It must be strange to be a Manchester City fan at the moment. After years of turmoil, including a brief stay in the third tier of English football, all their dreams seemed to have come true when they were taken over by a group of billionaires from the Middle East. However, the club haven’t quite had things all their own way. Despite spending masses of cash on high-profile players such as Robinho the club failed to secure European football last season and looked like they’d miss out on a Champions League spot again this term. It was this, coupled with the poor form of their closest rivals – most notably Liverpool – that cost Mark Hughes his job. Although he had been told he only needed to finish in the top six, the owners clearly decided he should have done better as the Big Four had clearly weakened substantially. So he was on his way and in came Roberto Mancini. He got off to a dream start winning his first four games in charge. However, it’s fair to say that these weren’t against the toughest opposition in the league and yesterday the Italian suffered a rude awakening as his team crashed to a 2-0 defeat at the hands of a resurgent Everton side.
The result is likely to act as a wake-up call for Mancini who now knows that life in the Premier League isn’t as easy as it must have seemed at first. He will also know that if he does want to break into the top four, he will have to offload some dead wood. Take Robinho for example. He doesn’t look happy in a City shirt and there are rumours that his continued presence at the club is more down to the owners’ fondness for him rather than the performances he has been putting in. Mancini has a big task on his hands and it remains to be seen how long he will be given to do it. He might have bitten off more than he can chew.