Manchester City: Why Roberto Mancini Deserves to Stay on at the Etihad

Ian RodgersWorld Football Staff WriterMarch 12, 2013

Roberto Mancini has done enough to merit a longer stay with Manchester City.
Roberto Mancini has done enough to merit a longer stay with Manchester City.Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

Not a day seems to pass by at the moment without someone being linked with the role of Manchester City manager.

Even Roberto Mancini would be forgiven for wondering if he is still in charge of the Etihad Stadium team anymore.

The latest name to be linked with the club is Feyenoord coach Ronald Koeman, although the former Holland international has been quick to distance himself from the rumours (via Sky Sports).

But the Dutchman has quickly followed Valencia coach Ernesto Valverde, who was linked with Mancini's position by the Sunday Times at the weekend (as reported by the Daily Mail).

It is little wonder that Mancini finally lost his patience in a press conference after being quizzed about the Manuel Pellegrini link with his job, as the Daily Telegraph reported.

When the Italian sits down to discuss Saturday's impending Premier League game at Everton, the sparks are expected to fly again when the newer names of Koeman and Valverde are brought publicly to his attention.

Such is the way for the most successful Manchester City manager in recent times after a comparatively disappointing season.

Mancini has lifted expectations to such an extent at the club following FA Cup and Premier League triumphs in successive seasons that finishing second and failure to qualify beyond the Champions League group stage means his job is up for grabs.

The former Inter Milan boss has, of course, been aided in his silverware quest by the finances of owner Sheikh Mansour and his Abu Dhabi United Group, and it would not be too much to ask of Mancini to reach the knockout stages of UEFA's elite tournament.

City and Mancini are not helped by the fact their neighbours are Manchester United. But after 44 years at least in the shadows of the Old Trafford club, anyone could be forgiven for blinking a little when bathed in the light of success.

However, when you have the FA Cup and Premier League in two seasons on your CV, why make a change? Times are different to 1990 clearly, but Sir Alex Ferguson only won his first trophy after three years at Old Trafford and still needed an FA Cup final replay to see off Crystal Palace.

One significant factor which needs to be emphasised with regard to Mancini's future is the Manchester City support. There appears to be no groundswell of opinion that the Italian is not wanted and his name is regularly chanted at fixtures home and away.

But after witnessing the chaos involved in switching club bosses with alarming regularity, few know the value of stability better than the City fans.

Mancini has a 12-point gap to make up on United and it is unlikely that City will enjoy the finish to the league season they had last year. But the FA Cup remains in their sights with a semifinal berth booked against United or Chelsea at Wembley Stadium.

But it is the Champions League where Mancini's fate should be decided next season. Another group stage failure will signify a change at the top without a doubt.

The presence of Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund in their group this season was never going to be an easy task, but finishing below Ajax and without a single win was not in the script for the City owners.

Mancini and the club owners will need to address team rebuilding in the summer with Mario Balotelli gone to AC Milan and the futures of Carlos Tevez (Daily Mail) and Edin Dzeko (BBC Sport) unclear.

Sergio Aguero was also linked with a move to Real Madrid in January (Daily Express), a move which would decimate the City attack.

Failure to act here and across the team, with the City defence also requiring running repairs, will ensure another season of disappointment.

Mancini did not act in the January transfer window but his summer signings, at best, have failed to deliver.

Jack Rodwell has spent more time on the treatment table than the field, while Scott Sinclair may soon have a plaque attached to the substitutes' bench in his honour. But defender Matija Nastasic, 19, has proved to be an astute acquisition following his £10 million arrival from Fiorentina.

Mancini has done enough to ensure he stays at the City helm for next season. How long he will remain there beyond the opening Champions League group match remains to be seen.