City will be backing Pellegrini to come good on his quest for major silverware

14May 2013

England - Premier League


With the weight of recent speculation insisting that Roberto Mancini is on the verge of being dismissed as the manager of Manchester City, Callum Davis looks at the reasons why Manuel Pellegrini is the favourite to succeed the Italian and whether there is any outside possibility of another candidate getting the soon to be vacant job...


On the back of a week of intensifying media coverage touting the end of Roberto Mancini's reign in charge of Manchester City, you could be forgiven for thinking that the Italian has already been given his marching orders. As it stands today, Mancini is still in charge of Man City and Manuel Pellegrini has denied he is set to take control next season. However, following his side's limp defeat to Wigan in the FA Cup Final this past Saturday, it seems a mere matter of time before the Italian is sacked, with Mancini currently 1.07 to leave and most commentators suggest Pellegrini will be the man to replace him.


To many Manchester City fans, the appointment of the Malaga manager will come as a surprise considering there are more recognisable managerial names in world football, including Jose Mourinho, who could prospectively take the job. But look at Pellegrini's recent record, alongside the glowing testimonies from within the football community, and you start to appreciate why City seem so intent on making him their next manager.


Detractors of Pellegrini's, and there have been many of them in recent days, point to a number of statistics which paint a less than flattering portrait of the man when presented without proper context. The most damning being the fact that in his nine years of management in La Liga, Pellegrini has so far failed to pick a single major trophy in his stints at Villarreal, Real Madrid and Malaga.


However during his tenure at the helm of the Yellow Submarine, Pellegrini took a side with a humble footballing history and a town population of 45,000 to the semi-finals of the Champions League. He is also the last manager to have broken up the combined dominance of Real Madrid and Barcelona in the league, finishing second with Villarreal 2007-2008.


The Chilean has a lead a Malaga side into the Champions League for the first time in their history and most recently taken them within seconds of a place in this year's semi-finals, only to be beaten by a last minute goal at the hands of this year's finalists Borussia Dortmund.


His time at Real Madrid will forever be derided as a term without silverware despite having the most expensive team ever assembled in La Liga at his disposal. Pellegrini's failure to collect a trophy in his short spell in charge of Madrid was the only thing missing from a season in which his side amassed a massive 96 points, a clear 25 points ahead of Valencia in third, a points haul that would have been enough to seal the title in prior seasons.


Advocates of Pellegrini argue that it is the manner and leadership of the man off the pitch which marks him out as one of Europe's most lauded managers. This season, he has overcome the loss of two Spanish internationals in Santi Cazorla and Nacho Monreal and led Malaga to the brink of the last four of the Champions League. The dexterity with which Pellegrini has managed disputes over player wages while maintaining an unexpectedly successful cup run is testament to his man management skills, something which Mancini was said to be notoriously devoid of.


It seems the faith in the potential for Pellegrini to be a trophy winning manager comes from the Man City Director of Football and former Barcelona chief, Txiki Begiristain. Begiristain's hand in the decision making on managerial recruitment can be seen in the fact that despite Jose Mourinho's likely availability at the end of the season, he seems to be completely out of contention if, or when, Mancini is relieved of his duties.


Begiristain was famously part of the Barcelona panel who were so unimpressed with Mourinho's interview for the Barcelona job in 2008, ultimately opting for Pep Guardiola. It seems, more than anything, Begiristain is keen to adopt the right philosophy at City, and Pellegrini embodies that correct philosophy in his eyes.


In a week when City's Manchester rivals have also plumped for a manager with a glowing reputation based on making the best out of a tricky situation rather than any title winning pedigree, it will be interesting to see whether Pellegrini or Moyes will be able to break their trophy winning duck in the Premier League next season.



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Keywords: Mancheste City. Pellegrini, manager

Source: Betfair

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