Mancini may have blown the title but City should still do all they can to keep him

The title race is over... but I don't believe that means Roberto Mancini should be sacked.

Unless Jose Mourinho or Pep Guardiola say in the summer, 'yes, I'd love the job' then I truly believe Manchester City would gain nothing from bringing in another manager and turning the club upside down once more.

Of course, if either of those two expresses an interest then it changes things, but otherwise I believe Mancini has done enough to earn one more crack at it.

He'll have to learn from his mistakes though - and there have been some big mistakes this season - but he seems to have the ability to adapt his methods to take on board some of lessons that inevitably crop up.

Perhaps the single biggest problem that has completely undermined City's season, is the bad apples that have destroyed spirit at precisely the wrong moment.

You can't have the likes of Balotelli or Tevez doing what they've done and win titles. The problems those two have caused, it is totally, utterly ridiculous.

I'm with Mourinho when he says Balotelli is unmanageable, and you only have to look at Fergie's response to Tevez to know what Mancini should have done there.

The United boss looked at him, thought about it, and said 'you know, he's just not worth it', and let him go.

Mancini can learn from Ferguson, because every club has those players, and it's how you deal with them that defines whether you're a  top class manager or not.

Fergie keeps a lid on it, he's only had Rooney causing problems in recent years, and he sorted that one out swiftly and cannily. Look back over the years though, and the first sign that players could impact on the spirit of the squad and they're out the door.

Stam, Van Nistelrooy, Yorke, Ince, Kanchelskis, Hughes - they were all dealt with ruthlessly.

You can indulge players if they are enhancing the overall spirit, but if you look at the likes of Balotelli, it's clear the City players are looking at him and going 'what the hell is this about'.

You can't have 14 teas and one coffee and win the title.

What has Mancini been doing the past three months? He's been firefighting problems from two players, when he should have been concentrating on the fight with Fergie.

I think City will look back in future years and realise what a fantastic position they were in, and how they blew it by indulging players that should have been shown the door. Yet Mancini has shown he's capable of learning.

For a start, it's clear he'll get rid of Tevez and Balotelli in the summer, and he can learn from Fergie in two more crucial ways too.

First, United have shown down the years their pre-season training is designed entirely to cover the last third of the actual season. United get into the home stretch, and there's no moaning about injuries, no excuses about tiredness, because they expect this situation, and know how to deal with it.

Mancini seems to have spent his waking hours, when he's not dealing with bad players, complaining about his squad's tiredness, and he only has to look across the City to see how he should be handling things.

The other area where he must improve is tactically.

In games like Sporting Lisbon, Stoke away and Swansea away, he's got it just a fraction wrong - got his philosophy wrong.

Look at Manchester United. They open out the play. They effectively have four wingers who stretch games and make space for Rooney to play in.

When Young is tired, Fergie brings on Nani. There's always width and always threat.

City had that with Silva in the first five months of the season, but I think they've got too narrow, too constrained, in recent weeks and have paid the price.

Mancini though, is not a coach who is blind to the need to change.

He can learn from this experience, learn from Fergie, and can turn it around.

So long as he dumps Balotelli!

***

I sometimes watch Kenny Dalglish giving press conferences and don't even recognise the person in front of the cameras.

Kenny goes in there with a suit of armour on, and you can see him looking at the people asking the questions and thinking, 'What the hell are you going on about?'

It's a problem because, in this day and age, the PR perception is an important part of the job.

I would like to see more of Kenny's real personality come across in those situations because, even if the public don't see it, he's a funny, intelligent guy.

And I think he'll be more determined that ever to turn things around at Liverpool.

He won't buckle under the pressure - he won't even be feeling pressure.

He'll be telling the players that what is happening is not acceptable, and he's strong enough to sort it out.

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williamhill.com

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