With the arrival of some ex Barcelona backroom staff including Txiki Begiristain the former Barcelona technical director there has been much talk that manager Roberto Mancini could very well be on his way out especially after the Champions League loss to Ajax last week that now leaves City needing a miracle to progress to the knockout stages of the competition. With former Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola currently not managing any club it looks very much like City is putting all the pieces in play before bringing Guardiola in.
Roberto Mancini who signed a five-year contract during the summer to become the highest paid manager in the Premier League is not going anywhere claimed a City source saying: Mancini, who signed a five-year contract in the summer to become the highest paid manager in the Premier League, is safe, according to club sources.
‘Roberto has won three trophies in two-and-a-half years and was given a new five-year contract in the summer, and that would not have happened if the powers that be thought they had the wrong manager,’ the source told ESPN.
‘No, this is not about the manager, as some mischief-makers might assume. The possible recruitment of another former Barcelona man that is just not what is going on here.
‘We have a monster of a project with our new academy and Brian is going to oversee that while Txiki comes in as we need a division of roles.
‘Brian [Marwood] met up with Txiki on Thursday and Friday and Brian has the respect of the chairman and has been a constant in all that has been going on with some big changes and the creation of a philosophy and everyone is working together toward that end.’
Guardiola has also been linked to other high profile clubs such as Chelsea, and Manchester United yet neither of these two clubs have started to hire people with ties to Barcelona.
Everyone involved in football understands that Mancini and Marwood did not see eye to eye on things, and are spinning this as a victory for Mancini after Marwood let players like Eden Hazard and Robin van Persie slip through his fingers last summer.
City for their part claimed that this move was not a demotion for Marwood claiming the former Gunner has the full support of Chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak. One cannot however think that this was a job that Marwood would have chosen for himself.
Txiki Begiristain is delighted to be at City saying: ‘The progress and on-field achievements at Manchester City are plain for all to see and I am honoured to have been asked to contribute to their future success.
‘I am very much looking forward to working with Brian Marwood, Roberto Mancini and Ferran Soriano in continuing to build a football team and philosophy which will serve Manchester City well in the near and long-term future.’
My own personal feelings are that despite City’s efforts to dismiss the rumours Guardiola will be the new City manager by next summer, if not sooner.