Man City crash out of Europe, is it time to replace Mancini?

Dec 5, 2012

City miss out on Europa League after worst ever campaign by an English team

MANCHESTER CITY'S ignominious exit from Europe was confirmed by a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Borussia Dortmund last night, and the result means that the Citizen's campaign is now the worst ever by an English club in the Champions League.

Roberto Mancini's men even missed out on a place in the Europa League after finishing bottom of their group.

City became the first English side not to win a single group stage game, pointed out The Guardian. "Even the Blackburn side of 1995-96, hitherto regarded as representing the nadir of English incompetence in Europe's premier club competition, managed four points. City ended up with three."

But after the match Mancini insisted he was not embarrassed by his side's performance in Europe, but admitted his side had a "big problem" scoring goals. "You can't be embarrassed when you play 100 per cent," said the Italian manager.

City goalkeeper Joe Hart was less sanguine about the result. He said the team had let themselves down by failing to even qualify for the Europa League.

"We should be fighting to go through to the last 16 on the last day and we have only got ourselves to blame that we are not," he said.

City were downed by a 57th-minute winner from Borussia Dortmund's Julian Schieber, which extends Mancini's poor European record. "[He] has struggled as a manager in Europe's elite competition and has never got past the quarter-final stage having reached the last eight with Inter Milan twice," noted the BBC. Three of his seven Champions League campaigns have ended at the group stage.

"The inquest was already well under way before last night but the manner in which City went down without much of a fight against a Borussia Dortmund team who never got out of third gear will disappoint those Arab paymasters who had at least hoped for the consolation prize of the Europa League," reported The Times.

"It would be wrong to lay the blame squarely at Mancini's door. He has been let down by his star names," added the paper, which then appeared to suggest a change of manager could reverse City's European fortunes. "But then as Jose Mourinho proved when he lifted the European Cup with many of the players he inherited from Mancini at Inter Milan, it is incumbent on the coach to extract the best from his players."

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