Manchester City: Rival Chelsea's Managerial Carousel Drives Home Mancini's Value
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When you watch the ongoing managerial tragedy and comedy happening at Chelsea Football Club, it is shocking and absurd to think that anyone would consider the idea of criticizing Roberto Mancini as rival managers have taken to doing of late.
Chelsea's recent turbulence has been well-documented.
Andres Villas-Boas began the 2011-2012 campaign at the reins at Stamford Bridge. He struggled mightily and was deposed in favor of Roberto Di Matteo on an "interim" basis in March of 2012.
When Di Matteo took over, Chelsea's position in the Premier League table was so tenuous that the club's only realistic avenue to qualify for Champions League play this season was to win last year's Champions League title, which they did.
That unlikely glory convinced Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich to take the "interim" tag off Di Matteo. Ultimately, though, Abramovich might as well have deemed Di Matteo his temporary man from start to finish.
Di Matteo was relieved of his duties last week in favor of Rafa Benitez, a man who brought with him to the Bridge a train car full of baggage (given his prior antagonism of Blues fans).
After Chelsea's 3-1 blasting by West Ham United at Upton Park, the "Rafa Out" chants and signs that greeted Benitez at his home debut against Manchester City only figure to proliferate.
The cynic might sarcastically observe that at least Benitez's Chelsea side scored against West Ham after playing decidedly abject draws with City and Fulham.
But an 0-1-2 stretch which has now cast Chelsea even further adrift of both City and table-toppers Manchester United will do nothing to sate either Abramovich (who wanted Benitez) or Blues faithful (who didn't).
Meanwhile, Roberto Mancini's Sky Blues extended their unbeaten streak in Premier League play this season to 15 straight matches with a 1-1 draw to Everton at the Etihad.
City's second consecutive Champions League exit this season caused some wrong-headed observers (Mourinho being right near the top of that list) to suggest that Mancini is not the right man for the job at Eastlands.
The turmoil at Chelsea, though, is further proof of the folly that is switching out a successful manager after a brief run of poor results. The new man always seems like a good idea from the owner's box or the stands, but miraculous transformations like the one Di Matteo orchestrated last year are the decided exception to the rule.
Far more often, rash, in-season managerial changes just lead to more time spent in transition and more mediocre (or worse) results.
Roberto Mancini certainly does not have his current job for life.
At some point, his side will flounder, or maybe he will just choose to take the hero's welcome that normally greets the new manager somewhere else.
For now, City fans should be grateful that the club's ownership has faith enough in Mancini to allow the defending Premier League champion manager to maintain a steady hand on the controls.
Chelsea fans, still basking in the glow of Di Matteo's Champions League triumph, almost certainly wish that Abramovich had similar wisdom.
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