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Roberto Mancini out as manager at Manchester City

May 13, 2013, 9:24 PM EDT

Everton v Manchester City - Premier League Getty Images

This certainly had the feel of “foregone conclusion,” didn’t it?

Roberto Mancini is out as Manchester City manager – to the surprise of absolutely no one.

A meager title defense, an early Champions League crash and Saturday’s FA Cup waste was too much for City’s Abu Dhabi owners.

Mancini had lately been hurt that club officials more or less refused to knock down the stories of his imminent dismissal – which began circulating in force the morning of Saturday’s FA Cup final. If there was already so much “smoke,” so to speak, the “fire” was definitely going to arrive once Wigan somehow pulled off the Wembley smash and grab on Saturday, leaving City officials with no titles for the year, and with little apparent doubt that Mancini was no longer the right man for the job.

Sure enough, the ax swung late Monday.

The statement from club management was quite to the point, emphasizing that the Italian manager “had failed to achieve any of the club’s targets, with the exception of qualification for next season’s Champions League.”

Well, there was that English Premier League title a year back, City’s only crown in England’s top tier for the last 44 years. Oh, and that FA Cup in 2011. But, details, details.

City’s championship defense in 2012-13 did sometimes look like weak sauce of the meek, pretty much kaput by February. Meanwhile, crosstown rival United attacked the task of reclaiming EPL glory with the fierce determination of wounded animals. Then again, Mancini’s men will finish second or perhaps third in the world’s most ballyhooed league; it’s not like they were stuffed back in coach class with Southampton and Sunderland and the like.

Mancini certainly brought some of this on himself. Given the wealth of talent and a year for settling into the Champions League groove (the 2011-12 campaign), finishing dead last in the group stage of the world’s most prestigious club tournament was surely quite an embarrassment for Sheikh Mansour, whose oil money seemed in almost limitless supply.

Or it did to some of us. Not so much to Mancini, who damaged his standing with ownership by publicly and repeatedly suggesting that he was somehow fighting with the shorter stick – a truly absurd and perhaps even entitled suggestion. There are 17 or 18 EPL clubs that would do anything to have City’s collection of talent, top to bottom on the roster.

Nor did Mancini assist his cause with his media interactions, which ranged from cumbersome (often due to his English language limitations) to downright bizarre.

In the end, City fans, players around the Etihad and members of the chattering class may judge this as “unfair,” and the cold calculation of his dismissal may not bathe the oil-moneyed owners in most flattering light. But backlash will be minimal, if there is any at all, because Mancini hardly comes across as a sympathetic character.

The speculation has centered on Malaga’s Manuel Pellegrini as Mancini’s replacement at the City of Manchester Stadium.

Check back for more on this at ProSoccerTalk.

  1. mianfr - May 13, 2013 at 11:34 PM

    He seems like he cracked, to be honest. Always worried about something in background.

    I think if he behaved better and his team performed the same he’d still be around.

  2. chungltn - May 13, 2013 at 11:45 PM

    This was predicted 😦

  3. arjanroghanchi - May 14, 2013 at 7:31 AM

    I am one of the City supporters who actually was rooting for Wigan, just so Mancini would be fired. Obviously winning the league is no small achievement. But it can’t be said that he won it in convincing fashion. Mancini did less with more than almost anyone in history (save Mourinho with this edition of Real Madrid).

    When you spend the kind of money City have, you can’t then lament the lack of spending…MORE.

    Balotelli: 11 goals in 12 games for Milan.

    Tevez: Frozen out by Mancini who masterfully made him look like the bad guy, only to let him come back when title hopes looked lost.

    I am blanking at the moment on which game it was a few weeks ago, but desperately needing a goal and approaching the 90th minute, Mancini sent on….Joleon Lescott (another outcast). Sergio Aguero was on the bench.

    Mancini was a tactical tinkerer, terrible man manager, and quite a complainer. His record at Inter was frankly not that great either.

    Personally, I think he may be one of the most overpaid, overrated managers in the game.

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