Good afternoon. Jamie Jackson will be online from 1.30pm BST to take part in a live webchat.
Jamie provoked a robust response from Roberto Mancini yesterday when he asked the Manchester City manager about his talks last season with Monaco:
Roberto Mancini has angrily demanded respect as the Italian offered an impassioned defence of his tenure as Manchester City manager ahead of Tuesday's must-win Champions League visit of Ajax. City have only one point from their opening three group games and are conscious that if other results go against them even victory in the final three would not be enough.
On Friday Mancini admitted that last season he spoke to Monaco about becoming their manager, then on Saturday evening the 47-year-old said City were not yet equipped to win the Champions League. Asked to clarify these comments, Mancini interrupted and said: "I don't understand why you continue to ask me about last month, last year. It's finished, so why? For which reason, why do you continue to ask me: 'Last year you had another chance to go.' I stay here because my work is here. I worked for two years. I built with the chairman, with the owner, this team. We won three trophies in two years. For 50 years we didn't win [the title, actually forty-four]. Never. Never.
"You should have respect for the people sometimes. I don't understand why you have to ask me this, why? You ask me one question, I'm polite because I answered your question and the other questions. I'm polite because I answer: 'It's true' [regarding Monaco]. Every year I can have two or three new situations where I can go, I want to stay here because I work hard. I am not saying the future will be easy but when you have a new team the strong work is the first two years and we have won three trophies. I think you should have more respect for this, for me, for the club, for the players." Read more
If you have any questions for Jamie about Mancini, City's match with Ajax or the other games in the Champions League this week, drop them into the comments section below.
LittleArchieClement asks: "Is this the end of the cycle for English ascendancy in the Champions league – despite only a few wins, we've pretty consistently had nearly a full quota in the very late stages every time – this year we could see only one qualify?"
Too early to say. It would not surprise me if, by early December, all four clubs are through. It's not actually over for Manchester City, far from it, and having been at their opener in Madrid they came so close to beating them. Re Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal: in varying degrees they are all still well in control of their group stage destiny.
smiff21 asks: "Do you see Arsenal getting a bit of a shellacking tonight in Germany? If they are embarrassed, does Wenger realistically have to win the next three games - Fulham (H), Spurs (H) Montpeiller (H) to salvage their season and possibly his job?"
In a short word, no. Schalke 04 may be second in the Bundesliga but they are seven points behind Bayern Munich and having covered Arsenal a fair bit before the Manchester post I have a sense Arsene Wenger will get a big reaction/performance from his side tonight.
To take your scenario – even if the next four games go very badly I cannot see Wenger getting the chop for that.
wentoutwithoutahat1 asks: "If it took Alex Ferguson 12 years of building a team and attempting to win the Champions League, why is Mancini having articles written about him saying he's not good enough for the City job? Why isn't he left to get on with it?
It's a fair question though I cannot agree totally with your premise. The Sir Alex Ferguson analogy is from a different era: pre-Abramovich, pre-Mansour. Take a look at what happened to Ranieri, Mourinho, Grant, etc at Chelsea.
Also, and as pertinently, no one is suggesting Manchester City should definitely win the Champions League this year, but whether City fans like it or not, if they go out for a second season on the trot before Christmas serious questions will be asked by those who matter: the owners.
This is the reason articles are written examining Mancini's performance –because City have one point from their first three matches. It really is that simple.
HugoViana45 asks: "Don't you you think the relentless Mancini bashing from the English media and this newspaper in particular is getting a bit tedious? I understand the Monaco talks was a good story but Mancini makes a good point that successful managers will always have plenty of teams offering interest. It seems foreign managers (AVB last year at Chelsea) tend to get a harder time from our journalists as they tend to be polite enough to answer the question journalists wouldn't ask the more established british managers."
Is it relentless? That seems a bit over the top. As I often say to people who ask, on radio, Twitter, etc, Roberto Mancini is a top manager who pulled off one of the great bits of management last season to win the Premier League with virtually the last kick.
Also, Manchester City are, at this moment, still alive in Champions League and have the only unbeaten Premier League record. They are having a sticky patch but what top side does not in any season?
I also covered a bit of AVB last year when at Chelsea and he was just too inexperienced. I'm not sure regarding the overseas managers get more tricky questions than established British ones view either.
donnyc1982 asks: "Do you think the reason Mancini has underperformed in the Champions League for Inter and City is that his employment of tactics is significantly weaker then most of the other coaches out there? This is evident in the Premier League now with his seemingly constant tinkering. Perhaps his strengths lie in the motivation of players and preparation for a long season as he has delivered for both his previous clubs in this department."
