Man City sack Roberto Mancini
Italian axed one year on from winning title.
MANCHESTER CITY marked the anniversary of their title triumph by showing boss Roberto Mancini the door.
The decision to sack the Italian just 48 hours after the disastrous FA Cup final defeat to Wigan will leave many fans furious.
After all, this was the man who ended their 35 year wait for silverware two years ago — then followed it up by lifting the Premier League crown.
Yet it has been more or less downhill all the way for Mancini since that last-gasp victory over QPR at the Etihad 12 months ago.
City made it clear in their statement that this season had not been good enough. After Sergio Aguero’s 94th-minute goal nicked the title off neighbours United, many expected City to dominate.
Yet after failing to bring in any world-class stars in the summer, City started the season slowly and they were handed the ‘Group of Death’ in the Champions League.
They ended the European campaign with three points — the worst ever return by an English team.
Suddenly the pressure was on Mancini on the domestic front too and — while they hit the top in November — a last-gasp home defeat to arch rivals United the next month proved crucial.
His decision to play Mario Balotelli also left him open to criticism and the pair came to blows in an unseemly training ground spat early in the New Year. Super Mario was not the only one to fall out with him though.
Players like Vincent Kompany, Joe Hart and James Milner — the ‘good guys’ at the club — were all singled out for criticism, while the way he froze out Joleon Lescott also won him few friends.
Back in the league, the gap was just five points at the end of January — but poor results against QPR, Liverpool and Southampton left them well off the pace.
Progress in the FA Cup was smooth but then they flopped against Wigan amid talk Mancini was to be replaced by Manuel Pellegrini of Malaga.
Mancini’s abrasive style meant he made plenty of enemies both on the playing staff and behind the scenes.
Mancini leaves with his place in City folklore guaranteed and will remain in the hearts of fans forever — yet there will be few at the club shedding tears this morning.
IT is with regret that Manchester City announces Roberto Mancini has been relieved of his duties as manager.
This has been a difficult decision for the owner, chairman and board and is the outcome of a planned end-of-season review process brought forward in light of recent speculation and out of respect for Roberto and his extensive contributions to the 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 the decision has been taken to find a new manager for the 2013-14 season and beyond.
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 3½ years.
He has clearly also secured the love and respect of our fans. He has done as promised and delivered silverware and success, breaking the club’s 35-year trophy drought and securing the title in 2012.
I would like to thank him for his dedication to the progress that he has overseen and for his support and continued friendship.
Stroy: The Sun