Mancini under pressure at City, but Liverpool trust in Rodgers
Anfield boss Rodgers will be given time, but unbeaten Mancini's future is uncertain
FALLEN giants Liverpool may be sitting 12th in the league with just one home win under their belts this term and a team full of teenagers, but manager Brendan Rodgers has been given the explicit backing of the club's owners, while not far away in Manchester, City boss Roberto Mancini appears to be inching closer to the Etihad exit door, despite the champions' unbeaten start to the league season.
Despite the very different fortunes of their respective clubs it is Mancini who looks the most vulnerable manager after it was reported that he came close to quitting City last season to take a job with Monaco.
The Guardian adds to the pressure on Mancini by claiming that he held "secret talks" with Monaco, and says that owner Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev was prepared to pay Mancini €8m a year.
"Mancini eventually signed a new five-year contract at City in July, but not before Monaco had formed the distinct impression he was willing to sever his ties with his current club... [The] terms of a prospective contract with Monaco had been agreed. Monaco, in short, were convinced they had got their man," reports the paper.
It also points out that Mancini is under pressure after City effectively blew their chances of qualifying for the knock-out stages of the Champions League by earning just one point from their first three games.
To make matters worse there have been rumblings of discontent from some players over the manager's tactical tinkering this season and to cap it all former Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola is being linked with the City job after his mentor Txiki Begiristain arrived at the Etihad as sporting director.
Mancini has tried to make light of the situation by insisting "I don't read the newspapers" but he could be forgiven for glancing enviously at Anfield, where Brendan Rodgers has seen his young side manage just ten points from their opening nine games, but appears to be in an unassailable position.
After watching his side lose 3-1 to Swansea in the Capital One Cup on Wednesday he bemoaned the lack of players at his disposal. The reaction of the club's American owners has been to promise new funds in January to fund a recruitment drive. Arsenal's Theo Walcott is said to be top of his shopping list.
"The thinness of Rodgers' options [has been] laid bare," reported The Daily Telegraph. "The urgency for reinforcements to relieve the pressure on Luis Suarez, Steven Gerrard and the club's increasingly overburdened youngsters [is] all too clear."
However, Rodgers will be given time. "The volume of money wasted at Anfield since [Liverpool's] last successful spending splurge in 2007 is horrifying," reports The Daily Telegraph. "The Anfield board know Rodgers is paying the price for this legacy, which is why they have adopted a long-term strategy. The surrendering of their League Cup title is a setback, but the Northern Irishman can expect several transfer windows to assemble his own team."
Perhaps surpsrisingly, given their respective positions, both Mancini and Rodgers are 20/1 to become the next Premier League manager to be sacked.