Roberto Mancini has now been out of a job since he was sacked by Manchester City’s board in May for failure in the Barclays Premier League last season, as well as in the domestic and continental cup competitions. There were mixed reactions to this from a lot of people, but the deed was done, and City are now playing under the rule of Chilean Manuel Pellegrini.
After his sacking, perhaps for not being ‘holistic’ enough, some reports suggested that the Italian would take a break from the game in order to regain some energy after a turbulent spell in England. However, this appears to have not been the case; just five months on and he is back in a job, this time with Turkish giants Galatasaray, who sacked Fatih Terim last month after Real Madrid’s mauling of the Turks in the Champions League just days earlier.
It is fair to say that most people were not shocked by Terim’s departure from his third spell with Gala. Sure, they may not have had the best start to the season under the current Turkish national team boss, but he brought success back to the Turk Telekom Arena, and to sack him so early into the season is a bit harsh. There was allegedly a two-hour meeting between the man and his board, and at some point Terim rejected a new two-year contract, with his current one due to expire in June of next year. After this, a unanimous decision was passed by the board, and the 60 year-old was sacked from his position.
Gala have appointed someone just as good, if not better, in Mancini, as well as a lot of pedigree. Having won domestic trophies in both Italy and England, along with league titles in both too, he’s obviously a very good manager, which is hard to deny no matter who you support. He may not have had the most gracious time with City, especially during the Carlos Tevez saga, but he still brought success to the blue half of Manchester and did so in style.
Fans of Galatasaray can expect to see a fantastic and enthralling style of play under their new Italian manager. It’s almost like Barcelona – although obviously not as good – the way Mancini tried to get his charges at City to play, and this was typified in his title-winning Premier League season. Some of the play in that season was absolutely exhilarating, and if he can reproduce half of that in Turkey, the Cimbom fans are in for a treat.
Having some very good players plying their trade with the club at his disposal, this certainly won’t harm Mancini’s task either. Along with established stars like Didier Drogba and Wesley Sneijder - both of whom are stars for their respective countries - there are also some high-quality players who are only really being noticed recently, such as Burak Yilmaz. Yilmaz has starred in attack for the Turkish side in the last couple of years and is now being linked with what would probably be a dream move to the Premier League, with Liverpool lined up as possible suitors.
There are a couple of niggling worries for both Galatasaray supporters and followers of Mancini though. Firstly, he may find it quite hard to win over the supporters. When the last coach was sacked recently, a large amount of fans went to the Gala training facilities to protest the decision, and also call for the resignation of the entire board. This shows their loyalty and respect for Fatih Terim, and means it could be a bit more difficult for Mancini to come in and be under no pressure. We’ve seen before how much the fans not getting behind a new manager for whatever reason can do, and the damage it can cause. Mancini can succeed with his new team, but only if the fans aren’t too pressurizing.
Another worry is that Mancini doesn’t exactly seem to be the best man-manager in the game - we saw this with the infamous Tevez situation. Whilst that may not entirely have been his fault, he didn’t exactly cover himself in glory with the whole thing, and it was a big dampener on his most successful season with the Blues. If this continues as a trend in Turkey, and he loses the dressing room like Andre Vilas-Boas did in his short spell at Chelsea, it could prove very costly indeed for Roberto.
But overall, Mancini brought success to Manchester City and played a good brand of football along the way. Just to see it in action is something fans will treasure for a long time to come, and most have enjoyed the majority of his spell here. Last season may not have been his best, but he wasn’t exactly treated fantastically by the board. He constantly asked publicly for their backing, yet time and again they didn’t give it to him, which cost Manchester City dearly. Hours before the FA Cup Final at Wembley, stories broke that Pellegrini had reportedly agreed to join the Blues at the end of the season, which didn’t exactly help Roberto in his final days at the club. This is one aspect which easily could have been prevented.
But there is much to look forward to in seeing how Mancini copes with his new team in a completelynew league. Currently, Gala sit in a unimpressive 13th place in the Süper Lig after 7 games, managing just one win. However, there is still a long way to go in this season, and we could well see Gala top of the tree for what would be a 20th time by May of next year. There’s going to be a lot of other clubs gunning for the title though, and it’ll be an interesting battle, that’s for sure.
Written by Ben Warner