Manchester derby win too little too late for Roberto Mancini?
Manchester United 1-2 Manchester City: Derby win scant consolation for City faithful after disappointing season
Last season, the final Manchester derby was a mesmerising spectacle that ultimately proved pivotal in the title race, with City's win allowing them to gain the belief and momentum to secure top spot at the end of a dramatic season.
This year no such drama will be repeated. The title will be heading to Old Trafford - barring a cataclysmic collapse from Manchester United - despite City's win at Old Trafford last night.
Apart from the win last night the blue side of Manchester has appeared tame and disjointed in the current campaign leading to reports that the club's owners are ready to dispose of their current boss.
Roberto Mancini was heralded as he led the Citizens to their first league title for over 40 years however, he has swiftly fallen out of favour this season as the Premier League has slipped from their grasp with very little fight.
A weak performance in Europe has not helped the Italian's cause, though admittedly they were in a tough group. Having said this, progression was by no means impossible and third-place was expected as a minimum.
So should Man City get rid of the man who has spearheaded their recent success?
There are plenty of reasons which would suggest it would be a justified decision. His lavish spending throughout his tenure has added pressure to him and quite rightly so.
An owner who has ploughed over £200m into the club in transfer fees for players such as David Silva, Sergio Aguero and Javi Garcia during his tenure would expect success.
It is also clear that the owners are hoping for more progress in Europe - Mancini has failed to deliver in both cases. Only an F.A. Cup victory could salvage what has been a poor season for City. On several occasions, City have been underwhelming, producing copious below-par performances with several key players failing to perform.
Mancini has persisted in trying to master playing three centre-backs, leaving them vulnerable in defence. He has also appeared to have fractious relationships with some of his players such as Samir Nasri, Mario Balotelli and Carlos Tevez.
Furthermore, his strikers will have lost confidence due to his constant lamenting of the fact that he failed to add Robin Van Persie to his £100m-plus strike force. His constant complaining is likely to have made some world-class players feel inferior, as seen with all of their lacklustre performances.
Having said this, his side are on the cusp of F.A. cup victory and look likely to secure second place. The signings made in the summer by now-departed Brian Marwood were poor and thus Mancini has not been given the best of squads to compete with. Scott Sinclair and Jack Rodwell have both been anonymous this season, whilst Javi Garcia has failed to shine.
A lack of alternatives could also work in Mancini's favour, with Jose Mourinho seemingly set for either Paris St Germain or Chelsea and Pep Guardiola heading for Bayern Munich.
Manuel Pellegrini still offers an attractive option should they be able to coax him from Malaga, and the same can be said for David Moyes at Everton.
There is a large part of me that feels it would be unfair to sack Mancini after last year's success, particularly at a time when managerial stability is scarce.
However, another part of me feels there are people out there who could do a better job than him, and that perhaps it is time for David Moyes to be given a chance at a top club. Only time will tell, but if Mancini fails to win the F.A. Cup it is possible that Mancini and City will part ways this summer.
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