On the 19th December 2009 Roberto Mancini was hired as the boss of Manchester City - now in 2013 and having spent millions of pounds, the club have only two major honours in almost three and a half seasons to show for it.
Mancini spent heavily in his first season in the summer bringing in the likes of Mario Balotelli, James Milner, Jerome Boateng, David Silva, Yaya Toure and Aleksandar Kolarov at a combined cost of well over a hundred million.
He then added to his squad in January acquiring Eden Dzeko from Wolfsburg. In his second season Sergio Aguero, Samir Nasri, Gael Clichy and Stefan Savic made their way to Manchester and finally in the summer of 2012 Mancini spent again on Jack Rodwell, Javi Garcia and Scott Sinclair.
Many would say that building a team takes time, that you can’t buy the title and that Mancini has a proven record as a manager.
Enter Jose Mourinho - who took over at Chelsea one season into the Abramovich era; Mourinho spent heavily at Chelsea acquiring players who he had managed at his UEFA Cup and Champions League winning Porto side amongst other less well known individuals such as Tiago and Didier Drogba.
He had a strong base for success with Claude Makelele, Petr Cech, Frank Lampard and John Terry all present from Claudio Ranieri’s regime. Chelsea went on to win the league is Mourinho's first season finishing with 95 points and only conceding 15 league goals; both of these achievements were EPL records. They also collected the League Cup as the first trophy of his Chelsea tenure.
Whilst Chelsea did not win the back to back Champions League title for Mourinho they did reach the semi-final where they controversially knocked out by Liverpool and Luis Garcia's “ghost” goal. The next season Chelsea completed back to back EPL titles. Mourinho continued with his success picking up the League and FA Cups in the 2006-07 season bringing his haul of major trophies to five in three seasons at the Blues.
He then replaced Mancini at Inter in June 2008. Mancini had won three straight league titles and two Italian Cup wins however many point to the Italian match fixing scandal which sent Juventus out of Serie A and handicapped Milan as the catalyst for the titles and cup wins that Mancini picked up between 2005 and 2008. Mancini still failed to achieve success in Europe with Inter despite Moratti's financial backing and the acquisition of high profile players such as Santiago Solari, David Pizarro, Maicon, Patrick Vieira, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Walter Samuel.
He was sacked by Moratti in 2008.
Mourinho continued the tradition of Serie A titles with two more successive wins but he also brought the club the trophy that Moratti had hoped for, the Champions League title in 2009-10.
Money had been spent to achieve this success with Samuel Eto'o, Diego Milito and Wesley Sneijder amongst the big name signings but the key is the speed of the success. Such a quick turnaround in European fortunes should be attributed to Mourinho's ability as a coach and a manager.
Jose had proven as he had at Chelsea that with money to spend he was not only capable of dominating domestically and in Europe –but achieving this success in a very short period of time. He has since replicated this success at Real Madrid.
Manchester City on the other hand have been on a spending spree since the club was bought by the Middle Eastern Investors. They have brought in players of quality that have been courted by the likes of Real Madrid and Chelsea, who have played for Barcelona and Inter Milan - and yet in the current and previous campaigns they have failed to progress through the group stages of the Champions League competition.
Whilst a group also containing Borussia Dortmund, Ajax and Real Madrid this term was an intimidating prospect neither the Germans or the Dutch have the spending power of the Manchester outfit. Mancini's persistence with Mario Balotelli - his public attack on young Joe Hart contributed to a feeling that perhaps Mancini is not in the same class as Ferguson and Mourinho.
A player of Balotelli's character would never have lasted as long as he did at City for United without a change in mindset - Jose Mourinho described him as unmanageable. Should he ever have been brought into the type of "project" City were developing? Recently Mancini has bemoaned the clubs failure to acquire the players he pinpointed but equally one could point to City's lack of European success under the Italian as a key reason; Eden Hazard could well have been a City player had they progressed further in last season’s European Cup. It could also be argued that Mancini does not possess the appeal of a Ferguson in attracting players such as Robin van Persie.
I believe through inconsistency, questionable signings and tactics City are now considering the future of the Italian. This season he has cut a frustrated figure - if you have unlimited funds, world class players and still cannot achieve the success of your rivals it is surely time to question the ability of the individual. I think that time has arrived for Mancini. This season has been a massive disappointment.
Reports suggest that it is almost a done deal that Jose Mourinho will leave Real at the end of the season - whilst it would be a massive kick in the teeth for Mancini to yet again be replaced by the Portuguese - surely the City board and fans must be keen to bring in the "Special One" to work his magic and quickly bring the success that the spending and playing staff at the Eithad should be achieving.
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