Manchester City have sacked manager Roberto Mancini after his three and a half year stint at the helm of the club.
After weeks of speculations, it has finally happened. Mancini, of all people, must have seen this coming after what happened in the FA Cup final. But if rumours are to be believed, the Italian manager would have been sacked even if he had won the FA Cup, as the statement published at the Club’s official website says that ‘the Club has failed to achieve any of its stated targets this year’ – expect for Champions League qualification.
“It is with regret that Manchester City Football Club announces that Roberto Mancini has been relieved of his duties as Manchester City Manager.
This has been a difficult decision for the owner, Chairman and Board to make and it is the outcome of a planned end of season review process that has been brought forward in light of recent speculation and out of respect for Roberto and his extensive contributions to the Football Club.
Despite everyone’s best efforts, the Club has failed to achieve any of its stated targets this year, with the exception of qualification for next season’s UEFA Champions League. This, combined with an identified need to develop a holistic approach to all aspects of football at the Club, has meant that the decision has been taken to find a new manager for the 2013/14 season and beyond.
Chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak said: ‘Roberto’s record speaks for itself and he has the respect and gratitude of Sheikh Mansour, myself and the Board for all of his hard work and commitment over the last three and a half years. He has clearly also secured the love and respect of our fans. He has done as he promised and delivered silverware and success, breaking the Club’s 35-year trophy drought and securing the title in 2012. I would like to personally and publicly thank him for his dedication to the progress that he has overseen and for his support and continued friendship.’” – read the official statement about this news from Manchester City.
During his stint at the club, the Italian has delivered one league title, one FA Cup and one community shield. But this season has been a disappointment in many ways – they have not only surrendered the League title back to Manchester United, they have done so without putting up a proper fight. A squad with so much talent shouldn’t really be 13 points behind United at this stage.
But for many, Mancini’s biggest failure, and what is considered to be the prime reason for this sacking, was his failure in Europe in two consecutive seasons. The Manchester club has failed to qualify from the group stages of the European competition in both these seasons. The owners certainly expected more progress in Europe this season, although it must be added that they were placed in the toughest group of Champions League this season.
But for many Manchester City fans and neutrals, they expected the board to give at least one more season to Roberto Mancini. The City boss has complained at the start of the season about the how the club has failed in the transfer market. It was clear that the manager didn’t get the players he wanted – the biggest of them all – Robin van Persie, who in the end made a massive difference to the title race. It was clear since the beginning of the season that things were not right between the board and Mancini.
Now it will be interesting to see City’s aforementioned holistic approach under the new manager. Malaga manager, Manuel Pellegrini, is off-course the favourite to replace the Italian at the helm, although the Chilean has recently denied signing any agreement with the Manchester club. As of now, Assistant Manager Brian Kidd will take up the interim responsibility for the remaining games of the season and also during the post-season tour to the United States.