Not for the football: Manchester City owners picked on Roberto Mancini’s relationships, says Kevin Keegan

By Paddy von Behr

Manchester City’s owners were searching for reasons to get rid of Roberto Mancini towards the end, according to former manager Kevin Keegan.

The Italian was sacked following City’s FA Cup final defeat, despite bringing City their first top-flight title in 44 years last season.

And Keegan is not convinced the reason for Mancini’s dismissal – poor relationships within the club – is enough to relieve him of his duties.

“They couldn’t say he hasn’t done a good job,” he told the BBC. “Three trophies in three years for a club that hasn’t won anything for so long was terrific.

“They picked on one area where they felt they could justify it – maybe he didn’t get on that well with the players.

“But it certainly worked when they won the FA Cup and when they won the league.”

Mancini’s exit came following his first season at the Etihad Stadium without a trophy, after clinching the FA Cup in 2011 and Premier League in 2012.

And the 48-year-old’s poor Champions League record – he has never reached the quarter-finals – continued as City fell at the group stage.

However, the manager thanked supporters with a full-page newspaper advert last week and they responded in support of him during Sunday’s clash with Norwich.

“I can understand the cheers for the boss,” said caretaker boss Brian Kidd after the 3-2 defeat.

“He would have been disappointed if there hadn’t been anything after all he has done here.

“We have fallen short of the standards we set last season but it was not from a lack of effort.

“Emotionally and right through the club, this has been a week that has taken a lot out of people.

“Now there is a new manager coming in and hopefully that will be done as quickly as possible so he can assess the situation.”

Image courtesy of TimeOutDubai, via YouTube, with thanks.

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