Manchester United are probably one of the best known football clubs in the world - this is mainly due to the fact that they are one of the richest and most successful.

Of course they aren’t the only football team in Manchester, with Manchester City also playing in the Barclays Premiership - so why are they less well known than their neighbours?

Well, mainly due to luck and money I would think but they haven’t ended a season at the top of the table since 1967/68 and of course it’s trophies which ultimately attract not only the best players and managers but also the financial backing which is critical in progressing the club.

It must be really hard for City supporters to face living in their United neighbours’ shadow - it’s bad enough that your team is doing pretty badly without your archrivals actually doing really well year in, year out!

This season things seemed to be turning round though with the appointment of Sven-Goran Eriksson as their new manager.  Now he had a bit of a torrid time as the England manager, but then everyone who takes that role on has a hard time of it, and given his previous success in club football it was seen as a bit of a coup that City captured him.

It takes time for a new manager to come in and get things sorted out just how he likes them - he needs to get things sorted out behind the scenes, off the pitch, before he can really get any improvements sorted out on the pitch.  He is also working with a bunch of players he doesn’t know and it can take a while for him to realise who is good and who he would rather get rid of - then he has to make up a little shopping list of players he would like to draft in.

It would seem acceptable therefore if City had had a slow start to the season and came on a bit stronger towards the end, but would the fans follow this train of thought?  As it happened, they didn’t even have to consider it as City started the season extremely well, lying well up the table for the first few months.  In interviews, Sven tried to keep everyone’s feet on the ground claiming they had been quite lucky and they were bound to hit a bad patch sooner or later - some called him defeatist for having this attitude, but I think he was just being realistic.

Of course, his prophecy came right and the wheels have fallen off their season to a certain extent, with them slipping down the table of late.  They are currently in 9th place however and it’s not outwith the realms of possibility that they may even manage to finish in the top six - after finishing 14th last year I would have thought anything higher than that would be deemed a success.

It seems that others don’t share my view, and today the BBC revealed that they have learned Eriksson is to be sacked at the end of the season with someone new being brought in.

Now I don’t own the club so obviously what I think doesn’t really matter but isn’t chopping and changing only going to make things worse?  Keeping Eriksson would have provided some stability during the summer with him able to concentrate on signing new players, but bringing in someone new will mean he has to spend time getting to know the players already there just as Eriksson had to do this time last year.

It seems madness to me, but perhaps there is more to it than meets the eye and Eriksson really isn’t the man for the job.  I think the telling factor in that though is that there was unrest in the dressing room after he told them he was being forced out - surely if he was as bad as the owner seems to think he is then the players would be glad to see the back of him?

I also wonder what would have happened if City’s season had happened in reverse - a bad start followed by a rise up the table to finish in the top ten, would that have given a better impression of his managerial skills or would he still be facing the chop?

I’m assuming the new owner of Manchester City is trying to emulate the worldwide success of their neighbours United, but I think he is failing to grasp a fundamental piece of the United jigsaw - they brought in a decent manager who had had success elsewhere and put their faith in him to put things right even though he had a slow start to his career there.  22 years later and Sir Alex Ferguson is still leading the club on with success following success, would all those trophies be nestling in their trophy cabinet had the United owners decided to change managers at the end of every season?  I somehow doubt it.

Nobody seems to be given time to do the job they are employed to do any more, it’s a crazy world we live in.