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Decisions of Mass Delusion

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The politics of Manchester City is a lot like the Iraq war at the moment. I draw this comparison, not because the club hierarchy is from the Middle East - that's just a happy coincidence - but because the decision in question has led many to conscientiously object.

Roberto Mancini's sacking, is one of the most absurd I've seen in a long time. Ok, so he had money, but that doesn't airbrush over the enormity of his achievements. Before Mancini, City had not won a major trophy in 35 years. By the end of his third season, they had won three, including a first league title since 1968.

Yet, after a second FA Cup final appearance in three years, Sheikh Mansour was suitably unimpressed with his manager's efforts and decided to show him the door. So what went wrong?

True cynics might suggest that Mancini deserved to be sacked, because City had failed to make an impact in Europe, and because he appeared unable to turn things round when the team hit a prolonged (two games) bad patch in the Premier League. I would accept the European point, were it not for a group stage that included two of this year's semi-finalists, and I'd be all for the premier league argument, had he not won it.

Some morons might suggest that Mancini deserved to be sacked purely on the basis of losing to Wigan in this season's FA Cup final, on some mad rush of expectancy and that there is a standard to be upheld. This is so plastic even Katie Price is judging them.

While Mancini might be maligned, understandably, for his panic buys in Scott Sinclair and Jack Rodwell, I do question how much he had to do with them? City had invested heavily the season before and reaped the benefits, winning the league. Although the club might be commended for trying to budget (comparatively at least) this summer, in an increasingly money driven sport, perhaps it was a failure to match United's intent that cost them the title. And although it's not unreasonable to say City already had world class players to work with, it's also unfair to say that other teams didn't, or brought in more.

I digress; for the most part, City fans do seem genuinely irked by the decision - and quite right too. Mancini not only delivered success but created his own cult following: the greasy hair, striped scarf and isosceles nose, have all been immortalised in the club's folklore.

In any case though, football today is an impatient game. Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has already set the precedent for sugar daddies when it comes to managers; he sacked Carlo Ancelotti just one year after winning the double and Robeto Di Matteo just a few months after lifting the Champions League. Admittedly, Chelsea have enjoyed considerable success amidst their owner's trigger happy spending spree, but that doesn't make the practice any more right.

I suppose on some twisted level, this bullish position could be admired - the ominous reality that second best simply will not do is consistent if nothing else. But in sacking managers so freely, owners risk creating a vacuum for the stability that typed the true dynasties of the game.

While there may be something in the argument that Mancini underachieved THIS season, and that he failed to get the best out of Balotelli; it will be a great surprise if whoever is brought in as a replacement can turn City into world beaters overnight. Certainly, part of the problem with the Galacticos scheme at Real Madrid was its quick turnover in management.