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How long for Roberto?

Roberto, Roberto, Roberto – what were you doing on Wednesday night? Why would you make such a tactical blunder midway through a Champions League encounter? We all know the story, with Manchester City struggling in Amsterdam, Mancini makes the decision to swap from a back four to a back three.

Cue Ajax netting and the players looking more than confused with the baffling tactical decision of their Italian manager. Talks on Friday suggest of a player mutiny, with Micah Richards and Joleon Lescott speaking out against the change in formation during the defeat to the Eredivisie champions.

It isn’t surprising to see a manager who is, tactically, very poor come under increasing pressure. With the players available to Mancini, he shouldn’t watch on as his City side limp through, what appears to be, another doomed Champions League campaign.

You only have to look back to last season to know that the Italian isn’t the right man to lead City. Granted, he may have guided them to Premier League glory, but effectively needing the very last kick of the season to win the title isn’t how it should’ve been won.

Yes, it added to the drama and suspense that saw last year dubbed ‘the best since its 1992 inception’, but with the players available at his disposal, it never should’ve gone all the way to the wire in the first place.

From a personal point of view, I’ve never rated Mancini as a manager anyway. He was lucky to have won his three Serie A titles between 2006 and 2008 as a result of the Calciopoli scandal, while Juventus’ relegation ensured they managed to pick up Zlatan Ibrahimovic on the cheap.

The two defining factors, with the Swede emerging as the hottest talent in Italy, ensured that dominance in Serie A was all but guaranteed, especially with the lack of competition from then main title rivals AC Milan and Juventus.

Some fans are of the opinion that without a Champions League winners medal come May that Mancini will be relieved of his duties, regardless of the domestic success. And with Pep Guardiola set to be available next summer, City could already have a potential successor lined up for the Italian.