Will the FA Cup save Mancini?

The upcoming FA Cup semi-final between Manchester City and Chelsea may represent a significant moment in the career of Roberto Mancini and the history of Manchester City.

15 points behind rivals Manchester United in the Premier League, Manchester City realistically remain in contention for just one trophy this season – the FA Cup. The FA Cup was the first piece of silverware that Italian boss Mancini delivered to Eastlands and it may be his last. This summer we will learn whether Manchester City’s Middle Eastern owners are willing to approach their quest for success at Manchester City with patience or ruthlessness and if they are willing to forego a second consecutive abysmal Champions League failure and a Premier League title defence which has never really taken off this season.

Success in the FA Cup may be Roberto Mancini’s only saviour as it may still represent a sign of progress for Manchester City under the stewardship of the former Inter Milan boss, who has now been at the helm at the City of Manchester stadium for over 3 years.

There was speculation that Mancini’s job may only have been saved by Sergio Aguero’s famous last-gasp title clinching goal which delivered City’s first top division victory for 44 years. Failure to secure the championship from such an advantageous position may have forced the hand of the Manchester City owners and the feeble challenge that the Citizens have mounted this season may provoke those in charge in the blue half of Manchester to consider their options once more.

With Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho more than likely to make his return to the Premier League this summer, Manchester City may consider ‘The Special One’ as a viable replacement and alternative for current incumbent Mancini.

Last summer’s signings of Jack Rodwell, Scott Sinclair and Matija Nastasic and the decision to sell Nigel De Jong to Milan certainly appear queastionable and Mancini’s failure to settle on his best central defensive partnership this season may have raised questions within the Manchester City hierarchy. These failures in the context of City’s performances and results on the pitch and the imminent arrival of Jose Mourinho to the Premier League may provide enough ammunition for the City owners to pull the trigger on Mancini’s Eastlands career, regardless of whether or not he lifts the FA Cup aloft at Wembley in May.