FA Cup final to Wigan proving to be Mancini’s final act as City boss.
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"The club backed him over his disputes with Carlos Tevez and Mario Balotelli, but there comes a point where you have to ask if someone else might have handled those players better.
"To be a success you don’t just need to have a philosophy that works, but you need to get others to believe in it, too. There was clearly a gradual breakdown in team spirit and as a result he wasn’t able to get the best out of some magnificent talent in the dressing room.
"The final straw was when he was openly critical of the executives for not quelling rumours they were going to sack him. You can’t afford to do that and expect to keep your job.
"I am a businessman and the first thing you learn is that if you don’t have unity with your work colleagues then you have no chance.
"As a City fan, it is sad and disappointing because Roberto had changed the perception of the club from underachievers to winners. That is his legacy to the club and because of that he can walk away with his head held high.
"However, as has been proven across the city at Old Trafford in the last 27 years, you need everyone pulling in the right direction and I’m not sure we had that at City under Roberto.
"You can get away with a lot of things when you’ve got great players, but if the spirit isn’t right it shows in the big matches and that is why City were a disaster in Europe and finished a long way behind champions Manchester United.
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Tueart, who won a League Cup winners' medal with City in 1976, insists Malaga coach Manuel Pellegrini would be an exciting choice to succeed Mancini despite his lack of silverware.
He added: "Pellegrini has made his name with smaller clubs so it is harsh to judge him on the amount of trophies he’s won.
"He clearly has very good man-management skills and that is important when you are trying to pick up a club that is a bit down in the dumps.
"Pellegrini worked wonders with Villarreal and turned an unfashionable Spanish side into European contenders by getting the most out of his players.
"He has done the same at Malaga despite the club having severe financial problems and the players going weeks without being paid after the Qatari owners pulled the plug.
"There is no doubt that it’s going to be a busy time at City this summer and whoever is in charge will bring three or four players in and let three or four players go."