Roberto Mancini has been through this before, having been replaced at Inter Milan in 2008 despite winning a third straight Italian title. He knows what the expectations are at big clubs, and he knows what happens when you don’t meet them. If anybody should understand Manchester City letting him go after he failed to make progress last season, it’s Mancini.
Unfortunately, the current Galatasaray boss continues to be deeply embittered about his departure from Eastlands. Having previously tried to lay claim to City’s 2013-14 success, Mancini is back in the English press, calling his former clubs’ executives “Judas” for interviewing other coaching prospects while he was still under contract.
“I found out [after leaving Manchester City] that they were talking to three or four managers in February, March and April. I know they were talking to Pep Guardiola and Carlo Ancelotti. And these were the same people I sat down with for dinner before the FA Cup final. It was like Judas …
“… they were working behind my back and sacked me two games before the end of the season. I did not even have the chance to say goodbye to the Manchester City fans.”
Specially targeting City executives Ferran Soriano and Txiki Begiristain, Mancini said chairman Khaldoon al-Mubarak “probably .. just followed [their advise].” Still, Mancini derided al-Mubarak for not being forthright in light of the pair’s four-year working relationship.
Mancini later took out a full page ad in the Manchester Evening News thanking fans of their support, a gesture the fans returned 10 days later. Since, the former Fiorentina and Lazio coach has moved to Istanbul, where he replaced Fatih Terim at Turkish champions Galatasaray this fall.
Four points back to Fenerbahçe in Turkey with Champions League resuming this month, you’d think Mancini has other things to do besides dwell on his former haunts. But we’ve all been dumped before, and as much as we’d like to turn the page and go on with our lives, too often we need more substantive closure with our former loves.
Mancini’s going through that progress. He’s hurt. He’s acting out as a way to cope. In the soccer world, that means complaining to the media. While from the outside it seems understandable that coaches like Guardiola and Ancelotti would be pursued by a team looking at potential replacements, Mancini’s view doesn’t all that. He’s still recovering from being dumped.
Maybe a nice “it’s not you, it’s me” not from Soriano and Begiristain would make everything all right. More likely, Mancini needs to deal with his frustrations on his own terms.