Talks and rumors about Manchester City sacking Manuel Pellegrini are refusing to go away, and the Etihad outfit continues to be linked with the likes of Pep Guardiola and Carlo Ancelotti, as the potential replacements for Pellegrini.
The Blues have failed to replicate their form from last year, and Pellegrini hasn’t been helped by his side relinquishing their hard-earned 2013/14 Barclays Premier League title to Chelsea, who were level with City only on New Year’s Day.
The Chilean manager also took the Cityzens into the UEFA Champions League R-16 for the second consecutive season, after two crucial victories against Bayern Munich and AS Roma in the final two group games. But Barcelona were just too good for them over two legs and, as it has turned out, Luis Enrique’s men have eased their way into the Berlin finals rather easily.
Certain Manchester City fanatics have been put off by Manuel Pellegrini’s faith in the 4-4-2 system that saw their side score a whopping 156 goals in all competitions in the league and cup double winning 2013/14 season, but the same formation has not brought the best out of the players this time around and yet, Manuel Pellegrini has largely remained inflexible with his tactics.
The 61-year old remains convinced he will not be sacked by the Manchester City hierarchy, and that he will comfortably see out his 3-year contract.
It has been clear from Manuel Pellegrini that the Financial Fair Play (FFP) restrictions placed on City by the UEFA, have proved to be a major stumbling block for them, as they were not able to properly reinforce their squad last summer while Chelsea and Arsenal brought in the likes of Alexis Sanchez, Cesc Fabregas and Diego Costa and have been more ‘competitive’ than the Cityzens this season.
Only during the off-season will we know how City’s hierarchy reacts to what has been an underwhelming season, and Manuel Pellegrini is sure to face a few tough questions from Khaldoon Al Mubarak, the chairman.
But here are five reasons why City simply need to stick with Pellegrini and not continue this aberration of sacking a manager every 2-3 seasons. Read on…
Constant changing of managers makes it difficult to attract top players
Manuel Pellegrini is probably not the box office manager like Jose Mourinho or Louis van Gaal, who can attract players purely due to their aura and respective winning formulas.
However, having said that, stability at a football club is something that any new player considers before moving to his new destination and it is the foremost reason why the City hierarchy needs to persevere with Pellegrini.
The Chilean, in his two years at the club, has already shown how good a man-manager he is, and that aspect of his management will be critical to City attracting the likes of Paul Pogba, Kevin de Bruyne and Roberto Firmino – who are their top transfer targets this summer – to the Etihad.
Talking about player transfers, Manuel Pellegrini must surely be mindful of a few players who he would want to add to his squad, and sacking him will not bode well for City’s transfer strategy this summer.
A new manager coming in will probably not guarantee instant success
City, when they contemplate parting ways with Pellegrini, must be absolutely sure that the new manager coming in will not, in any way, disrupt the good work that has been done by the former Malaga manager.
Pellegrini helped City win back their Premier League title from Manchester United in his first season in-charge of the club, but the question is how many managers can guarantee you such success immediately after taking over.
Van Gaal is a fine example of why City should be cautious in their decision to change the current manager. The United boss has struggled to come to terms with the Premiership and invited derision for his obsession with tactics, philosophy and what not…
Mourinho, likewise, was not successful on his return to Stamford Bridge last season, when they struggled against the likes of West Ham United, West Bromwich Albion, Crystal Palace, Aston Villa and Sunderland – clubs that nullified the tactical genius in the Portuguese manager, by way of winning or drawing their respective games against the West Londoners.
Therefore, while a new manager ‘could’ conjure up something extraordinary when appointed as a replacement for Pellegrini, there is no guarantee that the new candidate will guarantee City instant success, which the Chilean was capable of.
Pellegrini has remained defiant and must be raring to go next season
This has no doubt been a sub-standard season for City in recent history, as they, in addition to relinquishing their Barclays Premier League title, failed to progress in the Capital One and FA Cup competitions in which they were ousted by Newcastle United and Middlesbrough, at their Etihad fortress, respectively.
The way City lost both those games – by 2-0 margins – was appalling, and Pellegrini’s men, for a brief period, found it difficult to win against the likes of Hull City, Burnley and Palace since that defeat to Aitor Karanka’s side.
Also, when faced with tough questions from the English press, Pellegrini has remained pragmatic in handling them, thereby saving the reputation of the club.In such tough times, however, you got to laud the way Pellegrini handled things and how he defended himself, his team and everyone concerned with the club.
Players like Edin Dzeko, Yaya Toure and Samir Nasri have had poor seasons, and it has contributed to City’s downfall. The aforementioned trio was at the heart of City’s league and cup double winning 13/14 season, but injuries and poor form have seen them make little contribution to City’s season, this time around.
Pellegrini, purely for his record as manager at City, deserves to reflect on himself and this season, and must surely be determined to get back in the title hunt come August 8th, when the new campaign gets underway.
The Chilean has given City an identity – as an attractive team
Pellegrini and the City hierarchy have constantly reiterated their hunger for success, which they want to achieve in the right manner and by playing an attractive brand of football, however.
It was the foremost reason for bringing the Chilean from Malaga last season, as his teams are known to play artistic, success guaranteeing, football.
Such a footballing philosophy has seen City earn themselves an identity as the highest scoring team in the English top flight for the second consecutive season and one of the very few football clubs in Europe that thrive on playing quality football.
What it shows is that Pellegrini continues to fulfill the criteria expected of him by Txiki Begiristain and company, and more than anything else, believes in his methods.
Such assertiveness is wonderful to see and City need to make sure that they retain his services beyond this season.
Cityzens’ current 4-game winning streak is a reason to
City won a mere 44% of their league fixtures from February until the Manchester derby last month, and it increasingly looked like Pellegrini’s men would not attain Champions League qualification for the first time in 5 seasons.
Pellegrini was perceived as a ‘dead man walking’ during those two months, which were the initiators to this sack talk or speculation.
However, such speculation has been sent into the trashcan as a result of City’s current 4-game winning streak that has got them to within two points of achieving direct qualification into the Champions League group stages next season.
It is not for the first time that we have seen Pellegrini transform City’s form after a run of winless games, and it just shows the adeptness of the Chilean as the manager of a football club that is striving for success and trophies almost every year.
There may come a time when City need a managerial change in order to progress further as a football club. Yes, this season could be viewed as a failure and one in which progress was not made. However, the Chilean should be struck with on the basis of the success he brought to the club last season and also for the obvious pluses – a wonderful man-manager, has City playing an attractive brand of football, refrains from tarnishing the reputation of the club – you get with Pellegrini at the helm.