Alan Hansen has argued that Manchester City are missing a Sir Alex Ferguson figure at the club, and that if the Scot was in charge at Etihad and Mancini in place at Manchester United, the sides would have very different stories to tell in their fight for the title.

City were on course to assert their dominance over the Red Devils in March, but the side have continually faltered, drawing with the likes of Stoke and Sunderland and losing to Swansea and Arsenal.

And Hansen believes that behaviour from the likes of Mario Balotelli would never be tolerated at United, with Ferguson refusing to put up with any player who feels they're bigger than the club.

"I look at City and I don't see the togetherness, the spirit and kind of team bonding which is fundamental to any title success," he said in the Daily Telegraph.

"These are the qualities United possess in abundance and which Ferguson has instilled into his club.

Manchester United
Sir Alex Ferguson knows a thing or two about management, having won 12 titles with Manchester United.

"You don't get the histrionics we've seen at City at Old Trafford, or if you do it happens only once a season and is dealt with immediately.

"Mancini has allowed this cult of the individual to sabotage his title bid. Watching his side effectively give up their last hope of catching United at the Emirates yesterday, there was only one player who symbolised everything you need at this stage of the season.

"Vincent Kompany, the City captain, was heroic at centre-half. A genuine leader, brave and prepared to put his body on the line for his team-mates.

"Then you see Mario Balotelli, yet again the villain...

"To win the league you need four or five with the heart of Kompany and you need to root out the likes of Balotelli. United have four or five like Kompany and none of the disruptive influences, and that's because the manager identifies potential problems quickly and efficiently."

Ferguson is well known for giving players the hairdryer treatment at United, and the manager is particularly famous for an incident in which he through a shoe at David Beckham and hit the striker in the face.

But Hansen believes that this is the key to a manager having control over their players; and when a manager has control, he has trust that the squad are all pulling in the same direction.

"Ferguson will look around his dressing room, glare into the eyes of each of his players and know he can trust them," he explained. "Those same players will do likewise to their team-mates and feel exactly the same.

"Is it the same in the City dressing room before kick-off? Will Kompany look at Balotelli and seriously believe he won't let the side down? Would anyone be surprised by his sending off yesterday?

"If we were still in an era of 11 players and two subs, it would be impossible to keep a dressing room together in which everyone liked each other. With 20-man squads it's even more challenging managing all the personalities.

"Ferguson excels at this, unifying all the elements of his side by ensuring they work for the common good. Mancini has been unable to replicate it at the Etihad Stadium."

City now face West Brom, Norwich and Wolves before they play United at home. And the Citizens face the terrifying prospect of their bitter rivals holding up the trophy at Etihad Stadium.