Roberto Mancini’s position at Manchester City seems untenable in spite of his team being the reigning Premier League champions and just five points adrift of Manchester United at the time of writing. His three and a half seasons in charge have been hugely successful by any reasonable measure, considering where City were when he arrived. An FA Cup, Champions League qualification then the league in the most dramatic fashion. Sure, the Champions League has seen his team dumped out twice in a row in the group stage, yet that should not count against him. City have no European pedigree and their team are not on the same level as Europe’s top teams. Here, we consider the 5 reasons why Mancini will not be in his position by the time next season rolls around.
1. Mario Balotelli
Mancini’s willingness to indulge his former Inter Milan protégé has been baffling. Balotelli has rarely showed anything like the promise expected of a big money signing, spending most of his time fighting with team mates, opponents and Mancini. It has been a failure of Mancini’s management that Balotelli has not fulfilled his expectations, but that the Italian has put up with him for so long raises significant question marks about his decision making which will not have been ignored at board level.
2. Carlos Tevez
In some ways Mancini’s use of Tevez has been masterly. The Argentine inspired City to the Champions League and FA Cup, and when all seemed lost last season, he dragged them to the title at the expense of his former team Manchester United. Yet that infamous decision not to warm up against Bayern Munich in the Champions League saw him swan off to play golf in Argentina for three months. That has not been forgotten and underlines the impression Mancini gives at times that he is not the greatest of man-managers.
3. Questionable signings
Mancini’s dalliances in the transfer market have not been a resounding success. His decision to sell Nigel de Jong and replace him with Javi Garcia has not worked out. Garcia has been found wanting at times and City’s defence has been easier to breach. Scott Sinclair has done little since his arrival, whilst Maicon may add depth but is hardly the type of player to take the club to the next level.
4. Brian Marwood
Mancini did not seem particularly fond of sporting director Marwood when he complained about the club’s movements in the transfer market last summer. The failure to sign Robin van Persie cannot be the fault of any one individual, the Dutchman simply preferred the history and prestige of Manchester United to the get rich quick upstarts at City, but the pursuit of the then Arsenal man uncovered the cracks in Mancini’s relationships at the club.
5. Financial fair play
It was reported by the Daily Mail at the start of the season that Mancini would quit if not backed in the transfer market. With the club trying to grapple with financial fair play, that seems unlikely and they have not spent big this January. With huge losses still casting a shadow over the club, and the owners seeming to be taking UEFA’s financial controls at least a bit seriously, Mancini’s time at the Etihad is likely to be coming to a swift end.