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'Happy smiling faces in the morning - in a losing environment - rather than sulkers that win'.

That's how it was put to me by those close to, and in the know, at Manchester City this week.

Mancini lost his job remember because City's highly paid stars didn't want to live 'on the edge'.

Didn't want to work in an environment that 'demanded' of them. That meant they had to 'hurt' to win.

They wanted to be happy. Rely on natural talent. And believed winning was 'easy'.

The owners' phone never stopped ringing - calls from unhappy millionaires wearing City blue that wanted Mancini out.

Now City might yet recover to win the title, but I doubt it. It's been a devastating week.

When they needed mental strength most they were found wanting again. Winning isn't 'easy'.

As many of you know, I'm not Fergie's biggest fan, I don't think he's a nice man, but he created an atmosphere at United second to none when it came to winning.

Ironically, and I know I'm arguing against myself here to a degree, he shares many of the same 'qualities' as Mancini in that respect.

Winners very often aren't nice guys.

I said back in August i believed it was a mistake for City to fire Mancini. In doing so THEY lost the dressing room. Not Mancini.

Never again could a Manager there make decisions that weren't going to be undermined.

With Fergie going it was the time for stability at City. Bury United. An era of unprecedented success beckoned at the club

Not now. Too late. A League Cup win and the last 16 in the C Lge.

And by the way - a scandalous oversight at the group stage when no one at City knew another goal in Munich would see them top the group.

Mancini did - he told me. My top four before a ball was kicked and crucially the transfer window shut, was 1 Chelsea. 2 Arsenal. 3 City. 4 United.

Liverpool could yet make me look a mug - and if they do I'll be delighted! But I wasn't far out. I never fancied City and yet they should've walked it.

As I often say 'be careful what you wish for...'  Happy smiling 'losers' - and another change on the cards I hear. Frank de Boer's name is being mentioned now.

Briefly - well done Tony Pulis. I got battered by Palace fans when I backed that appointment. Haven't heard too much from them these past few weeks!



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A wonderful tribute to the 96 & more created by my colleagues at BeIN Sports.



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There is no exact science to winning a relegation fight. Sometimes you change a Manager and it works out very well.

Crystal Palace are a good example. But they did appoint somebody that knows what he's doing and has been the course before!

Sunderland made a change and have been going backwards ever since.

I'm not talking about Gus Poyet - I'm referring to the decision to sack Martin O'Neill and appoint Paolo de Canio.

They compounded this error by letting the crazy Italian spend a small fortune on duds and fall out with everybody.

Then wondered why they were in even bigger trouble. I'm told he is an 'impact' Manager. He certainly was. What an impact. Disaster.

Cardiff sacked Malky Mackay when they were 16th. They hadn't been in the bottom 3 all season. They haven't been as high as 16th since.

They're going down and I'm afraid I can't shed any tears. Going down by the way with a Manager who's currently the sixth highest paid in the P Lge. Good luck.

Fulham. What a mess they've made of their season. Not one, but two changes at the top and a raft of other staff in and then out.

But they might just make it, although it'll be more by luck than judgement.

WBA might just hang on. I don't like what they did to Steve Clarke, but there's something about Pepe Mel that I've warmed to.

I like the way he's made an effort to learn English. He seems unflustered and retains a dignity that you can only admire.

And now Norwich. What a time they've chosen to make a change. Madness. Their season is all but over. If they don't beat Fulham they'll go down.

They won't pick up a point from their last four games whoever is in charge. So why sack Chris Hughton now?

Chief Exec, David McNally, has been after Chris all season long. Well, he's finally got his man and a rare old mess to go with it. Potty. Absolutely potty their decision.

So is there a key to staying up? Yes. Good players largely. Spend well and make sure you've got somebody at the club who knows what he's doing.

Knows his way around our P Lge. And then back him, totally - as Steve Parrish has done with Tony Pulis.

The one thing all these clubs have in common though - panic and fear.

The money to stay in the P Lge has made for some very greedy men - top to bottom. It's crazy money. Too much, but everybody wants some of it.

Sadly it hasn't raised standards a lot, it's just made owners, agents and players even richer.

And the mugs are the punters turning up every week supporting their club. And paying a small fortune to do it.

Oh - one last thing. If a club wants to change a Manager, fine. Their call. But be careful what you wish for.....and pay the previous guy what he's due.

Malky Mackay hasn't had a penny from Cardiff since he was fired. Why not Mr Tan? For once, try and do the decent thing, please.