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Why Carlo Ancelotti Would Be a Perfect Replacement for Roberto Mancini As Manchester City Manager

Roberto Mancini has had a fantastic run at Manchester City, which isn’t surprising because Roberto Mancini is an accomplished manager. Four league titles in just under a decade of management at the top of European football will attest to that. But as of late, things have become fractious at the Etihad Stadium.

Last season was a Mancini masterpiece: As United became complacent at the top of the table, Mancini mercurially steered City back into title contention, all the while acting in post-match interviews as if someone had recently run over his dog.

He said the title race was over. Even after his side famously beat their cross-town rivals 1-0 at the Etihad to take the league lead on goal difference, Mancini maintained that with only two games to go in the season, United were favorites to retain the league title.

And they almost did retain that title, against all odds, until against even bigger odds, Sergio Aguero provided the blue half of Manchester and the football world the most memorable on-field moment in Premier League history, scoring the league-winning goal in last minute of the last game of the season.

Last year at this time, Mancini was just settling into his role of batting down expectations and hopes, covering for his team, playing down expectations and pressure so his team could make a run at the title unburdened. Mancini was sneaky. He made all the right calls with his personnel; he got his bad-boys – Carlos Tevez and Mario Balotelli – onside, and his tactical astuteness gave his team an advantage in every game down the stretch of the season.

This season, the other side of Mancini has revealed itself in full force. Mancini has gone from bickering with his players internally, to fighting with them in the press – telling one special Frenchman through the Sunday papers that his manager wants to punch him. The Italian boss has gone from just appearing he’s not enjoying himself, to actually not enjoying himself.

Now, City aren’t having a disastrous season. They have second place in the league locked down, and they already have champagne in their dressing room at Wembley ahead of the FA Cup Final against Wigan. This is a season City fans would have been ecstatic with even three years ago, but the fabric of the team is beginning to rip.

City have been far, far too disinterested and inconsistent in the league this season – not showing up for whole games, or not showing up for games at all. City shut off in the second half at White Hart Lane last weekend, they never turned on for their trip to St. Mary’s against Southampton earlier in the year.

City look perpetually distracted, and the lack of focus and buy-in is apparent with stupid mistakes and odd decisions that the team simply didn’t make last year. City just weren’t good enough in the Champions League, and deserved their last place finish in their group.

What’s gone wrong? For starters, it’s possible that Mancini has alienated just one too many players. There have been spats this year with Nasri and Tevez, sure, but more alarming were the rows with Joe Hart and Vincent Kompany.

Mancini hasn’t handled his displeasure well this year – unlike Sir Alex Ferguson, who strives endlessly to keep unrest in-house and places a premium on consistency.

Mancini’s summer transfer signings have been busts. Scott Sinclair, Jack Rodwell, Javi Garcia, and Maicon have all failed to keep places in the first-team, while the one good signing, Matija Nastasic, only got his chance because the manager fell out with Jolean Lescott.

If Manchester City do truly want to become a European power, they might need to get rid of Mancini, who has as dreadful a record continentally as he has a brilliant record domestically. The main reason Mancini was sacked from Inter Milan, where he won Serie A three times in four years, was his inability to gain traction in the Champions League.

Jose Mourinho came into Inter and won the Champions League two years after Mancini was sacked with what largely the same team. City have the talent, and they’ve certainly spent the money to compete in Europe, but two consecutive failures in the group stage make the pattern of Mancini’s European struggles clear.

Does Roberto Mancini deserve to be sacked? Of course not. His accomplishments at City have been famous and incredible. But both parties, Mancini and the City brass should know when to call time on what has been a fruitful and good relationship.

Mancini should quit while he’s ahead. The 2012-2013 season has been the Italian’s most trying year at City, and it appears he’s growing very frustrated indeed. Mancini lashed out over the club’s trip to America to play two friendlies against Chelsea just days after the end of the season speaks to a deeper anger with the egos at the club.

City have huge personalities in their team, and Mancini tried to match fire with fire this year. It hasn’t worked. A cooler head, a calmer, more even-keeled manager could do wonders to calm the water at the Etihad, and get City performing up to their true potential – something that they have a lot of, as we’ve seen at times this year.

Matching fire with ice will be the next City manager’s job in Mancini goes, and Carlo Ancelotti is the perfect man to rise to that challenge. As serene as he is suave, Ancelotti has a wonderful pedigree in the Champions League, has dealt with the biggest egos in the game, and through it all has won with grace.

Ancelotti’s position at Paris St. Germain is fluid to say the least, and the manager has stated he wants to return to England, where he enjoyed his time at Chelsea. He’d be the perfect fit at Manchester City.

If he leaves now, Roberto Mancini will exit the Etihad a hero, with clubs – most notably his former employers Inter Milan, cueing up to give him his next job. If Mancini leaves now, he can avoid a volatile divorce with City that wouldn’t be fun for either party.

Things have worked out better for Mancini at City than he could have ever expected when he took over for Mark Hughes in 2009. Save for a period of stability near the turn of the 20th century when Joe Royle and Kevin Keegan were in charge, Mancini is the longest-tenured City manager since Tony Book, who managed the club in the late 1970’s.

Mancini stepping away now, and Ancelotti stepping in would the best possible move for all parties concerned. Roberto Mancini’s reign at Manchester City has been a movie-reel of landmarks and monumental achievements. Let it end on a high note.

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  1. Rick Barron

    May 12, 2013 at 1:34 pm

    Like a lot of fellow City fans, I have been very shocked and disgusted at the way the club has defended the Premier League Title. Considering that it is the first Title for 44 years, the defense of it has been poor to say the least. Not enough of the right attitude has been used, which was clear for everyone around the world to witness against Wigan in the F.A.Cup Final. Silverware is lacking considerably in City’s Trophy cabinet and it cannot be allowed to continue any longer. If Mancini is not happy then he should go, along with certain players who are clearly not interested in the M.C.F.C. cause.

  2. Dave

    May 1, 2013 at 9:45 am

    Ancelloti is going to Real Madrid. City would do well to keep Manicini.

    The only reason City might fire mancini is because of his failure in the Champions League. The fact that both Dortmund and Real Madrid made it to the semifinals says how strong their group was.

  3. Sammy

    May 1, 2013 at 12:09 am

    I don’t think Manchester City need to change their manager for now, they can just stick with Mancini as he isn’t doing a bad job overall.

  4. Marc L

    April 30, 2013 at 7:12 pm


    Mancini was agitating all last August about the tepid summer signing period was going. Put that one on Marwood, not him.

    Okay, then there is this:
    “What’s gone wrong? For starters, it’s possible that Mancini has alienated just one too many players. There have been spats this year with Nasri and Tevez, sure, but more alarming were the rows with Joe Hart and Vincent Kompany.”

    Okay, uh, how did Nasri play after said row? He was just voted player of the month for April by the supporters and the row happened at the tail end of March. Maybe Nasri needed a kick in the pants, then?

    Kompany? Fantastic play all year long and also since that dustup. Two wonder goals aside against Spurs, but then you are talking “small sample size.” Certainly not the SKIPPER letting those two goals in out of being torqued-off at the manager.

    Hart? Been up and down this year but how many goals have City conceded? Fewest in the league, I think. (Speaking as well to whether Kompany is too mad at Bob to play for him.)

    Tevez? Are you kidding? Who thought the guy would ever even be back after the Munich dustup? Let alone an absolute VITAL part of just about every time things went right this year.

    The only part about this with which I agree is the fact that City has had long period’s of flat and inconsistent play. But if you ran the manager every time that happened you’d be Chelsea.

    I AM NOT EVEN A REFLEXIVE MANCINI DEFENDER. I was frothing with rage at him after Everton Away, in fact. Squad selection. Playing that utter dreck named Kolarov EVER under ANY CIRCUMSTANCES. SOmetimes he gets the tactics wrong. Who doesn’t. But note that very few people get them RIGHT the way he does when he does. Which is USUALLY!!!!!

    And to suggest that you run the guy who has delivered FA Cup – League-(probably) FA Cup PLUS nine points taken from the sainted Sir Baconface in the last four League fixtures while the filth are having what has to be their highest two-season point total in their entire history?

    PLEASE. The guy isn’t perfect but you (and everyone else who constantly runs this crap) obviously think he needs to be. And NO ONE is.

    Say whatever you will about the scum. But there were many times during the past 20 years when Sir Baconface was NOT perfect (witness some of those Arse championship seasons) and where there were people wanting him out. The scum did not just cut the guy loose because they knew that success in all phases of life generally does not correlate with making rapid changes of direction every time things don’t go completely your way.

    Is Mancini as good as the Sainted Sir Wino Hypocrite scum pig bastard? Oh, most assuredly not. But Carlo FREAKING ANCELLOTTI!?!?!?! Oh, yeah give him credit all those trophies he won in Italy, right? Yeah, there are some credentials.

    Oh, no, wait, that was Mancini winning all those trophies in an elite European League. Never mind.

    Sorry for screaming at you, author, but I go back far enough to have memories of “City Manager” equating with, well, other than Mancini. Clueless. SVEN. Stuart Pierce. Or even Keegan.

    And I am grateful for what Mancini has done for us. Everyone should be and there is NOTHING that has happened this year that justifies firing the man. PERIOD.

    • Marc L

      April 30, 2013 at 7:13 pm

      Pearce, Not Pierce, but I stand by the rest of it.

    • jtm371

      April 30, 2013 at 10:20 pm

      Marc L
      Were you tortured by a United fan at a young age?you have some pent up aggression towards in your words sir baconface.i agree with your screed getting rid of bob mankini would be a disaster.if you can move tevez and nasri i could cheer for your side in certain matches.

    • christian

      May 1, 2013 at 8:49 am

      Well said Marc. Perhaps you should write an article for the site since there is a constant stream of Mancini leaving articles here and elsewhere.

      • Why?

        May 1, 2013 at 10:29 am

        There’s a constant stream of every and any bodies leaving City. it was the same last year! The fact 99% of them are total bullshxt with no reason except made up arguments that never really happened doesn’t seem to phase people. I call it goldfishitis and it will be the same every year until city have a bunch of fake fans in the media to point out this bollax but that take years so for the minute this crap will continue. Who cares?

  5. Rob C

    April 30, 2013 at 6:05 pm

    I agree with the statement that City need more ice to go with the fire. Mancini deserves another chance but he needs to take a long hard look in the mirror and be more diplomatic and caring towards his players. Here’s hoping he gets it right.

  6. roberto mancini

    April 30, 2013 at 2:35 pm

    What rubbish.

    I intend to stay at City for a very, very long time.

  7. peter

    April 30, 2013 at 1:57 pm

    like do u have anything better to wright about then who to replace mancini like give it up he stayn to be gived one more chance at champion league and league so go find something better to talk about lol go talk about the weather or something bc clearly u know nothing about football

  8. mm

    April 30, 2013 at 1:56 pm

    Why are so many non City fans so desperate to see the back of Mancini? They’ve been telling us for 12 months now that his job is on the line. 12 whole months and not a scrap of evidence, not a single quote from anyone connected to the club. City are enjoying their most successful period for decades and it’s all down to Mancini. There is your answer: it’s fear of what’s coming.

    • bob

      May 13, 2013 at 6:42 pm

      just been sacked

  9. Why

    April 30, 2013 at 1:25 pm

    Mancini ‘bickering with’ and ‘alienating’ players? You don’t work for the Daily Mail do you?

  10. bluemoon70

    April 30, 2013 at 1:18 pm

    Carlo Ancelotti? No. City can do better than a Chelsea retread.

    Also, the summer signings were not Mancini’s but made by Marwood who has since been relieved of his duties. If anything the season only proved to show that Mancini was correct in believing a influx of talent during last summer was necessary. Not a little tinkering here and there just to improve squad depth.

    With Mourinho most likely headed for Chelsea and Pep already at Bayern, I don’t see a true upgrade on Mancini out there. Pellegrini perhaps but not for sure. For this reason I think Sheikh Mansour will give Mancini another go at it next season.

    • Zoran

      April 30, 2013 at 11:29 pm

      You are delirious if you think mancini is better than ancelotti

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