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Man City regressing under Roberto Mancini, now 7/4 for the sack

Tottenham’s face-off against Manchester City on Sunday was only ever going to prove a definitive game for one team, the hosts, who would’ve been on the cusp of letting Champions League qualification slip through their fingers for the second time in three seasons if losing. However as it turned out, their comeback may yet prove a more definitive result for the Sky Blues and in particular their underachieving manager Roberto Mancini, who was briefly cut to 4/7 by Coral to be sacked before the beginning of the 2013/14 campaign.

After the glories of last term, in which City stalked their Manchester rivals down the home straight before dispatching them in the most deliciously cruel fashion possible, this season was supposed to be about establishing themselves among the big dogs in Europe. However last May’s champagne hangover seemed to still be in effect, with the defensive chastity that underpinned their title charge forgone in an ignominious Champions League group stage exit.

Instead of progress, the Italian manager will oversee a return to the levels of achievement of his debut full season in the Eithad post at best, should he mastermind an FA Cup final victory – for which they can be backed at 3/10. At the end of that 2011/12 campaign there were ominous noises regarding the manager’s tenure, but ultimately the rumours were scotched by a phlegmatic City hierarchy.

Letting the league slip so easily from their grasp will irk Mancini’s employers, but ultimately the club’s poor Champions League performance may seal his fate. History doesn’t report kindly on the his ability to manage in European competition, where his Inter Milan team routinely failed to make a lasting impression despite seasons of domestic dominance.

Jose Mourinho parked his “special” behind in Mancini’s still warm San Siro hotseat in 2008 and in two seasons he’d landed the biggest club pot of them all, along with the Scudetto and the Coppa Italia in na unheard of domestic treble. Should a manager of Mourinho’s calibre become available, it may be difficult for the City board to maintain their loyalty to Mancini.