After Manchester City lost 3-1 away in Amsterdam on Wednesday night to Ajax, qualification to the knock-outs stage looks highly unlikely for the second successive season, could this be a failure too far for City’s owners?
After 3 games Man City have one point and that many would say was a lucky one against the very impressive Germans Dortmund.
The City manager has admitted that a miracle is needed to prevent the champions of arguably the best league in the world from suffering the embarrassment of a very early exit from Europe’s premier club competition.
Mancini may face questions about his ability at this level after proving once more that he cannot get a handle on the Champions League especially away from home. He never got further than the last eight during his tenure at Italian giants Inter Milan and unless the gods smile on him this season that does not look like changing for the better.
It is true City were drawn in this seasons “Group of Death” and this is a group any of the Premier League’s finest would have found hard to finish top or even perhaps second in, but the champions are making it look near impossible and look a side in disarray in Europe.
It is now only an outside bet at best, that City will make third place in their group and claim a slot in the unwanted by most, Europa League. I doubt Mancini will want the extra fixtures the Europa League brings as he attempts to retain the Premiership crown, especially with Chelsea looking in such devastating form at the moment and United yet to reach their peak form.
The added complication is that if City fail to turn this embarrassing situation around, their lack of pedigree in this seasons tournament leaves them wide open to the another harsh draw should they qualify for next seasons competition.
City were once a team that was based on the solid tried and tested Mancini formula and looked powerful and decisive but, they have looked vulnerable in Europe and this must be a major concern for the Italian and the Manchester clubs ambitious owners.
No one suggests you go out and win the Champions League at the first or even second attempt, it took Chelsea a good few seasons even with the Russian billionaires heavy investment but with City’s substantial backing and fantastic squad you would expect better from them, especially when you look at Tottenham’s debut season.
There are still games to play and points to be won but one would suggest on Wednesdays performance an early farewell looks imminent for Manchester City and who knows even maybe for Mancini, we have seen stupider sackings in the past.