A few weeks ago, you wouldn’t have thought that the two managers of the Top 2 clubs in England would no longer be in their jobs before the season was over, but that’s exactly what’s happened.
Alex Ferguson retired and had his official send off on Sunday in front of thousands of his adoring fans at Old Trafford, while Roberto Mancini had a far less glamourous send off, being officially sacked yesterday.
The official statement from Manchester City was that he failed to meet any of the seasons targets, except for Champions League qualification, and in today’s football – however harsh the sacking was – it’s par for the course.
Looking around Facebook and Twitter, the outrage from City fans was, quite frankly, ridiculous. All the “Thank you for everything Roberto” posts were nauseating and some football supporters really need to get a grip of themselves. For me, Roberto Mancini is possibly one of the most overrated managers of all time.
Let’s look at his track record shall we? At Inter Milan, he won 3 Serie A titles but all 3 of those were helped hugely by the effects of the Calciopoli scandal, where Juventus were relegated, and AC Milan, Fiorentina, Lazio and Reggina were docked points.
During his time at Manchester City, he won the Premier League – only after almost losing to QPR on the last day of the season and scoring a last minute winner. And I don’t need to tell you about his record in Europe at both Inter and City, which was shockingly poor, considering the talent at his disposal.
I’m sure he’ll be just fine this afternoon, having a nice cup of tea thinking about the reported Â£28 million pay off he has to worry about.
Along with the new vacancy at The Etihad Stadium, a job has opened up at Everton. With Mourinho a dead cert to become Chelsea manager next season, people are looking to who could become the new boss at Goodison Park.
I know his name has been banded around for the Everton and possibly Wigan jobs but for me, Rafa Benitez would be excellent at Manchester City. He has extensive knowledge of the Premier League, has a good track record of managing egos and is astute in Europe. If Rafa was appointed at Manchester City, I would put them as favourites for the league ahead of Manchester United. If Rafa and Mourinho join City and Chelsea respectively, then it would be a really 3 horse race for the title next year. Arsenal and Tottenham would again be fighting for 4th position unless big changes were made.
But at least it would be a more interesting season. Manchester United pretty much cruised to the Premier League title this season and we need another competitive year. Arsenal are always capable of stringing a decent run together but it’s only usually in the final months of the season. If we have this massive war chest that people are reporting then we could compete, but does Arsene have the ability to pick the best talents? He’s been working on a shoe-string for so long it’s hard to know if he would spend the money on players that are truly world class.