What’s The Matter With … Mancini at Manchester City?

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If Manchester City should learn anything from their Premier League title-winning neighbours then it should be that standing by a manager when some rocky waters are encountered can eventually reap rewards.

Sir Alex Ferguson’s time at Old Trafford famously started with some difficulty and calls for his head from both supporters and journalists, while another three-year trophy drought was suffered between 2004 and 2007.

However, the club’s trust and confidence was eventually rewarded on each occasion.

Granted, Man City have gone without a trophy this season and been dumped out of the Champions League in the group stages, but the campaign has not been all doom and gloom.

Finishing second in the Premier League is no complete disaster and they reached the FA Cup final, while the two clubs that advanced from their Champions League ‘Group of Death’ have gone on to face off again in the semi finals of the competition.

Mancini has shown with Carlos Tevez that he can handle the bigger players and he deserves another season to show that he can get the squad to bounce back.

A failure to strengthen his squad in January has arguably been fatal and difficulties scoring goals have proved an obvious reason for their underachievement compared to last year.

The dip in form of captain Vincent Kompany has also not helped, while the club lack some clear pace, trickery and directness in the wide areas to offer them something different when their plan A isn’t working.

Mancini is more than capable of bringing in such players in the summer and there is no reason to suggest that his touted replacement Manuel Pellegrini will provide more consistent silverware.

It should not be forgotten that Pellegrini failed to win a trophy at Real Madrid despite £200m being spent on strengthening the squad.

But it could be argued that Man City are in fact learning from their neighbours.

Like David Moyes, Pellegrini has never won a major trophy and has enjoyed his best successes at enabling clubs to punch above their natural weight, with Villarreal previously and now Malaga.

Mancini has shown an ability to win trophies, while Pellegrini arguably flopped in his one top-level job despite some mitigating circumstances.

He certainly deserves another crack with a title-winning contender given that his Real Madrid win percentage was actually better than Jose Mourinho, but it remains too premature to appoint him at Mancini’s expense now.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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