Mancini to blame as Man City fail to make any progress

Roberto Mancini

But City boss says he is not concerned about his job prospects after Champions League exit

LAST UPDATED AT 11:49 ON Thu 22 Nov 2012

MANCHESTER CITY'S early exit from the Champions League was confirmed on Wednesday night as they could only draw 1-1 with ten-man Real Madrid at the Etihad and now lie bottom of their group with a meagre three poinsts from five games.

But if Roberto Mancini was concerned about his job prospects, especially after seeing Champions League winner Roberto Di Matteo get the chop at Chelsea, he was not letting on

Asked about his failure to get into the knock-out stages of the competition for the second successive season, Mancini said: "If we think we can win the Champions League after two years we are crazy."

But winning Europe's top prize and mounting some sort of challenge are two different things, points out Phil McNulty of the BBC. "This has been a dispiriting Champions League campaign for a club of such high ambition. City's group was tough but they have looked desperately unconvincing... [and] it is not insanity to expect more points than City have delivered."

He points out that the English champions are even in danger of missing out on the consolation prize of a place in the Europa League as they lie bottom of their group with only a trip to table-toppers Borussia Dortmund to come.

After his £1 billion investment the club's owner, Sheikh Mansour, has the right to expect better says Paul Hayward in The Daily Telegraph. "[Such an investment] demands not instant gratification but evidence of progress. This autumn there was none," he says. The failure "greatly weakens" Mancini's position at the club, he adds.

The verdict on the City manager at Goal.com is harsh. "There is simply no evidence that Mancini has any idea what his best team looks like," says George Ankers. "There is consistency of neither selection nor basic shape and, when you come up against elite teams such as Real Madrid or Borussia Dortmund, that kind of behaviour is punished."

City had a tough group and a failure to progress is forgivable, but "failure to approach the challenge with a focused vision is not". · 

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