It had been a very, very long time since Manchester City won anything before hero Roberto Mancini came along.
Believe it or not, Manchester City were still living in the shadow of their rivals Manchester United when Roberto Mancini inherited the throne from former boss Mark Hughes who was sacked in 2009 (as per The Guardian).
“Roberto is a hugely experienced manager with a proven track record of winning trophies and championships,” said City’s chairman, Khaldoon al-Mubarak, at the time. “What is absolutely clear is that Roberto believes in Manchester City’s potential to achieve at the highest level and importantly in his own ability to make this happen.
Manchester City housing special managerial talents is a pretty normal accepted and expected thing now. However, this was not so much the case just a decade ago. Before Roberto Mancini came Mark Hughes, a man who has recently been sacked by none other than Stoke City for the football he played, Sven Goran Eriksson, infamous for his abysmal reign over the England squad, and Stuart Pearce, renowned psychopath. It was a pretty special moment, then, when the Italian mastermind, who had guided Inter Milan to three domestic titles and two domestic cups, was given the City hotseat.
We very much doubt either Roberto Mancini or the City boardroom had anything idea about the seismic events that would unfold just two years after his appointment. Indeed, not one single person in the world could have envisaged the truly special moment handed to us on a golden plate engraved with the word “Agueroooooooooooooooooo”.
From his mind games in the weeks leading up to the game, in which he constantly claimed the title chase was up – even though we are sure he was quietly confident about Manchester United’s chances of self-combusting – to the special moment on the day he delivered City’s first topflight since 1968, it was all a stroke of genius.
Sadly, a year on the day of their Premier League triumph, Mancini was sacked following his failure “to achieve any of the club’s targets, with the exception of qualification for next season’s Champions League” (as per BBC Sport). Fans were understandably displeased with the unceremonious disposal of the man who had given them so much, but deep down they probably knew it was the right choice. Big things were coming.
The Italian was appointed the manager of Galatasaray in the winter of 2013 and led the side to second place in the domestic league, and the last 16 of the Champions League before leaving in June 2014 (as per BBC Sport).
A disastrous return to the San Siro and Inter Milan would follow, before a bizarre move to Russia and Zenit St Petersburg.
In 2017 Roberto Mancini agreed to leave Zenit St Petersburg amid links with the Italy job and by 2018 he had succeeded the position from Gian Piero Ventura. The former Manchester City man is now revolutionising the way the international team play by ditching the traditional defensively focused style of play for a more open and attacking approach.
Manchester City fans, what are some of your standout memories of Roberto Mancini? Let us know below…
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