Amid the mountainous spending at Manchester City, success has been seen as something of a foregone conclusion.
Perhaps due to the way City swept aside all-comers in the early weeks of the season, pundits and fans alike were expecting a clean sweep from the north-west outfit.
Such is the expectancy, few have taken time to consider what the future of Roberto Mancini will be should City fall short in their quest to land multiple honours this season.
Despite the spending spree, and the flowing performances, particularly prior to the New Year, City have failed to dominate like so many felt they would.
For all their dominance domestically, an early exit from the FA Cup and a semi-final failure in the League Cup, leaves them chasing down their top flight league title for 44 years.
Just two points separate them from neighbours Manchester United, and with 13 games left, a tight fight for the title is expected.
After dropping out of the Champions League, the harsh reality of a maiden year in the competition following a difficult group stage draw, the Europa League appears like the club's best source of silverware given the lack of genuine opposition. Sporting Lisbon, their last 16 opponents for example, haven't won their domestic league for 10 years.
As with their challenge for the league, United are likely to stand in the way, but while Sir Alex Ferguson can argue his latest squad are in something of a transition, Mancini will find worming his way out of the blame for a lack of trophies a difficult task.
The blank cheque book handed to the Italian won't help his argument come the end of the season, but it's left to be seen whether City's owners will see the lack of a league championship as a significant stall in their plan, or whether Mancini will be given time to turn things around.
You only have to look at City's plans for their state of the art training complex to realise owner Sheikh Mansour is in it for the long-term, but without silverware, retaining Mancini on a similarly lengthy basis might be difficult to justify.
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