LONDON // It seemed ironic that the two Italian coaches sitting in the dugout will have plenty to mull over in the coming days after seeing their sides fail to produce over the last season. For Roberto Mancini, the Manchester City manager, it was a campaign which promised so much, but he failed to deliver Champions League football. After seeing the club spend over £100 million (Dh543m) on new signings such as strikers Carlos Tevez, and Emmanuel Adebayor last summer, the least City's owners hoped for was a top-four finish.
But City's players were simply not good enough when it came to the Champions League decider against Tottenham last week and will have to settle for a place in the Europa League instead. You could sense from the players' attitude at Upton Park the bitter disappointment spread throughout the squad and they looked a shadow of the team which came away with a 4-2 away win over Premier League champions Chelsea back in February. Khaldoon al Mubarak, the Manchester City chairman, will be hoping for a vast improvement next season. Mr Al Mubarak has already stressed that Mancini will not be sacked during the summer. Mancini said: "I am happy. We have improved from last season. I think we are a good team but if we want to play for the top of the table we must improve. We now have time to buy some players and strengthen some positions. I do not know how many players I will sign. It depends on many things. "If we finished in the top four, it would be better and easier to attract them. In this situation it is different. There are probably some players who want to play in the Champions League and not in the Europa League. But there are a lot of players in Europe who will want to play for Manchester City next year." His opposite number Gianfranco Zola must be wishing he had the same backing from his owners. The West Ham manager faces showdown talks with David Sullivan and David Gold and it seems certain that he will leave the club, despite keeping them in the up. Zola waved an emotional goodbye to the West Ham fans at the end of the game and said his future will be decided in the next few days. Zola said: "This week we will have a meeting with the club, we will talk and see what the outcome will be. Before I speak to the media I need to speak to the owners. "We will have a long and interesting chat. The point is speaking to them and finding out what the best thing is to do. Football has always been part of my life, always one of the main things. I need it. I need football in a certain way though. See you in the future!" Zola was determined to end the season on a high note and almost got his wish after his team got off to a dream start when they opened the scoring on 17 minutes. Alessandro Diamanti played a superb back-heel into the path of Luis Boa Morte, who has missed most of the season with a knee injury, and he beautifully chipped the ball over Marton Fulop, the City keeper, and into the net. City quickly drew level on 21 minutes when Adam Johnson's deep cross picked out Shaun Wright-Phillips who was unmarked inside the box and flashed a close-range header past Robert Green. email@example.com