Mancini penned new five year contract
Success may well breed success, but it also breeds expectation. Mancini may the protection of a five-year contract but this will not guard against City slipping from the position they have put themselves in.
July 13th, 2012
There was a late flurry of speculation earlier this week that linked Roberto Mancini to the vacant managerial post of the Russian national team, but this suggestion was quickly quashed when news filtered through that Mancini had penned a new five-year contract at the Premier League champions to tie him at the club until the summer of 2017.
It is a move that is mutually beneficial. City, fresh off a first Premier League title lock up the manager who delivered it and Mancini gets an extension (and although no financial terms have been released, an upgrade on the terms) that strengthens his position at the helm.
During the final stages of the 2011/12 Premier League season, with City stuttering in their pursuit of the title, Mancini’s position was much speculated; stellar names such as Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho mooted as alternatives waiting in the wings for when the axe fell. The reality is that even in the event of City not completing their comeback the Italian would still be in charge.
Make no mistake, Mancini can be considered as one of the elite managers in the game and his achievements at City should in no way be underestimated, despite the advantageous situation he arrived at. Mancini by all accounts is a very demanding manager; of his players, his coaching staff and the club itself. The owners are no fools either but from what we have seen of Mancini it would be no surprise if he had conditions that he wanted met to ensure his signature. Whilst transfer funds would be central to this, guarantees over his position and specifically the extent of his influence would be equally key.
During his three and a half years at the club, City have progressed tremendously both on and off the pitch. The club have made tremendous strides off the pitch but the on-pitch progression has been equally as sharp and Mancini’s influence has grown in equal measure. A ruthless streak has seen those who have fallen out of favour frozen out or moved on and the coaching and backroom staff is unilaterally Mancini’s; his imprint very much embedded throughout the club.
Whilst the new contract seemingly increases the control that Mancini has at City, this is in no way a one-way street. The deal is a signal of the club’s backing and confidence in him, but having landed the FA Cup and then the Premier League in successive seasons expectations will only increase.
Success may well breed success, but it also breeds expectation. Mancini may the protection of a five-year contract but this will not guard against City slipping from the position they have put themselves in. City you feel are now locked in as a top four club for the foreseeable future but this will not be enough.
Challenging for titles will be the minimum requirement on the domestic front but the hierarchy will also now be turning towards Europe. City were always going to get a pass in last season’s Champions League but not this season and progression from the group stages will be the minimum requirement and having put themselves amongst the Premier League elite, Mancini will be charged with repeating this on Europe’s big stage.
Can he achieve this? The answer could well determine whether he is still in charge at the club come that summer of 2017.
Written by Danny Pugsley.