Roberto Mancini deserved more time at Manchester City says former defender Andy Hinchcliffe

Italian given the chop after failing to meet 'stated targets'

Former Manchester City defender Andy Hinchcliffe believes the club have acted too soon by sacking Roberto Mancini as manager.

City finally put an end to three days of intense speculation over Mancini's position by announcing his departure late on Monday evening.

The club said the Italian had failed to achieve this season's "stated targets" while there was also a desire to develop a "holistic approach to all aspects of football" at City.

But after winning the Barclays Premier League last year and the FA Cup in 2011, despite European disappointments, Hinchcliffe feels Mancini deserved more time.

Hinchcliffe told Sky Sports News: "I am not surprised, there have been so many rumours that Roberto is going to be leaving the club.

"But I do think he has been treated rather harshly, it has been a difficult season, there has been reasons why City haven't done as well in the Premier League. Losing to Wigan in the FA Cup final was maybe the final straw.

"I am disappointed, I felt they should have given him at least another 12 months, another Champions League campaign to prove his worth.

"He signed a long-term contract at the back end of last year and I felt the owners got it right.

"You thought they realised it's not going to be success year after year - you do have to put things in place, lay the foundations.

"Getting Mancini on board with a long-term contract seemed the right move but things have drastically changed."

The reference to the 'holistic approach' in the statement in which City announced Mancini's departure has been interpreted by some people as a reference to other aspects of his management style.

Mancini certainly attracted criticism for some comments about certain players, which may not have helped dressing room harmony.Hinchcliffe feels it may not just be failings on the field with have cost Mancini.

Malaga coach Manuel Pellegrini, who reputedly has excellent man-management skills, is the overwhelming favourite to succeed Mancini.

Hinchcliffe said: "All this talk about a holistic approach - do they think Pellegrini will get the best out of the club and players, something more than Mancini did.

"Was there a fractured relationship with some players? Pellegrini might be able to put that right and Manchester City could move forward more quickly with a manager that understands players better."

That said, Hinchcliffe feels two successive failures in the Champions League may have been the ultimate factor.

He said: "Playing in the Champions League knockout stages is absolutely vital.

"Maybe that is the overriding factor, the one thing they were not completely sure about. Maybe they feel they will have a better chance under Pellegrini."

Mancini's departure came on the first anniversary of their dramatic title success and also on the eve of a Premier League game at Reading.

Assistant manager Brian Kidd has taken interim charge of the team for the trip to the Madejski Stadium, Sunday's final game of the season against Norwich and next week's tour of the United States.

Former City manager Brian Horton, who knows himself what it is like to fail to live up to expectations, can see both sides of the argument.

Horton, who like Mancini enjoyed the support of the fans, was axed in 1995 after disappointing Premier League finishes.

Horton told Sky Sports News: "It's a shock with what he has achieved - to win the cup and then the league, then second in the league and FA Cup - most clubs would take that.

"But having said that, with the money he has had and the owners, second best is not good enough.

"It is a bit of a shock but I can understand it.

"To do what they did in the Champions League two years on the spin - they were very hard groups but they should have been beating the likes of Ajax - they have looked at the whole picture.

"To finish second in the league and get the sack is quite brutal, but that is what it is like in management now, and not just in the Premier League."

Pellegrini, formerly of Real Madrid and Villarreal, has been heavily linked with City since the weekend but Horton would not be surprised if other names were in the frame.

He even feels Jose Mourinho, expected to leave Madrid, would be the ideal choice.

He said: "I think people would love Mourinho to come here.

"I think he is the name on everybody's lips. What a 'wow' factor for Manchester, with David Moyes taking over at United and someone like Mourinho taking over here - he'd blow it apart."


Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
peopleMathematician John Nash inspired the film Beautiful Mind
Richard Blair is concerned the trenches are falling into disrepair
newsGeorge Orwell's son wants to save war site that inspired book
Life and Style
Audrey Hepburn with Hubert De Givenchy, whose well-cut black tuxedo is a 'timeless look'
fashionIt may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
Arts and Entertainment
The pair in their heyday in 1967
Life and Style
fashionFrom bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine