Manchester: The City Years

Roberto Mancini

Roberto Mancini

Born: Ancona, Italy 27th November 1964

19th December 2009 - 13th May 2013

Roberto Mancini was appointed as Mark Hughes' successor on 19th December 2009, and his first game in charge saw a 2-0 victory over Stoke City on Boxing Day. The Italian initially concentrated his efforts on shoring up a previously leaky defence, whilst Adam Johnson and Patrick Vieira arrived in the January transfer window. City appeared more organised under Mancini and adopted a more conservative approach, but failed to gain qualification to the Champion's League after a 1-0 defeat at home to Spurs saw the club finish the season in 5th place.

There had been speculation that failing to finish in the top four would see Mancini lose his job, but Khaldoon Al-Mubarak was quick to show his support for the manager and he was extenstively backed in that summer's transfer window. Jerome Boateng, David Silva, Yaya Toure, Aleksander Kolarov and James Milner arrived for a combined fee in excess of £100m. City spent much of the season in the top four, eventually finishing third (level on points with second place Chelsea) and in the process securing Champion's League qualification for the first time.

The season's highlight, however, came as City ended their 35 year trophy drought (the longest in the club's history), by beating Stoke City 1-0 in the final at Wembley, having seen off rivals United in the semi final at the same ground.

City started the 2011-12 season strongly, winning 12 of the opening 14 games, and scoring an impressive 48 goals while only conceding 13. A notable highlight came in the 6-1 victory at Old Trafford, United's heaviest defeat since 1955. The club went on to reach the Carling Cup semi final, only to lose 3-2 on agggregate to Liverpool, whilst January saw a slip in league form. The absence of Yaya Toure, who was playing in the African Cup of Nations, was a significant factor as City relinquished their lead at the top of the table. City's inaugral Champions League campaign also ended in disappointment, with the club failing to progress from a difficult group.

By early April City were 8 points behinds leaders United, but finished the season strongly recording six successive victories. An improbable last minute winner against QPR on the final day of the season saw City crowned as champions of England for the first time since 1967-68.

Mancini was subsequently awarded a new five year contract, and began planning for City's title defence. However, the club failed to strengthen accordingly and missed out on a number of key targets. Despite winning the Charity Shield in impressive fashion against Chelsea, City endured a disappointing season by recent standards, meekly surrending the title to United and losing the F.A. Cup Final to relegated Wigan.

By this stage Mancini's position had become almost untenable, with the Italian alienating a number of players and new Director of Football Txiki Begiristain openly meeting Manuel Pellegrini to discuss the managerial position. It came as no great surprise when Mancini was sacked on 13th May.

All history and statistical material has been produced based on the research and writing of Manchester football historian Gary James ( It is maintained by Ric Turner & Gary James. All text remains the copyright of the original contributors.

Gary's book, Manchester - the City Years: Tracing the Story of Manchester City from the 1860s to the Modern Day, is available to order on Amazon.