Football is a funny old game, isn't it?

The phrase "hero to zero" is easily relatable to many scenarios and it is definitely relatable to Roberto Mancini's reign at Manchester City.

May 13 2012 was arguably the best moment in City's history, as they won their first Premier League title in dramatic fashion, scoring twice in the last two minutes of the campaign.

However, a year to the day since that famous victory, Mancini has been shown the door following a season without a trophy.

It's certainly been an eventful three-and-a-half years for Mancini as Manchester City manager, featuring highs such as an emphatic 6-1 win over fierce rivals Manchester United, an FA Cup victory and a Premier League win. It hasn't always been a bed of roses for Mancini, though. Lows such as a failure to establish themselves in the Champions League, the Carlos Tevez saga and the lack of silverware in his final season eventually led to Mancini being sacked.

There was growing speculation surrounding Mancini's future even before Saturday's FA Cup final - and when City lost to Wigan, the pressure intensified.

Malaga boss Manuel Pellegrini is the overwhelming favourite to succeed the Italian, although he has publicly denied a deal being done with Manchester City. The Chilean was quoted recently on Malaga's official website, saying: "I deny here and now being the new manager of Manchester City." He went on to say "In the next few days I hope to clarify a bit what the future will be here in the club."

Pellegrini has been targeted by many big clubs throughout the world after a successful Champions League campaign with Malaga. He also won plaudits for his spell at Villarreal and his season with Real Madrid, which saw them end the season with a club-record 96 points in a La Liga campaign, although it wasn't enough to win the league.

Another name linked with the Manchester City hot-seat is José Mourinho.

The current Real Madrid manager has suffered a turbulent time in Spain and has made no secret of his desire to return to the Premier League. With the Chelsea manager spot vacant too, it will be interesting to see whether Mourinho will return to his beloved Blues, or opt for a new challenge with Manchester City.

The former Chelsea manager's trophy collection speaks for itself; any club would love to have his experience and expertise. With Manchester City failing to stamp their authority on the Champions League with Mancini, which ultimately contributed to his sacking, Mourinho knows the Champions League very well, having won it with Inter Milan and FC Porto.

Next season is shaping up to be a classic, I for one can't wait.


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