Peacelands! Roberto Mancini is safe as Manchester City finally talk sense

07 May 2010 04:44
As Harry Redknapp was drenched in water by his jubilant Tottenham players in thecorridor, Manchester City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak stood in the home dressing room at Eastlands on Wednesday night and told his club's players their season had been a good one.

Towards the end of another colourful City campaign, it seems that sanity has prevailed.

City a club who have never played in the Champions League had taken their quest for a place in the top four of the Barclays Premier League to their penultimategame of the season. In the eyes of most, that is progress and it appears the unpredictable, capricious City board now feel the same.

Well-earned applause: Al Mubarak praised City's achievements

'It's difficult when you come close but come up short,' said Khaldoon last night. 'It was disappointing but we have still had a wonderful season. We have come a long way and I feel good about next year.

'The owner Sheik Mansour called me as soon as the game finished and asked me to go and speak to the players on his behalf.

'We wanted to thank every person in that dressing room for the support and effort they have put in this year.

'There have been some magnificent performances over the year. Some of the players have been phenomenal.'

Khaldoon yesterday spoke for 15 minutes to City's official website and the message was simple. City, he stressed, will not be panicked into rash decisions.

Manager Roberto Mancini will remain. Continuity, he said, is important. City have preached like this before, of course.

For many weeks the message was the same about Mancini's predecessor Mark Hughes. Then with the team placed sixth just before Christmas he was sacked.

It was madness, a decision that was born of impatience and then executed with all thefinesse of a toddler. Khaldoon and his chief executive Garry Cook deserved to be lampooned, and they were.

Subsequently, however, a sense of perspective has been allowed to return and thistime it is to be hoped that Khaldoon will be as good as his word.

Mancini may have lost more games than Hughes and earned the club only fractionallymore points per game (1.8 as opposed to 1.7) but to suggest he has failed duringhis five months at Eastlands would be wrong.

Mancini a coach working in a foreign country with a squad of players he didn'tchoose deserves to take City into next season, only the second full one with the club under Arab control.

Progress: Since Hughes (left) departed Manchester City, Mancini has handled the pressure admirably

Last night his future was declared secure for the medium term at least.

'Roberto is our manager and I think he has done an excellent job, coming in here mid-season and organising the team,' added Khaldoon.

'I'm very happy with Roberto and Sheik Mansour is delighted with him. I believe thatRoberto is going to do a wonderful job for many years.

'That's absolutely why we brought him to the club. I have the highest regard and respect for Roberto.

'He is a man who is driven, committed and who has a winning mentality. He wants to win and he wants to do things and achieve things for the club. He is definitely the right manager for this club for many years.

'I think that what he needs this summer is time to prepare. I'm really excited aboutnext season already.

'I had a meeting last week and we are already in second gear in our preparations fornext year. We have to move on and focus on the future, prepare and give Roberto all the tools he needs in order to be well prepared for next season.'

What Mancini will need more than anything this summer, of course, is new players.

City were well beaten by Tottenham in what was effectively a Champions League play-off on Wednesday and the deficiencies in the squad assembled at great expenseby Hughes were clear even before he left.

Mancini will need at least two, if not three, new defenders this summer as well as a world-class central midfielder and another centre forward.

Emmanuel Adebayor was invisible when he was needed most on Wednesday and it is clear the Togo star is not equipped to carry the load of the central striker alone.

City will hope that the influential Craig Bellamy and Carlos Tevez remain. 

On the move: City will want to hold on to Bellamy, while Spurs boss Harry Redknapp - a long term suitor - can offer Champions League football

The former is more likely to depart than the latter. A bid for Bellamy from Redknapp atSpurs is surely coming this summer.

Mancini will also hope that players such as Shaun Wright-Phillips and Stephen Irelandrecover their form. Both have failed him since he arrived at the club.

Nevertheless, the Italian will not waste much time as he looks to reassemble his  squad in his own image.

Having already shown courage in jettisoning the troublesome Robinho in January, Mancini will expect backing from Khaldoon as he looks to do things his way.

City have spoken a lot of common sense since Wednesday night's disappointment.Let's hope they mean it this time.

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Source: Daily_Mail

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