Updated: Wednesday, 18th September 2019 @ 2:33pm

Tuesday Team Talk: Wigan win is victory for underdogs everywhere but City sheikh needs to learn how to lose

Tuesday Team Talk: Wigan win is victory for underdogs everywhere but City sheikh needs to learn how to lose

Comment by Ross McLean

Sacking Mancini is a foolish, knee-jerk reaction – football's money men need to learn how to lose...

Out-in-the-cold Roberto Mancini has every right to be angry and dismayed by the decision of the club’s top brass to sack him – exactly 12 months after winning the Barclays Premier League.

While Wigan Athletic’s FA Cup Final victory sent shockwaves through the football world, few could argue against the Latics being good value for their triumph.

And for some it evoked memories of a life pre-Premier League and Middle East riches, and in particular the Crazy Gang’s humbling of the mighty Liverpool in 1988.

Perhaps City have underachieved this year and some even argue Mancini sailed under his lucky star, managing Inter post-Calcioppoli scandal and then walking into a job with unlimited resources.

And while that argument is an interesting one and carries merit, removing the 48-year-old former Sampdoria striker at this point in time is surely counter-productive.

There is no doubt City have failed to kick on this season after wrestling the title from Manchester United’s grasp last season.

City failed in Europe – albeit in a very tough group – and few could argue their recruitment policy needs improving after last summer proved largely fruitless in terms of squad strengthening.

And that is key, even successful teams have to evolve and continue developing – look across the Manchester divide and there is a master at that.

Last night the red half of the city were celebrating the career of Sir Alex Ferguson and 20 top-flight titles. That’s what stability can bring.

But that is the point. No commentator, former professional or rent-a-quote has any idea how Manchester United will be affected by the retirement of Sir Alex.

There is a unique opportunity now for the rest of the league to exploit uncertainty in the corridors of Old Trafford and try and secure a grip on power.

The reactionary, trigger-happy approach could well do City harm in the long run.

Wigan won a great battle for the underdog in Saturday’s final but football’s money men – Sheikh Mansour and Khaldoon al Mubarak included – need to learn how to lose.

Irrespective of the considerable investment, City had trophies in the cabinet from the Mancini reign, and more would surely have followed over the coming years.

Appointing the latest flavour of the month – Manuel Pellegrini is touted as Mancini’s replacement – could well set City back.

Especially at a time when their closest challengers will be starting afresh this close season with new managerial appointments.

Will Moyes succeed at United and be able to continue the Ferguson dynasty? Can Mourinho replicate the success he enjoyed at Stamford Bridge before his unceremonious exit in 2007?

What is known is that Mancini had the capability to win silverware at the Etihad Stadium, he just needed backing and players to instigate a plan B.

He deserved more time at least.

Wigan on the other went into bat for the underdogs and the footballing ‘have nots’ and came out the other side with a first major trophy in their 81-year history.

The Latics deserve all the plaudits after thoroughly deserving their day in the sun after outplaying their much more expensively assembled Greater Manchester rivals.

But while the heroics of Roberto Martinez’s men will not be downgraded should relegation beset them, they will be tainted.

And this looks a distinct possibly given Sunday’s results which means defeat at the Emirates tonight against Arsenal will see them playing Championship football next season.

A draw would see them needing a considerable number of snookers given Sunderland’s superior goal-difference. They need two wins from two.

And it’s such a shame Wigan only seem to start playing in March as the team which took City to task on Saturday has more vibrancy than most in the league’s bottom third.

So what next for Martinez?

His association with the Latics started way back in 1995 when he came to these shores alongside Jesus Seba and Isidro Diaz as the trio formed the “The Three Amigos.”

His last act could be to oversee his beloved side’s demotion but if given a choice it is arguable most Wigan fans would take the FA Cup win over staying up.

It is a debatable point but Wigan’s history is now defined by the trophy win.

And while relegation may shape their future one way or another, in Dave Whelan the Latics have a fantastic owner who won’t play roulette with the club’s future.

Whether that future, relegation or otherwise, includes Roberto Martinez remains to be seen.

There is a job on Merseyside going begging which would also enable the Spaniard to work under another respectable and responsible chairman.

Martinez, similar to David Moyes, is not judged on silverware as this tends to be the preserve of the wealthy elite in the game. 

But on Saturday that all changed as Martinez went from someone ‘who tries to play football the right way’ to a champion.

One former British prime minister once said that power without principles is barren, although principles without power is futile. Martinez now has both. 

And should Wigan’s season end in relegation, Martinez will surely be waved off into the sunset by the Latics’ faithful. 

Some birds aren’t meant to be caged and he deserves a chance to spread his wings, but he has two further cup finals this week to face first.

Inage courtesy of CityTV via MCFC video player, with thanks.

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