Be careful what you wish for. How many times did you hear me say that on talkSPORT?
How many times have you read it in these blogs? Well here we go again!
When Manchester City sacked Robbie Mancini they tossed away the chance of a decade of domestic and European domination. I said it at the time, I'm repeating it again, and I'm right. (Mmmmm. I do sound a bit like Tim Sherwood don't I? I'll get round to him!)
To be a winner you have to be ruthless. Fergie was. Mourinho is. Mancini is. Guardiola is. And there are others. Not many, but City had one of the best.
I've been hammered for standing by Mancini. Are the same people that fired all that vitriol in my direction now beginning to wonder if I was right though?
Manuel Pellegrini is a nice guy. I have nothing against him. At their best his team can be sublime. I still believe they've got enough to go to Barcelona and do a job, but have they got the stomach for it? Do they want to hurt? Can they live 'on the edge' in order to make themselves serial winners? No. Not in my opinion.
The reason Wigan won the FA Cup Final v City is because City's players had 'downed tools'. It's a common football phrase. They wanted Mancini out. They didn't share his ambition or drive. They wanted to live in 'comfort'. Remember Edin Dzeko revealing he'd been 'one of a number of players' who'd consistently telephoning the owners trying to persuade them to get rid of the Italian? Tells tou s lot about Dzeko. I'd have fired him - and the others - and made it very plain who the boss at the training ground was.
Mancini had a habit of upsetting people behind the scenes as well. They too set traps to get him out. And they know who they are.
What followed? A title because they could. And they still SHOULD be good enough to deliver again. But I don't think they will.
Have they done any better in Europe? No. Last season Pellegrini didn't know that one more goal in that stunning win in Munich would've seen them top the group. Who knows what might have happened then? It was a scandalous misjudgement.
This season is threatening to be no better. City's players have got their slippers on again.
They are now an ageing squad and major surgery is required - two years too late.
'We want to take the club in a different direction' we were told when they sacked Mancini - in the same season remember that Fergie left. For the first time in 28 years City would've had the senior man in Manchester at the helm.
Oh, and by the way, if I told you who Mancini and his assistant David Platt had lined up to bring in that summer it would blow your mind. Be careful what you wish for.....
At Everton I sniff many of the same issues. Last season I argued that Martinez had not made 'significant' progress at Everton. Yes, he softened them and yes, they passed the ball a lot more. But to what end?
This weekend Martinez announced that coaches who don't play as his team's do are 'parasites' his full statement was; 'Too many times you see a team that goes for being a parasite. They give you the ball, defend and be destructive.
That system doesn't develop players. It's the opposite - every two years they burn players. They need new players and they need new players to do things players don't enjoy doing'.
What arrogant nonsense. Who decides what's the best way to play? I'm told Arsenal and Everton do things the 'right' way. Really? Says who? The 90 minutes the pair of them served up this weekend would kill the game if we had to watch it everywhere and every week.
Everton have won one of their last 11 Lge games. One. I don't see players 'enjoying' themselves. I see a team in desperate need of a return to the days when Everton were solid and knew how to dig out results. I believe the majority of fans going to Goodison now agree with me. Roberto Martinez has to change or be changed.
I do wish Tim Sherwood all the luck in the world at Villa. He's going to need it. Tim is never short of an opinion (how liberating I found it after leaving Sky and being encouraged to have one!) but he's got to be able to back them up.
What's the stat he's employed about his time at Spurs? His team forced more corners than anybody else's? Something like that!
Look. He took over at a club he knew and knew very well. He'd been waiting for the chance. He knew the players inside out. Some owed him and performed. Others didn't, but they are now for Pochettino strangely enough.
It's different at Villa. It's a huge club and he's starting from scratch - with little or no time. 'Experience' he tells us is an overrated commodity. 'It's not the Krypton factor, staying up'. And this weekend 'we only need six more wins'. Six? Villa have only won five all season.
Trust me - having watched Gordon Strachan go through a relegation battle at Coventry seven times let me tell you experience of that situation is vital. Absolutely vital. Tim may well end up wishing he'd been more careful with some of the things he's said. But I do wish him well. I like him and Villa are a terrific club.
One last thing on this subject I saw a banner at Newcastle that read 'Lerner out'. I saw Doug Ellis at Villa Park the previous weekend. I wonder what he was thinking. I'm sure he remembers all the Villa fans that made his life hell. Be careful what you wish for.......
I haven't mentioned refereeing yet. Actually, I'm not going to. But how about this? For better or worse we accept what happens on the pitch and get on with it? Does that work? No appeals for red cards. We're at odds with the rest of the world with our appeals system. It's nonsense. Other than for an a obvious case of mistaken identity - no appeals.
That wouldn't help Wes Brown incidentally. Roger East has stated he knew what he was doing in sending Brown off. That it was Brown that committed the foul. Sunderland will appeal because an 'obvious error' was made. They can under the present system, but let's scrap it. That would end a lot of pointless debates.