Belfast Telegraph

Friday 29 August 2014

Mancini and Pulis couldn't hack it

Manuel Pellegrini is the favourite to replace Roberto Mancini at the Etihad Stadium
Manuel Pellegrini is the favourite to replace Roberto Mancini at the Etihad Stadium

Forgive me – just this once – but I have to say 'I told you so'. Roberto Mancini's job wouldn't have been saved if Manchester City had won the FA Cup, a fact confirmed by the club's chief executive Ferran Soriano, and it didn't matter that Stoke avoided relegation: Tony Pulis was going anyway.

It's interesting though that the fate of both men was linked by a central consideration: the desire to play better football. Ordinarily, being runners up in league and cup would not be seen as a failure but City, the Manchester version, now aspire to more than that.

Under Mancini, they were too frequently dull to watch. Of course it's not unreasonable for Stoke fans to expect to watch even semi-decent football and that hardly ever happened under Pulis.

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