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Mancini deserves City stay of execution

TEAMtalk guest Rich Kitto believes Roberto Mancini deserves more time in the Manchester City hotseat despite rumours of his impending exit.

Last Updated: 13/05/13 at 12:46 Post Comment

Roberto Mancini: Reportedly facing the sack

Roberto Mancini: Reportedly facing the sack

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After a week that has been dominated by managerial speculation, and eventually agreed movement at Manchester United, its only right that Manchester City follow closely behind in 2nd place with growing chatter around the future of their manager Roberto Mancini.

So it seems that the noisy neighbours have regained their voice after the clubs embarrassing 1-0 defeat at the hands of Wigan in the FA Cup Final on Saturday afternoon. Though whilst fans of the Blues won't thank me for saying it, their owners and upper management should look for advice from their fellow red residents before making any ill-formed or snap decisions on who should lead their team into next season.

Prior to the Saturday's game the only real debate to be had was by how many City would beat the relegation strugglers from Greater Manchester. The result was seemingly a formality, and one that was generally considered good enough to keep Mancini the job for now. After all, those aspersions and concerns around City's poor finish to the Premier League season could be understood and forgiven were they to save themselves for a great performance on the grand stage at Wembley.

Though such assumptions on the result could be pardoned as Man City lined up with a team worth roughly £200m containing World Cup and Champions League winners, whilst Wigan's team cost less than a tenth of that and included players bought from Hamilton Academical and Sporting Kansas City.

But when midfielder Ben Watson, a £2m signing from Crystal Palace in 2009, scored an injury-time header to give Wigan the cup, even staunch City fans could argue it was undeserved. Whilst the Blues sauntered through the game, the Latics fought for absolutely everything with the excellent Calumn McMananan at the heart of it all. The manner in which one of City's most senior and consistently impressive players Pablo Zabaleta recklessly earned his second yellow card was symptomatic for his team's performance - yet again they were found to be second best.

So of course now, with the Man United job tied up and the formality of Jose Mourinho returning to Chelsea, the back pages and gossip columns are filled with increasing speculation on Roberto Mancini. on Saturday evening he cut an irritated shape as he addressed the media, directly criticising the City hierarchy for failing to end talk of his future: 'You (the media) continue to speak about this for six months and also too much in the last two weeks. I don't know why the club didn't stop this because I don't think its true'.

He went on to claim that he didn't know whether the rumours on a reported agreement to bring in Malaga's Manuel Pellegrini to replace him were true, and blamed mistakes in the transfer market for as reason for the disappointing campaign. Of course the major fault of last summer's transfer activity was the failure to secure Robin Van Persie - or even an adequate substitute - as it was his goals that gave (it must be said a fairly ordinary) Man United the Premier League title at a stroll.

In fact, with the exception of the excellent Matija Nastasic, none of Mancini's signings from the close season gave City an extra edge or impetuous in securing the league again this year. Javi Garcia, bought for £18m has been underwhelming, right back Maicon is a few years past his best, whilst the combined £20m spent to secure Scott Sinclair and Jack Rodwell has only seemingly brought the benefit of improving their home grown set up.

Of course for this the buck stops at Mancini, as does the insipid performance at Wembley. It was a tale of two Roberto's as Martinez's Wigan team pressed hard from the off and sought through McMananan to get at the defensive frailties down City's left, whilst the likes of Samir Nasri, David Silva and Yaya Toure were happy to drift in and out of the match to little effect. Mancini failed to respond quick enough to Wigan's growing dominance, and appeared willing to accept extra time - where the size of City's squad may well have given them advantage - before Watson's goal ended that chance.

It capped off what has been an extremely disappointing campaign for followers of the Blues. Yet as all coverage this week has been around Sir Alex Ferguson's 26 years at Old Trafford, the success it has brought him, and how 'we'll never see another reign like it', it appears foolhardy to dismiss the Italian after one poor season does it not?

Man United clearly have a blueprint for success, and as proven by the six-year contract handed to David Moyes it is sought best achieved through offering the necessary time in charge, instead of chopping and changing for the new managerial flavour of the month.

Sacking the 48-year-old Italian in favour of the 59-year-old Pellegrini would be nothing more than a quick fix in the chase for more glory. Whilst the Chilean has done a good job amongst difficult circumstances at Malaga this season, just as he previously did at Villareal, the only recognisable trophy he can lay claim to is the Intertoto Cup which he secured with the Yellow Submarines back in 2004.

And as the appointment of Moyes at United has raised so many murmurs due to his 'blank CV' and empty trophy cabinet, then Pellegrini deserves to be appropriately beaten with the same stick.

With Manchester United and Chelsea both likely to be going through 'transitional' phases next season under new management, stability could be what makes the difference for those challenging. The squad requires a proper refresh this summer and the likes of Edin Dzeko, Nasri and Sinclair ought to be moved on in order to bring in players who genuinely can make the up the difference instead of the numbers.

A large shadow has been cast over the Blue Moon, and whether it is Roberto Mancini left standing alone is still to be seen. But City should have a look over their neighbour's fence before making any rash decisions on replanting their land. Mancini deserves to stay, for now.

Follow Rich on Twitter @RichKitto

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