The Italian has suffered a rather disappointing season given last year’s dramatic title victory, and the ex-Manchester City defender believes even a Wembley win will not suffice
By Tom Marshall-Bailey
Former Manchester City defender Danny Mills believes Roberto Mancini may still face the managerial axe this summer even if he can lead the Blues to an FA Cup win on Saturday.
City are heavy favourites going into the final against Wigan, but a poor attempt to retain the title and a European campaign which saw them finish bottom of their group may ultimately cost the Italian his job.
|THE FA CUP FINAL
MAN CITY VS WIGAN
|PLAYERS TO WATCH
|Roberto Mancini’s team has not been on fire in front of goal lately – they have scored only five goals in their past five games – but Toure, at his best, can push them to another level. The Wigan midfield, although talented, will struggle to cope with his physicality.||The gifted 22-year-old is the standout player in the Wigan team and, with a host of top clubs rumoured to be interested in his signature, will test himself against the best at Wembley. The stage is set for a career-defining display.|
|CLICK HERE FOR OUR MATCH PREVIEW|
Mills believes the club must ask themselves questions about a lack of progress this season following last season’s title success.
The ex-England right-back told Goal: “It’s been a disappointing season from Manchester City’s point of view, purely in terms of progression.
“The Champions League campaign was disastrous, they finished well behind Manchester United.
“The argument would be that finishing second and winning an FA Cup, for most clubs is more than enough.
“But Manchester City, where they are at the moment, the amount of money they have spent, it’s the fact that they have slipped backwards a little bit this season.”
Mills bemoaned the lack of top-quality signings made last summer by the club in their attempts to stay ahead of the chasing pack, and believes winning the FA Cup would have no bearing on Mancini’s future.
He claimed: “They haven’t just stood still. All those players that were exceptional last year haven’t been quite as good this year and the signings brought in last year simply aren’t good enough.
“They weren’t good enough to improve the first XI, so that would worry me if I was the City board.
“We don’t really know who made those signings, there’s a lot of debate about whether it was Mancini or whether it was the board.
“There’s of course now a new director of football as well, I think it’s going to be a fine line if Manchester City decide to keep Mancini or whether they don’t and I don’t think the FA Cup will make a difference.”
With Manchester United losing long-serving manager Sir Alex Ferguson to retirement this summer and Chelsea set to replace interim manager Rafael Benitez with Jose Mourinho there is an argument that maintaining some stability at Manchester City could aid them next season – but Mills feels other factors may prove telling.
He continued: “I think it’s a difficult one for City, City fans of course love Mancini for winning the FA Cup last time around and then of course taking them on and winning the Premier League and stealing it in the dying seconds.
“It’s one of the greatest moments in football, let alone in Manchester City’s history, and Mancini will rightly go down in blue Manchester history for that.
“But has he done enough to retain his job with everything that’s going on? I’m not so sure that he has.
“There seems to be a lot of factions within that camp. At times results have papered over cracks, it’s never really seemed a happy camp. I think a lot of victories have tended to gloss over that fact.”
Mills admits City will be the team to beat this weekend and cannot see how a Wigan side appearing destined for relegation will deal with the likes of Carlos Tevez and Sergio Aguero in the final.
One player in particular, however, will be the man the Latics have to stop if they are to have any chance, according to Mills.
When quizzed on who would be crucial for City, he said: “For me, it’s Yaya Toure. I was at the semi-final and he was absolutely awesome. He’s so powerful, he’s like Patrick Vieira 10 years on but even better than that.
“The way he picked the ball up and drove forward, against a good Chelsea side, he just knocked players out the way. It was almost man against boys. He was phenomenal.
“I think, on his day, he is one of the most influential players in a team. When he’s fit and when he’s playing at his best, when he’s dynamic, he is a power to be reckoned with and he’s almost unplayable at times.”
Follow Tom Marshall-Bailey on