The ever increasing pressure on Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has reached a new height after City’s disappointing Europa League defeat at Lech Poznan. It is now three straight defeats for Mancini and now means Sunday’s trip to West Brom, a ground where City have already tasted defeated this season, is crucial.
A trip to Poland on a wet Thursday night was always going to be difficult, but with the strength of City’s squad most would have expected them to return with a solid European win. Once again though Mancini found that his opponents raised their game meaning a tough trip became even harder.
This is becoming the norm this season. City have become a big scalp and in attempting to beat them, sides raise their game accordingly. Mancini has found this very difficult to deal with. The expectation of the club and it’s fans are that City should win most games comfortably, where in reality an easy win won’t be the norm.
It doesn’t help Mancini that his own players further add to the expectations of the fans with wild claims about their ability. Ahead of the Poznan game outspoken Mario Balotelli set out his ambitions for his time in Manchester.
Speaking to the official City website he said: “I want to be the best player in the world. It is good to have ambition. I’ve said in the past that I don’t care what other people want or expect of me because I know what I want.
“I will always give everything because I want to become the best. That is my aim and I am determined to make it happen. I am here at City to play Champions League football, that’s the competition I want to be in and that is what all the players here want to play in.”
I’m sure Balotelli was only looking to drum up some excitement ahead of his expected start against Poznan, but when City fans, and maybe even the clubs hierarchy read comments like that they will be expecting big things of the striker, and ultimately the City side. This makes disappointing results feel a lot worse when they arise.
Unfortunately for Mancini you have to feel that too many of these disappointing results have occurred and it seems only a matter of time before Sheikh Mansour will be looking for a new boss. Whoever comes in to replace Mancini should make lowering expectations his top priority, because if he doesn’t he will soon face the same fate as Mancini.