Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughManchester City’s failure in Europe – will it bring success in the long term? - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough Manchester City’s failure in Europe – will it bring success in the long term? - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

Manchester City’s failure in Europe – will it bring success in the long term?

Roberto Mancini summed it all up in his press conference:  “In football anything can happen. If Villarreal play a serious match they can get a result. It is important we play our game against Bayern Munich.”. And that’s what 212 million Euros gets you, a crunching must-win encounter against the German giants.

That’s something that clubs owners, who are seeking world domination, thought they would never be in: facing elimination in Europe’s biggest competition. The 2-1 defeat to Napoli, in which City target Edinson Cavani scored twice in each half, has placed Mancini’s men in a situation where anything less than victory over Bayern Munich, even if Napoli lose or draw, will find the mega rich club fighting in the Europa League – Europe’s secondary competition. Not something that superstars Sergio Aguero, Edin Dzeko, Yaya Toure, Vincent Kompany, just to name a few, expected at a club with such ambitions as Manchester City. The Europa League is something these players were not expected to participant in, but after an irregular Champions League, they deserve nothing more.

But let’s not take anything away from Napoli and Bayern Munich (as Villarreal has put up an useless effort). Napoli were fantastic in both games against City, drawing away and winning at home. They’re counter attacking style caught City off guard and fully deserved their win. Bayern, are pretty much the only team this season to have played City off the park. The 2-0 win at the Allianz Arena, saw the Munich giants hand City a footballing lesson. Yet, just like Mancini said “In football anything can happen”

Villarreal might not have anything to play for, but over the years there have been many occasions when teams with nothing to play for, defeat teams who have something to play for. This is one of those games. Napoli might have crumble under the pressure and fall to the Spanish team. They found themselves in a situation position against City and got the victory they deserved. A Napoli win and Manchester City are out – and thinking about it, is that really a bad thing?

Five points clear of their eternal rivals, Manchester United (who are also struggling to make it to next round in Europe) and without the distraction of European competition, City can solely focus on the  winning the Premier League.  If City’s owners are anything to come by, despite the billions they have spent is they are patient enough to wait for success. They have backed Mancini over the last couple of seasons, happy with the slow burning success that he has brought the club.

When the Italian took over, he had inherited a squad created from previous manager Mark Hughes. Adebayor, Roque Santa Cruz, Craig Bellamy were just a few names. Mancini knew they weren’t good enough, so he began a steady culling process while establishing a new style within the team. Narrowing missing out on a Champions League place to Totteham, rumours circulated that the Italian would be sacked. But he was given time to build his squad. Criticised last season for playing defensive football, the knives were out again. A third place finish, their first entry to the Champions League and winning the FA Cup were the result. Clearly, City’s Mega rich owners have placed trust in Mancini and are giving him time.  

It could be said, that with the money spent by Mancini and co, that City not qualifying for the next round would be deemed a failure: in terms of expenditure, yes; it terms of progression, no. Real Madrid are the City’s Spanish equivalent, spending millions over the years, with every limited success. Managerial changes were an annually criteria, which lead to an unstable team, in terms of personal, style and tactics. Only last year, did Madrid finally learn the need for a stable manager at helm with time to make his team his own. One must only look at how Mourinho has constructed this Madrid side, even though they were conquered by rivals Barcelona last season, he is still in charge.

Look across at the Blue side of Manchester and see similar patterns emerging. Mancini has been given time to construct a team to dominate the football world; this is a minor blip in an otherwise successful two year spell for Mancini. Winning the Premier League (and also the possibility of the FA Cup, League Cup, Europa League) would be a fantastic achievement for City. When Alex Ferguson started at United, it took him three years to win his first trophy, and six for the League. It took Wenger took two years to start his Arsenal Project. Falling at the first hurdle isn’t a big deal and if it can lead Manchester City to dominating football, then so be it.

Andrew Bishara



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