The Roberto Mancini Factor
It was Late December and the crowd was becoming wary over our ever faltering stranglehold amongst the World's Elite. The campaign under Mark Hughes had started remarkably well and a title push wasn't out of the question.
However, seven successive draws and a leaky defence were not the foundations to build a team aiming for great success. I was a huge follower of Hughes and had great respect for his transfer policy and playing style. Despite his hard work and dedication towards Manchester City he was sacked, controversially, causing a major stir across Eastlands.
Step Up, Roberto Mancini. Thrown into the limelight, facing barrages of complicated and unethical questions, Mancini was thrown desperately into the deep end. A respected manager across Italy as well as a fantastic playing career, Mancini was next in line to take over.
With little time, Mancini had to transform this faltering side and keep it on course for future success. Potentially bold in his early statements about our progress, Mancini has never failed to do his utmost for the blues cause.
Mancini was appointed manager while we were still in the Christmas period. Fixtures were coming thick and fast, the African nations was approaching and the well-documented transfer window was just around the corner. Instant success was required from Mancini even though he was without any previous managerial experience in England, and was still struggling to speak fluent English himself.
Cue an astonishing turn-around. Home victories were duly expected and our away form again needed to improve drastically. Although the fixtures weren't the most challenging, the manager`s approach had instantly galvanised the squad. Successive League and Cup victories both at Eastlands and away from home helped Mancini on his way. The defence looked steady and we were attacking admirably.
Our first tough fixture was at Goodison Park. This is no easy away journey as most Premier League teams have found out this season. The defeat was shattering, we were poor and this was the first negative side we saw of Mancini. These poor results were becoming more frequent and the disappointing lacklustre football was evident. Mancini wasn't being helped by constant speculation over his contract and training ground bust-ups. Even winning wasn't satisfying the viewers due to the football we were becoming accustomed to.
This football has led to great debate amongst forums especially VMC.
Despite only completing just over 2 months of his contract the debate has sparked a difference in opinions.
Cityman51: The football is Negative, too many defensive midfielders, no cohesion defence, too many baffling substitutions, and the football is played at a snails pace with no width, the verdict is GO now.
STUMCFC: Mancini in. Tactics were spot on, the players didn't score.
I can fully understand both of these comments, but what is the correct outcome? A 4-2 drilling of Chelsea at the Bridge has done a lot to instill more confidence into Mancini. The club needs stability one way or another. We will not gain success by chopping and changing managers as well as the team. A settled team and manager now have the chance to end the season on a high. If the approach away from home is similar to yesterday and we attack with such venom and speed we have a fantastic chance of making the Champions League. Backing the team and manager will do wonders with our confidence.
But, everyone is entitled to their opinion. What's yours?