With two matches left to play, Manchester City have officially sacked manager Roberto Mancini one year to the day after he led them to the Premier League title. Days of speculation and rumor made it seem like an inevitabality, but Man City announced the decision with a statement on their official website Monday night, the crux of which is the following paragraph:
Despite everyone’s best efforts, the Club has failed to achieve any of its stated targets this year, with the exception of qualification for next season’s UEFA Champions League. This, combined with an identified need to develop a holistic approach to all aspects of football at the Club, has meant that the decision has been taken to find a new manager for the 2013/14 season and beyond.
If Mancini did achieve the goal of Champions League qualification, then he didn't exactly fail to achieve any of the club's stated targets this year. Also, use of the phrase "holistic approach" is already being widely mocked for being nonsensical. Clearly this statement could have been written much better both in explaining why Mancini was sacked and avoiding backlash from the public and press.
The following is the statement Man City should have made...
Manchester City Football Club announces that Roberto Mancini has been relieved of his duties as Manchester City manager. We do not regret this decision. We will now tell you why if you can pay attention and wait an extra two minutes before writing your next snarky tweet about us, which we know is difficult for you.
First, the obvious: Being 13 points behind Man United in the table after winning the league last year is just unacceptable. Also, we lost to Wigan in the FA Cup final. Wigan. We'll repeat that one more time: Wigan.
When deciding whether to stick with Mancini, one of the most important questions we asked ourselves was, "Do we want to win the Champions League at some point?" The answer was a unanimous "yes" if you exclude Samir Nasri's response (which we do because he wasn't paying attention to the question and he's worthless). Given that answer, we simply could keep Mancini any longer.
Roberto Mancini has never taken a team past the quarterfinals of the Champions League. Again, we will repeat that: Roberto Mancini has never taken a team past the quarterfinals of the Champions League. Last season, we didn't even make it out of the group stage, finishing third. This season we finished dead last in our group with a humiliating 0-3-3 record. This is beyond unacceptable for the reigning champions of England. Though we have admittedly been drawn into very difficult groups these last two years, we aren't some scrappy little rag-tag club. We literally have a secret army of robot butlers.
So to recap, that's 13 points behind Man United in the league, a loss to Wigan in the FA Cup final (Wigan), and a winless Champions League group stage with no previous record of success in Europe. But results aside, it's also worth remembering that Mancini physically attacked Mario Balotelli on the training ground this season. What manager gets away with assaulting one of his own players besides Sir Alex Ferguson? Even Harry Redknapp knows you can't do that and Harry Redknapp doesn't even know how to read.
That brings the tally to: 13 points behind Man United in the league, a loss to Wigan in the FA Cup final (Wigan! WIGAN!!!!), a winless Champions League group stage and a physical altercation with one of his own players during training. Also, his style of play can be summed up in Gareth Barry. Is Gareth Barry what you pay to see? Is this a manager we should still have confidence in? Yes, it's lovely that he helped us win the FA Cup in 2011 and the Premier League in 2012 (with support from Joey Barton and Kun Aguero) and he boosted scarf sales exponentially, but it's just time to move on.
This isn't to say that Roberto Mancini is a bad manager or a bad person. But our progress has not only stagnated, but regressed and we see no hope of that changing. So instead of hoping that David Moyes poops the bed at Man United, waiting for another group-stage exit from the Champions League and letting Mancini stay just because people think change is somehow immoral, we've decided to sack him.
Disloyal striker Carlos Tevez will take interim responsibility for the remaining two games of the season and the post-season tour to the United States just because we want to make your heads explode. Deal with it.