Whatever the result is in the FA Cup final on Saturday evening, most people would agree that Manchester City have had a disappointing season. They ceded the Premier League title won so dramatically last season back to Manchester United without ever really challenging their neighbours, and finished bottom of their Champions League group to extend Roberto Mancini’s terrible record in Europe.
There was also discord amongst the squad, and Mancini’s man management was called into question on several occasions, with Mario Balotelli’s scintillating form for AC Milan since his January departure suggesting that Manchester City failed to get the best from striker.
However despite all this, there is now a compelling reason for keeping Mancini around for another season at least, as Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement, along with Rafa Benitez’s imminent departure from Chelsea, means that City’s closest rivals will both have new men at the helm next season.
Keeping Mancini could give City a head start as the most stable of the three teams, with Mancini settled with his squad. Of course Manchester United and Chelsea could get a boost from a new boss, but they also have to expect some adjustment time, especially in the case of United, where David Moyes comes in to take over from an absolute legend of the game.
The other way City could look at it is that with both other sides making changes, it is a good time for them to do so as well, as their clean break will not be a disadvantage in comparison, and if they really have no confidence in Mancini, then he should be fired regardless of how other clubs behave.
However Mancini could well bring home a third major trophy in three seasons on Saturday, and with other clubs adjusting to completely new regimes, Manchester City have another good reason to keep faith with the Italian, as it might give them a slight advantage in next season’s title race.
image: © Mafue