In the nearly five months since his new contract, Mancini seems to have been trying very hard to destroy his own credibility, and City's chances of building on last season's triumph. A series of baffling transfer and team selection decisions have contributed to City's stuttering start to the Premier League, and now - after a 1-1 draw against Borussia Dortmund - being in danger of exiting the Champions League at the group stage for the second successive year.
Friday 24 August 2012. Remember the date, it could well be a defining one in the future of Sunderland AFC.
Watching Manchester City last season was a privilege. The passing and control, the fluidity of movement and the individual brilliance which secured the Premier League title were breathtaking to observe at times. And yet I want more.
I'm willing Hodgson's side to prove me wrong, and like Denmark and Greece before them confound all expectations and march to European glory; unfortunately however, this squad selection doesn't give me much hope.