Those with a rose tinted view of what Sheikh Mansour has delivered this season remember Shay Given's heroics in the home win over Chelsea, Craig Bellamy running riot at Stamford Bridge, Alan Wiley's "Fergietime" at Old Trafford . But these moments have been exceptions to the rule. Viewed in full focus, Mancini's five months have included some dark days for a side who have spent so heavily – £223m since the Abu Dhabis arrived in September 2008. The desperate goalless draw at home to Liverpool was perhaps the worst Premier League fixture of the season; there was something similar at Arsenal; defeat at home to Everton, successive games in league and FA Cup against Stoke City without a win.
Mark Ogden, Daily Telegraph
On Hughes’s dismissal, City had collected 29 points from 17 games, claiming an average of 1.7 points a game. Projected over a season, Hughes’s team was on course to collect 65 points.
Mancini, on the other hand, has delivered 37 points from 20 games in charge, an average of 1.85 a game.
Projected over a season, that would bring 70.3 points.
City will end the campaign on 69 points if they beat West Ham on Sunday, one short of the 70 point target.
Had Mancini been recruited earlier, City might just have made it to the Champions League after all.
Daniel Taylor, The Guardian
They can, in theory, still reflect on a season of considerable progress. This was only their seventh league defeat, the same number as Manchester United. They have finished above Liverpool for only the third time in 48 years and they can look back at scoring four in one match against Arsenal and the same against Chelsea. But in another sense it is a disappointment of such extremes that Mancini's position will inevitably come under scrutiny considering the way the men of money and influence in Abu Dhabi have made the Champions League an obsession.
"Why not?" Mancini replied when he was asked whether he was confident of being at the club next season. "I'm confident. I think I will stay here. I have worked here five months and you don't start from the roof but the basement. We have worked very well and we are near the roof now. But I am not a magician and I don't have a magic wand. We wanted this [fourth] place, just like Liverpool and Aston Villa, but this is football."