Blog by: Shayne
Manchester City’s new manager, Manuel Pellegrini, has been one of the busiest managers in the transfer window so far this summer.
The Chilean manager, appointed on a 3-year deal to replace Roberto Mancini, has so far signed Fernandino (£34M), Jesus Navas (£15M), Alvaro Negredo (around £20M) and Stevan Jovetic (£22M) in order to strengthen a City side that faltered quite badly in their title defence last season. “El Ingeniero” (The Engineer) as Pellegrini has been nicknamed has so far made all the right moves in the transfer market. However, the real question is can he transform City into a major force to be reckoned with, both domestically and internationally?
Despite having won a total of 7 trophies in his managerial career, Pellegrini is probably one of the most under-rated managers in European football at the moment. He is a manager who organises his sides to play good attacking football while also ensuring that his defence doesn’t concede too many goals.
The Chilean manager is best known for the fantastic job he did at Villarreal, although it’s fair to say that he didn’t do a bad job at Real Madrid either, despite only lasting for one whole season at the club. Under him, Real scored 96 points in La Liga, a club record at the time. The only reason Real didn’t win the title that season was because Barcelona were simply too good.
The excellent work he did at Malaga is also commendable. He ensured qualification for the Champions League after his first full season at the club and last season, they made the quarter finals of the tournament despite financial troubles and the resulting loss of key players like Santi Cazorla. His Malaga side were knocked out by eventual runners-up Borussia Dortmund (unluckily, it can be said) but given the circumstances the club found themselves in, Pellegrini did a very good job indeed.
City will be his first real test since his Madrid days. However, the environment at City is very different from that of Real Madrid. For one, Pellegrini has more freedom at City to sign the players he wants. At Real, he complained of a lack of a vote in transfers.
He said, “I didn’t have a voice or a vote at Madrid. They sign the best players, but not the best players needed in a certain position. It’s no good having an orchestra with the 10 best guitarists if I don’t have a pianist. Real Madrid have the best guitarists, but if I ask them to play the piano they won’t be able to do it so well. Pérez sold players that I considered important. We didn’t win the Champions League because we didn’t have a squad properly structured to be able to win it.”
He will be expected to deliver a trophy or two every season, but the two main aspects he will have to focus on are 1) Improving the team’s style of play and 2) Improving on their performances in Europe. Given that Pellegrini has always shown a liking for attacking football, the first part will be no problem. However, City’s performances in Europe over the past 2 seasons have been nothing short of disappointing. Given the amount of money that has been invested in the club, doing well in Europe is a minimum requirement.
Roberto Mancini was admired by City fans, and will therefore be a very hard man to replace. However, Pellegrini has the credentials and the ability to make Manchester City one of the top sides in European football. City have had a taste of success; the next job is building on that success in order to ensure a bright future for the club. In all honesty, it’s easier said than done. But if anyone can do it, it’s Manuel Pellegrini.