With a long-standing status as Premier League favourites surrendered over the past few weeks, Manchester City are now 5/1 shots for title glory, and Roberto Mancini is reportedly set to come under scrutiny should they fail to justify this price.
Mancini, immensely popular with the City fans, has enjoyed a positive relationship with chairman Khaldoon al-Mubarak during his two-year tenure, after his abrasive management style initially attracted the Sheikh to covet his services.
Now though, with dressing room unrest more commonplace than ever at Eastlands, al-Mubarak is believed to be keeping a close eye on upcoming developments, in order to determine if Mancini’s approach is viable at a club packed with so many egotistical stars.
Mario Balotelli’s disciplinary troubles have been well-documented, yet Mancini has decided to persist with the controversial Italian, which is thought to have angered many within the squad, who think the 21-year-old receives special treatment from the boss.
A recent collapse of league form has also contributed to the concerns regarding Mancini’s management, and after Manchester United opened a five-point gap at the top of the table with victory at Blackburn last night, it looks a monumental task for the Citizens to overhaul the 1/10 shots to claim a maiden Premier League title.
After spending an incredible £240million on 16 players during his relatively short stint at the club, Mancini, who has 12 months to run on his current deal, has done well in the season that the owners had identified as the one they realistically wished to mount a serious title challenge in.
However, with nerves seemingly fraying at the business end of the campaign, the option of a manager with experience of winning the Premier League title could prove too appealing a proposition for the club’s Abu Dhabi ownership.
Jose Mourinho would be the obvious choice, and after claiming league success in his maiden season at Chelsea, there is no doubt he has the pedigree that would see City challenge seriously next season, should he abandon Real Madrid for the Eastlands post.