I'm not sure RM tinkers – in the pejorative sense, anyway – he's had a few injuries this year, which has forced a few reshuffles, and if you mean the use of 3-5-2 then to have options tactically and develop these seems a pre-requisite of any top manager.
Also, retaining the Premier League is notoriously tricky, only Manchester United and Chelsea have done it. City are still unbeaten this campaign (the only side) and just two points from the top.
The Champions League can be a bit of a lottery, as it's still a cup competition, but the question is – should Mancini be qualifying from the group this time?
aman92 asks: "Do you really see any English team realistically winning the Champions League this season? I know the same was said of Chelsea last season, but surely lightning cannot strike twice?"
I think it can: this is football/sport
Carlb1501 asks: "I posted recently that Mancini is feeling the pressure of the City job and City fans refuted this. What is the general feeling of the journalists who have actually interviewed him, can they see the cracks appearing?"
In my opinion, no. This is a highly successful manager who was also a top player so I don't think pressure really gets to him in the sense you mean. The pressure Mancini heeds is to win and be successful. In one sense, I was surprised he reacted like that yesterday as I thought he might wish to offer clarification to fans regarding the "seven, eight clubs" comment and the "City are not good enough to win the Champions League" comment.
EmmaEmz asks: "How funny was it watching Mancini get trolled and losing his cool yesterday?"
Not funny. It was a surprise, to be honest.
Coeward asks: "Will Mancini have a solution to the false nine that caused them problems against Ajax last time?"
Ajax were good weren't they. But I'm thinking this is a young side and with that can come inconsistency so I would not be surprised if City turn on their performance of the season tonight.
DanteMeetsBosch asks: "I've heard some people write about how the owners will desperately want to win the Champions League. Has this been expressed by them behind closed doors, or is it more of an assumption that having won the league they will now want/expect the Champions League too?"
Well, both, kind of. I'm sure the least the owners and, indeed Mancini, expected was to continue in the Champions League post-Christmas.
Mancini said yesterday: "I think the owners are upset [by the performances]. I don't feel they are happy. For me it is fantastic to work with these people – they always support the team and to have a chairman [Khaldoon al-Mubarak] like this is great for any manager."
This was an frank concession married with the sense that his and the owners relationship is good.
Last season when it appeared City had thrown the PL away the word from high up was that the only way Mancini would be sacked if they did not win the title was if his side capitulated: so even then, Mansour and Al-Mubarak were willing to display patience.
CreatureOfTheNight asks: "Is it fair to call Mancini a poor man's José Mourinho? They are so similar. Both have been managing and are still managing clubs who have a huge financial advantage over their rivals. Also, both stick to highly negative football at times even with the talent at their disposal."
Currently José Mourinho has two Champions League wins in different countries, so at European club level that is streets ahead of Mancini but there is still time for the Italian to draw level.
Put it this way, Mourinho failed to win Champions League at Chelsea, so if Mourinho manages it one season at City, then he has a fair argument that he has been more successful in English football...
unbeautifulgame asks: "People say that 'serious questions will be asked' by the owners if City do not get past the group stage. When have they ever said this or even suggested it? Who decided that the Champions League was their priority?"
The best reply to this is think about the £1 billion investment, the Premier League title last season. What's next in this progression?
I respect your opinion but what right-thinking football club owners would not ask serious questions on the back of a successive failure to qualify.
This is not to say Roberto Mancini will lose his job but he may be asking one of the more relevant questions of the owners:
'Do you think we might have done better if you had backed me in the summer when I wanted Robin van Persie, Daniele De Rossi, Eden Hazard, and Javi Martínez?'
Instead he was given: Javi García, Matija Nastasic, Stefan Savic, Scott Sinclair, and Maicon.
This seems to have rebounded on the owners so far.
sillycountry asks about Jamie's discussion with Roberto Mancini yesterday: "Did you justify the questions you asked Mancini, or just let it pass?"
I could have put in my responses but on this occasion I decided not to. I think they went something like, OK i respect that, leaving Friday's comments aside, how about the fact that the players, individually, have vast experience etc...
Thanks for all your comments and questions. Jamie has now signed off.
Elsewhere on the football site we have a blog about Manchester United's appointment of Alex Ferguson, which took place 26 years ago today, and a piece by Ewan Murray arguing that Gordon Strachan is the right man to lead Scotland to Euro 2016.