All I’m hearing from the lips of every smug football fan I know is the rumour that Roberto Mancini is not long for this world, or at least for Manchester City. I don’t know how much truth there is to this stuff, but I think I can speak on behalf of most level headed blues when I say that this is the last thing we want. In the modern age of English football, I’m wary that nobody is safe. Nonetheless, I do feel an FA Cup and Premier League title is more than enough to keep the fans happy. I get that football is a business, and I understand the demands given the financial expenditure, but I still feel that football needs to get a grip.
I haven’t encountered a City fan who has started baying for blood yet, although I’m sure there are a few of them out there. The problem seems (as always) to be the media. They are the ones who like to strike up a feeding frenzy, create imaginary pressure for managers at all areas of the table and try to convince you that it’s the right thing for your guy to be sacked. The power that the tabloid media has over the clubs owners and chairmen these days shouldn’t be underestimated. You can see it evidently at work here. They try to create false stories and rumours to try and push their own insidious agendas. It’s an ugly side to the beautiful game.
Now for those fans out there that would actually support this move, I’m sorry but you have got to be joking. I’ve never considered City fans to be spoiled, ungrateful glory hunters, and despite some limited success, I still don’t think it would be fair to describe us as such. Roberto Mancini had the luxury of lavish funds, yes. That doesn’t guarantee success (case in point Mark Hughes) The guy has had to man manage some huge egos, and in spite of the struggles, he has managed to secure two pieces of major silverware in recent years. Having grown up to see us win back-to-back promotions from the old Division Two, to then yoyo between the Premier League and Division One, I can safely say I was over the moon to even see my team get to Wembley.
Now we are setting new expectations for new generations of City fans. Kids are going to grow up with this attitude that 2nd in the league and the quarter finals of the FA Cup is a failure. Of course, expectations do rise in line with investment and recent success. I understand that. But there must be some loyalty left in the game. Having overturned United and pulled off arguably the most memorable championship victory in history, I think Robbie (as my mum calls him) deserves a bit more credit and respect than he is getting.
Yes we are twelve points off the pace, and yes we did fall short in Europe again. But the fact is that with Mark Hughes or the like at the helm, we could be where QPR are right now. Hughes (who you might guess, I don’t rate) is a prime example of the fact that you can’t just throw infinite money at a chimp and expect success. Just because Mancini had a kitty doesn’t mean he had the divine right to win the league. He didn’t. He made wise purchases (some flops yes, but may I remind you of Veron?), encouraged great team spirit and built a side based around a determination and strength the likes of which I have never seen in City colours.
All I’m asking of the owners, and indeed the fans (and maybe even pundits) is to just show some loyalty, respect and compassion to the man who has given us everything we ever wanted. For what it’s worth, I do think Mancini has the backing and support he needs, and that he will still be leading us out next year. The fact that Mourinho has hinted again that he will be rejoining our league at some point has added more fuel to the fire, of course. I’m not going to lie. If Robbie has to go, let it be ‘The Special One’ who takes control. But I do hope that isn’t the case. Unlike some, I don’t have such a short memory.
My opinion on this situation isn’t solely a compassionate one. This isn’t all about nostalgia or the past. I genuinely believe that we have one of the best managers in the world at our club, and we would do well to hang on to him. He is young, ambitious and successful. Mourinho aside, I don’t think I’d trade him for anyone on the planet. Maybe it’s bias because I am such a fan of him as a player and a coach, but I think we should concentrate on elevating our initial success and building a legacy in the coming years. The perfect platform for such progression is the steel and flair that typified Mancini’s style in leading us to the Premier League title last season. We just need to recapture that intensity next season and we will surely be contesting for the title more closely.
Let me know what you think about these rumours. Do you believe them? Would they be right to cut Mancini?