Paul Smith told Sunday Supplement Jose Mourinho may replace Roberto Mancini as Man City boss

Last Updated: 10/02/13 11:23pm

City and Saints fortunes switch

Paul Smith reckons Man City manager Roberto Mancini is on the verge of being sacked.

Former Inter Milan chief Mancini guided City to their first top-flight trophy in 44 years in 2012, following a dramatic win over QPR on the final day of the season.

But the Etihad outfit's 3-1 defeat to Southampton on Saturday - their third of the Premier League campaign - put a further dent in their title aspirations, while City were also sent packing from the Champions League at the group stage for the second year running.

And football journalist Smith told the Sunday Supplement that the Citizens' wealthy backers could be lining up a "big-name" replacement for Mancini, who took charge of the Blues in 2009.

"I think Mancini's position has probably become untenable because City have gone backwards," said Smith.

"I wouldn't be surprised to see Mourinho turn up at the door as I've always thought he was the guy City wanted to get."

Paul Smith

"They look disjointed and disorganised on the pitch and given the funding he has had, he has had too many dysfunctional players and dressing-room rifts.

Weaker

"The owners are probably going to step in and bring in, I would imagine, a big name; there have been suggestions of David Moyes.

"But I wouldn't be surprised to see Jose Mourinho turn up at the door as I've always thought he was the guy they wanted to get."

Times scribe Oliver Kay, meanwhile, believes that City's toils stem from not sufficiently strengthening their playing staff in the off-season and from Mancini allowing some of his stars to lose their motivation.

"There were noises coming out of the club about differences between Mancini and (football administrator Brian Marwood in terms of the transfer policy in the summer and whether they went for Robin van Persie, Daniele De Rossi, Javi Martinez and Daniel Agger or the type of players they ended up going for," said Kay.

"By the end of the transfer window I think they had a weaker squad than last season and Mancini can use that as his excuse - but I don't think he has done a very good job in terms of keeping the players focussed.

"A lot of them have had dips in form - Joe Hart, Vincent Kompany, David Silva, Yaya Toure - and it looks like a team that needs geeing up. If they could turn the clock back to the summer, I think they would do it."

Contacts

Daily Mail writer Rob Draper reckons that should Mancini leave City - or Sir Alex Ferguson call time on his tenure as Man United chief - Everton boss Moyes would be more than capable of stepping in.

But he fears the Scot's lack of experience in Europe's premier club competition would be a black mark against his name and could scupper his hopes of landing a plum job.

"If you're asking whether Moyes could manage Man City or Man United the answer is yes, but if you're asking whether they will give him the job, the answer is probably no, because he hasn't managed in the Champions League," said Draper.

"I think the idea that if Moyes leads Man United into a European tie against Borussia Dortmund that he is suddenly going to be stuck (is wrong), but the fashion now is to think that managers need more contacts abroad and to play a Spanish style.

"That is why Pep Guardiola and Mourinho always get touted for the top jobs."

Hit the video at the top of the screen for more on City, as well as the boys' take on their Saturday-evening conquerers, Southampton.