Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 5/14/13
Manchester_city_vs_43dc
Roberto Mancini lifted the Premier League trophy on May 13, 2012. Who knew that triumphant gesture would mark the beginning of his own annus horribilis? Mancini was fired as Manchester City’s manager on Monday, exactly one year after ending the club’s 44-year quest for domestic supremacy. He departs after three-and half years, two major trophies and one long-running saga about his job security. “Despite everyone’s best efforts, the club has failed to achieve any of its stated targets this year, with the exception of qualification for next season’s UEFA Champions League,” a club statement said. “This, combined with an identified need to develop a holistic approach to all aspects of football at the club, has meant that the decision has been taken to find a new manager for the 2013-14 season and beyond.” Two words in City’s statement, ”failed” and “holistic,” are more important than all others, for they sum up Mancni’s exciting, yet turbulent, reign at the Etihad Stadium. Overall, Mancini was no failure as City’s manager. Winning the Premier League and FA Cup ensure that label can’t stick. The tangible success City achieved on his watch ended generations of suffering, and his reputation remains intact in England, Italy and beyond. He  won’t see out the last four years of his £7.5 million-a-year [$11.5. million] contract, but he’ll begin his job search with a pocket stuffed with a payoff worth one year’s salary. Napoli, AS Roma, Inter Milan, AC Milan, PSG, AS Monaco and Chelsea, are just a few of the clubs that are reportedly interested in hiring him. However, Mancini’s time at City wasn’t exactly successful either. He joined the world’s richest club in December 2009, spent close to £300 million ($458 million) assembling his squad, won and lost leagues and cups and couldn’t advance past the group stage of the UEFA Champions League … before he lost his job. The real failure is that the 2012-13 campaign will go down as a giant missed opportunity for both Mancini and City. They stunned Manchester United and other domestic rivals by winning the league last season. Had they built on that success and progressed on the field, all the talk would be about City’s looming era of domination and its bright future under Mancini. Instead, both club and manager must assess what happened, re-set themselves and put things right next season. City’s stalled for a number of reasons; many of which concern the second keyword: “holistic.” There was a fundamental disconnect between how Mancini behaved and how he should have behaved in these unique times and circumstances. Mancini’s job was under threat as late as April 2012 when it looked like United would win the league. United collapsed, City surged to victory and Mancini was rewarded with a lucrative, five-year contract extension. Normally, this would have strengthened his position, as the new deal represented the full support of owner Sheikh Mansour and chairman Khaldoon Al-Mubarak. But everything changed — first in August when Ferran Soriano was hired as City’s new CEO, then in October when Soriano brought in another former Barcelona administrator, Txiki Begiristain, as director of football. The club started moving forward and Mancini wasn’t the one driving. He acted like he was, and that won him few friends when (and where) it counted. Mancini’s man-management shortcomings saw him clash with star players — like captain Vincent Kompany and goalkeeper Joe Hart – both publicly and privately. He repeatedly blamed City’s failure to strengthen in the summer transfer market, particularly its fizzled pursuit of Robin van Persie, as the main reason for its weak title defense (doing so both in public and in private). Mancini’s inability (or unwillingness) to strengthen ties between City’s youth and senior teams is another oft-cited reason for his dismissal. The same can be said about his personal relationships with senior officials, especially youth director Brian Marwood, Soriano and Begiristain. By most accounts  Mancini was aloof and abrasive with players and bosses inside the walls of the club, while he came across as combative and domineering when publicly discussing them. Could he still train players, prepare for opponents and manage egos in the dressing room? Yes, but his attempts at exerting total control at the very time when he lost control left him isolated, an island unto himself. Mancini either would not or could not adapt to changing circumstances. Players and bosses saw this months ago. It was made clear to the public Monday. Some say Mancini’s firing was too harsh or ruthless and that he should have been given another year on the job. City was out of the Champions League in December, Mario Balotelli (Mancini’s troubled but talented “son”) was sold to Milan in January and United all but wrapped up the league title by late February. City bosses would have been well within their right to fire him two months ago. They might have looked better had they done so before news of their courtship of Manuel Pellegrini‘s turned Mancini into an object of sympathy in many circles. Mancini’s clandestine arrival in 2009 creates a strange symmetry to it all. The end of Mancini’s era is holistic failure on his and the club’s part. There’s a thin line between success and failure at the elite level of the game, and Mancini’s final season shows what can (and often does) happen when all members of an institution are not pulling in the same direction. City finished second in the league, runner up in the FA Cup and that failed to meet the demands of the club’s 10-year plan. Blame the owners. Blame Soriano, Begiristain and Marwood. Blame Kompany, Hart and the other players. Certainly blame Mancini. For years, City has had a reputation as a bit of a madhouse. The estimated $1 billion Mansour has poured into the club since 2008 hasn’t really changed that perception, and that is one expensive and holistic failure. 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.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Greg Jennings: Ryan Tannehill has had his hands tied by coaches

Josh McDaniels 'happy' with Pats but wants to be a head coach again

WATCH: Jim Harbaugh in cleats throws out first pitch at Cubs game

Why Rickie Fowler will win the PGA Championship

Warren Sapp bitten on arm by shark

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Fitzpatrick, Jets agree to one-year deal

Baker considering removing Papelbon from closer role?

Greg Hardy struggling to find work, reportedly even in CFL

Jets players told not to discuss Ryan Fitzpatrick situation

Brock Lesnar won't be punished by WWE for UFC drug test

Report: Cowboys to be fined up to $250K for suspended players

Report: Ravens WR Mike Wallace failed conditioning test

WATCH: Kobe Bryant drives Ferrari around Italian racetrack

Terrelle Pryor shouts out Ohio State after ban ends

Justin Timberlake advocates for Memphis to join Big 12

Poll: Las Vegas residents don’t support public funds for NFL stadium

Conor McGregor talks trash to Nate Diaz on ‘Conan’

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Real Madrid can’t train at Norwegian school because of the kids

Newspaper uses Michael Jordan ‘crying face’ as image

Equipment manager Blake Griffin punched no longer works for Clippers

Report: Nicks signing one-year deal with Saints

Reds 'picking up the pace' on Jay Bruce trade talks

Soccer News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Why Gary Bettman's CTE denial is cause for concern for NHL

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker