After three successful years in charge at Malaga, and months of speculation regarding his managerial future, Manchester City finally announced the appointment of Manuel Pellegrini as manager, coming a month after the the sacking of Roberto Mancini. And according to City’s official club website, the Chilean will officially take up his managerial post on June 24th.
Even before the Chilean has even assumed the role as coach, there is already an air of negativity surrounding his appointment with some English media outlets describing him as a “big-spending foreigner with a modest trophy record.” These are the same people who hailed the appointment of David Moyes as manager of Manchester United despite not winning a single title during his ten year tenure at Everton. Injustice? I think so.
“What about his tenure at Real Madrid?” they ask. “He spent a whopping €200 million and still won nothing!” they exclaim. Well the fact of the matter is, El Ingeniero was appointed during what was a political battle inside the headquarters of Santiago Bernabeu. Cristiano Ronaldo and Kaka were brought in whilst Wesley Sneijder and Arjen Robben were sold, all of these actions were against his own wishes.
“I didn’t have a voice or a vote at Madrid,” he told El Mercurio in an interview in 2010
“I can’t get anything out of an orchestra if I have the 10 best guitarists but I don’t have a pianist or a drummer.”
Pellegrini heads to a club in need of rebuilding. The Sky Blues suffered a somewhat humiliating season. The Manchester club, who were defending Premier League champions, were well off the pace, finishing 11 points off eventual champions and rivals Manchester United. They suffered a 1-0 defeat to Wigan (who were relegated from the EPL) in the FA Cup final, and were eliminated in extraordinary fashion in the group stages of the Champions League.
Compounded to this is the fact that the fans themselves are still emotionally attached to their former Italian tactician. This will certainly provide a Stamford Bridge-esque atmosphere, a tension between the manager/club directors and fans.
However, despite these certain negativities that are overshadowing his appointment, there is no doubt that Manuel Pellegrini will bring with him qualities that Mancini lacked.
Casual and very friendly, Pellegrini will bring with him an attractive brand of football, unlike that of Mancini. Pellegrini sides are built on strong defensive foundations. This in turn will allow for midfield and attacking creativity.