Thursday, 6 May 2010

What it all means

So what does our failure to get fourth mean for the future of Mancini? In the most basic sense he has failed: he was brought in to get Champions League football, on the basis that Mark Hughes 'results trajectory' was not good enough. But does this mean that the break clause in his contract should be activated, that we should bring in our fifth manager in five years to refashion the squad for next year's challenge?

No chance. This was a point I kept on making during the disputes over Mark Hughes' management, but it clearly needs restating: maintaining or sacking a manager should not be a reward for success or a punishment for failure. Rather, it should be based on a judgement of who is best equipped to take the club forward. Sacking Mancini might make the board feel authoritative but if we couldn't find a better replacement it would be damaging. Surveying the options, there is one manager who most blues would willingly sack Mancini for. But I can't see José Mourinho choosing to take over a Europa League side for next season.

Any judgement on the medium term interests of MCFC must factor in the importance of stability, the destructive impact of any further upheaval and associated teething problems, and the importance of a coach like Mancini who has experience winning trophies as well as some acquaintance with the playing staff and infrastructure of MCFC.

(One problem we have in assessing Mancini is that to date he has been essentially doing the job of an international manager: organising and motivating a set of players that he has no real ownership of. We haven't learnt yet how good he is at building a squad; signing the right players, getting them to gel, cutting out those that don't fit. This is at least as much a part of top-level club management as the organisational stuff - it's what makes Arsène Wenger and Sir Alex Ferguson as brilliant as they are - and we don't know if it's Mancini's forte or not.)

Which is a rather messy way of saying that there are arguments for the retention of Mancini beyond his record so far. Not just because these decisions should be forward-looking, but also because his record only reflects one element of a club manager's skill-set. On the presumption that Mourinho won't join, there is no manager we could bring to City this summer who would be a sufficient improvement on Mancini to justify the turmoil and upheaval inherent in their introduction. Roberto might not be perfect but we must stick with him for next season.


Grumpy said...

Unless Jose is coming, I'd say yes, stick with him and give him a crack in the transfer market.

We can only get stronger.

Christopher said...

arguably, we would consider Guus Hiddink or Fabio Capello in addition to Mourinho... no chance so stick with Mancini

Allan said...

How many of you remember that day @ Maine Road, 5-1 up and all singing 'bye-bye Fergie bye-bye' ? Well the rest is history and here we are dozens of managers down the line - and still behind them. Mancini's tactics, passion for our club has impressed me - (ok maybe he cant spot tired defenders before its too late!) but I say he is the best coach we have had for many years - he gets my vote.

Scorch said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Scorch said...

I rate Mancini. He's a shrewd little bugger, and I honestly don't think Mourinho would come here even if it was a CL challenge for him.

With a settled summer - despite the World Cup - I think we'll be right up there throughout next season. And the confidence and familiarity we need to take the final few steps towards titles and silverware will kick in. It's still a mishmash of players bought by two, even three managers with conflicting tactical approaches. I expect big changes in the summer, but I expect Scarf Ace will be with us and raring to go in August.

For Spurs, well, they deserve it more, and for them it's far more 'now or never' than it is for City. Our time is very fast approaching - let's be patient.

Fifth is no failure. Sixth might be a bit hard to take, but...

StanMCFC said...

The debate about Mancini is now over. See interview with the chairman on the official club site.