Premier League – Mancini set for axe as City line up Pellegrini
Manchester City are reportedly set to sack manager Roberto Mancini in the next few days.
Roberto Mancini, Manchester City manager
Monday’s newspapers report that Mancini was told on Sunday afternoon that he is to be fired, perhaps as early as Monday, with the club apparently set to bring in Malaga’s Chilean coach Manuel Pellegrini as his replacement.
The Sun reports that the news has come as a shock to Mancini, who believed he had the full backing of the club following a dinner with City chiefs the night before the FA Cup final. The Times adds that there is “no guarantee that he will still be in charge for City’s Barclays Premier League match away to Reading tomorrow night.”
The Mirror claims that City have come to the conclusion that Mancini “does not have what it takes to advance the club in Europe and that a change of manager is needed if they are to make a serious assault on the Champions League. The players are also unhappy at his man-management.”
The Blues have neither confirmed nor denied the stories, however the Italian has been under increasing pressure over the past couple of weeks amid apparent City interest in Pellegrini.
Mancini was critical of the club’s handling of his situation after Sunday’s FA Cup final defeat to Wigan, when he stated his belief the City hierarchy should have stepped in on his behalf to end the speculation about his future.
Yet it seems that Wembley loss to a team who could well be relegated into the Championship this season and were assembled at a fraction of the cost of Mancini’s squad has been the final straw.
Members of Mancini’s coaching team were unaware of an impending change on Sunday afternoon. However, such is the intensity of the reports, City’s decision not to clarify Mancini’s situation appears significant.
Indeed, it has been suggested the Italian will be out of a job before the Blues face Reading at the Madejski Stadium on Tuesday. Mancini’s abrasive style is known to have upset both members of his backroom team, with some senior players also said to be unhappy.
With a distant second-place finish in the Premier League to Manchester United and yet another group stage exit in the Champions League, it is hard for Mancini to claim progress has been made this season.
And that was before the defeat to a Wigan outfit who were 8-1 underdogs prior to kick-off, but were the better side and grabbed a last-minute victory thanks to Ben Watson’s header.
“If we find out in a week the things you say are not true, you have written a lot of stupid things in the last six months and more in the last two weeks,” he said when asked about the reports linking Pellegrini with his position.
“If it is true I am stupid because I didn’t understand anything. You have been speaking about this for the last six months, and also the last two weeks. It is too much. The club didn’t stop this. I don’t think that was correct. I don’t think it is true.”