Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 5/12/13
Roberto Mancini was the king of Manchester, England, less than a year ago, but he will be shamed and run out of town in the coming days. Mancini will be fired from his job as Manchester City’s manager this week after failing to build on last season’s success. Malaga manager Manuel Pellegrini is the overwhelming favorite to replace Mancini on the City bench, according to  the Telegraph. “While his departure has yet to be confirmed, the Telegraph understands that his contract will be terminated before City depart for a post-season trip to the United States next Monday [May 20] and that the home game against Norwich City on May 19 will be his last — unless the club acts before the Reading clash,” the report says. “Mancini’s hopes of seeing out the remaining four years of his £7.5 million-a-year [$11.5. million] contract are over, however, with the only issue now revolving around the timing of his dismissal.” Mancini will leave City after three-and-a-half years of turbulent excitement at the Etihad Stadium. He oversaw the club’s rise to the forefront of the English game by assembling and managing a star-studded squad to unprecedented success. He helped end a 35-year wait for a major trophy when City captured the FA Cup in 2011. He guided City to glory in 2011-12, capturing the Premier League title and ending a 44-year search for domestic supremacy. But City’s progress stalled in 2012-13, as it failed to advance out of the UEFA Champions League group stage, finished a distant second to Manchester United in the Premier League and lost to Wigan in the FA Cup final on Saturday. Although Mancini signed a lucrative contract extension last summer, his failure to hit specified targets this season prompted City’s board to part ways with the Italian. Mancini retained the fans’ support throughout this difficult season, but he publicly clashed with the board and a number of players at various points. Mancini repeatedly assured the media that he had the backing of City owner Sheikh Mansour and chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak, but that changed in late April when Txiki Begiristain, City’s director of football, met with Pellegrini’s agent, Jesus Martinez in Madrid. Mancini’s contribution to the club’s trophy case and impressive win percentage of 59.2 (forged over 191 games) was not enough to keep the confidence of City’s decision makers. City’s Abu Dhabi-based owners have grand ambitions for the club, and they have already spent untold riches to take City to the top of the English game. But they want more and have entrusted Begiristain and CEO Ferran Soriano with the task of positioning City for long-term success. If Mancini thought he was an essential part of those future plans, he was wrong. Have a question for Marcus Kwesi O’Mard? Send it to him via Twitter at @NESNsoccer, NESN Soccer’s Facebook page or send it here. He will pick a few questions to answer every week for his mailbag.
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