Roberto Mancini Sacked: Manchester City Manager Turned On Club

Mancini Was Determined Not To Go Quietly

The reports had re-emerged overnight but Roberto Mancini, the soil pouring onto his coffin, let alone the final nail being hammered in, was determined not to rest in peace.

"The people, Vicky [Kloss, club press officer], the other people who work for the press [office], I don't know why they don't stop this rubbish," Mancini moaned, in reference to the nationals' stories he was set to be sacked by Manchester City and replaced by the current Málaga coach, Manuel Pellegrini.

"You wrote this for the six months, and for the last two weeks. It's too much. I don't understand why. For football I talk and I take responsibility in the press. For this you need to talk to Vicky and the other people. If it's true, it will be true. I don't know. For me, I am happy to work for Manchester City. I'm happy with my job, I'm happy about what we did in three years. I am disappointed now that we lost this game."

Forever frank, Mancini was determined not to go quietly. He and the attendants at his final press conference knew his execution was imminent nearly a year on from City's surreal Premier League title win.

The FA Cup final was Mancini's first match in charge of City

Short of support in the boardroom, the same could not be said in the stands. Mancini's chant was aired four times before the FA Cup final kicked-off and City fans must have hit double-figures by the end of the Wembley contest. "Hark now hear, the City sing" and the Toureé brothers' chant - two of the favourites - were never chanted en masse.

It was precisely 363 days on from Sergio Agüero's right-footed drive when Wigan humbled City. In the time that had elapsed, the Italian had signed a five-year contract only to oversee a second dismal Champions League group stage campaign and one of the feeblest efforts by a squad to retain its title. His handling of Mario Balotelli, meanwhile, sullied him just as much as the player had sullied himself with his tiresome and feckless antics on and off the pitch.

Balotelli perhaps epitomised Mancini's three-and-a-half-year reign at Eastlands; flashes of genius with plenty of fond memories, only they were destined to be short-lived. Mancini, like his compatriot, was too irascible to last long at a club where the squad's egos were larger than the Maine Road floodlights while his man-management was increasingly bizarre.

Sir Alex Ferguson once preached a manager should not to criticise his players in public yet Mancini made it a habit. Balotelli, Micah Richards, Joe Hart and Samir Nasri were four notable victims.

Unlike Harry Redknapp, he is not averse to a mea culpa. He acknowledged last year he had "underestimated" Everton and said it was a mistake in signing Scott Sinclair yet at his final press conference he bemoaned City's activity in the summer transfer market, when they put it all on Robin van Persie only for the dice to come up snake eyes.

Mancini ended his City tenure a loser

It was a reminder that perhaps Mancini's achievements - Champions League qualification and ending City's trophy and title droughts - are not particularly impressive accomplishments. He spent £291.75 million in a little over three years, so the club is entitled to expect a trophy every season however treacherous the footballing minefield is, let alone qualification from the Champions League group stage.

With the end nigh, he became desperate when asked if he had delivered an acceptable season.

"I think that it's better to win a Community Shield than nothing. How many teams did better than us this year? One. Man United," Mancini preached. Several writers corrected him under their breath before he added "Swansea." What about his conquerors, Wigan?

As early as February Mancini had expressed his exasperation with rumours City had earmarked Pellegrini to replace him. "F*****g hell, man," he replied. "I can't continue to answer questions about this every week. Sorry." On Saturday, he was determined to answer as many questions about it as possible, even interrupting Kloss.

"It's rubbish, this speculation. I know football and anything can happen. In one or two weeks you will know if it's true or not. If it's not true then a lot of stupid things have been written. If it's true then I'm stupid."

Here's looking at you, kid.


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