Roberto Manicini sacking was inevitable after a miserable season
Manchester City opinion: Roberto Mancini failed on all fronts at the Etihad Stadium this season
It has been one of the most talked about topics in European football for the majority of the English Premier League season: the future of Roberto Mancini at Manchester City.
And last night the expected news of his sacking made it around the world, just days after his players were humbled by Roberto Martinez's Wigan Athletic in the FA Cup final.
Since last seasons title triumph, Manicini had not had it all his own way at City. One major mistake, in both his eyes and that of the majority of fans, was the failure to land Robin van Persie from Arsenal.
Mancini made his unhappiness at this public, and blamed others for letting Van Persie fall into the hands of rivals Manchester United - a mistake that would eventually lead to them giving the Premier League crown back to the red side of Manchester.
Van Persie had the option but chose United, saying he listened to the "child" inside him.
This was to be just that start of things to come at the Etihad Stadium this season. Following a seemingly disappointing transfer window, things went from bad to worse for City. Losing in the league at home to United, thanks to last gasp free-kick from Van Persie himself, as well as throwing away a lead against Real Madrid in the Champions League group stages, there were signs of problems in the City camp.
With results not going their way and United running away with the title, City were then eliminated from the Champions League and Europe all together - finishing bottom of their group. It was a hugely disappointment for the players and fans, who would of expected much better having faltered in the competition at the first hurdle the previous season. But they could not even manage to secure a Europa League place, leading to more speculation surrounding Mancini.
With all of this going on, his fiery relationship with Italian forward Mario Balotelli boiled over in a training ground skirmish, which saw him and Mancini photographed brawling at their training complex following a rash tackle on Scott Sinclair from Balotelli.
This, along with some truly poor performances on the pitch, led to Balotelli being sold to AC Milan in the January transfer window, even though Mancini insisted he was going nowhere and their differences were exaggerated by the English press. This sort of man-management style has been widely reported to have led to his downfall, as well as a poor season, - and understandably so.
As United steamrollered towards the 20th league title in their history, City continued to falter in the League, with slip-ups such as the one against newly-promoted Southampton causing more concern for their fans. Despite this, they continued a good run in the FA Cup and fought on to reach the final. With Wigan making it as well, City were huge favourites to take the spoils from relegation-threatened Wigan.
But they could not even manage this. Having already lost the title to United, who wrapped their title up in emphatic form against Aston Villa, and it was that man that escaped Mancini's grasp, Robin Van Persie, who fired a tremendous hat-trick to secure United's 20th and his first league crown.
The FA Cup was all Manicni and City had left in order to restore some sort of pride from a bitterly upsetting campaign for them. Even with the likes of Sergio Aguero, Carlos Tevez, David Silva, Yaya Toure and Vincent Kompany, and changing his cup goalkeeper and selecting regular No.1 Joe Hart ahead of Costel Pantilimon could not help Mancini.
In a game where Wigan clearly wanted it more and put the work rate in to prove this, it was Ben Watson who headed in a 90th-minute winner for Martinez's men and bring the prized possession of English football to the DW Stadium.
Following this, it was only a matter of time before Mancini was shown the door. Having spent at his own free will, he has not brought the trophy haul which the investors at City would have hoped, and their appalling Champions League performances over the last two seasons would have been huge cause for concern.
And in a bitter sweet symphony, it was Mancini who felt the pain of a 90th-minute goal this season, as Wigan's Ben Watson ultimately sealed his fate when he won Wigan the FA Cup.
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