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Thoughts on Mancini's new deal

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As we know, Roberto Mancini has extended his contract at the club, signing a new deal that takes him through to the summer of 2017 with Mancini saying:

"I am delighted to be able to give all of my efforts to Manchester City for a further five years. The opportunity which exists to build on our recent success is enormous. Manchester City is a fantastic football club, from the owner, chairman, Board and the executive team, through to the players, staff and fans.

"I am very much looking forward to the challenges and excitement ahead."

There had been a late flurry of speculation earlier this week that linked Roberto Mancini to the vacant managerial post of the Russian national team, but this suggestion was quickly quashed when the news filtered through that the club and Mancini had reached agreement.

It is a move that is mutually beneficial. City lock up their manager and Mancini gets an extension (and although no financial terms have been released, an upgrade on the terms) that strengthens his position at the helm.

Mancini by all accounts is a very demanding manager; of his players, his coaching staff and the club itself. During his three and a half years at the club his influence has also grown and this deal will see that influence continue.

Whilst the new contract maintains the control that Mancini has at City, this doesn't mean he is the 'winner' of any deal. It is s a signal of the club's backing of him, but the expectations of him will only serve to increase. Success may well breed success, but it also breeds expectation. Mancini may have the protection of a five-year contract but this will not necessarily guard against City slipping from the position they have progressed to.

Challenging for titles will be the minimum requirement on the domestic front but eyes will also now be turning towards Europe. Failure to progress from the group stages is not in the long term plan and having put themselves amongst the Premier League elite, Mancini will be charged with repeating this in Europe.

Can he achieve this? As I have felt all along, the key to Mancini longevity - and ultimately his legacy - will be whether he can put pst disappointments behind him and deliver success on the European stage.