On his arrival at the Etihad, many questioned the hiring of Manuel Pellegrini.
Although he only fell short to a dominant Barcelona during his period at the helm of Real Madrid, his time at Manchester City is more comparable to Malaga; he was given a lot of money to spend on an already expensive squad with a club that isn’t historically powerful or successful.
Pellegrini, with all due respect, hasn’t been recently successful in his career.
By Conor Carroll – @mrstability
At the beginning of the season, with the acquisition of Sevilla’s star duo of Álvaro “The Beast” Negredo and Jesús Navas, City were made favourites to win the title. Add to that the young Montenegro forward Stevan Jovetić and Brazil playmaker Fernandinho it looked almost a certainty that they would comfortably win the Premier League, and possibly a cup double with success in Europe’s premier competition too.
A quick glance at the table as we approach mid-March would see City nine points adrift from the top, albeit with three games in hand on Chelsea. So what’s gone wrong? Why hasn’t Pellegrini’s side dominated? Why are they, at best, level with José and his Stamford Bridge side?
For me, the answer is the previously unmentioned Martín Demichelis.
The lumbering centre-half provides a wealth of experience, and was brought in as a man who Pellegrini trusted previously. Many believed that the big Argentine would simply be backup for times that Vincent Kompany might be unavailable. As many pundits have recently pointed out, he has instead been used beside the Belgian. While Kompany and his defensive unit may be seen as world-class, they are a brittle chain with Demichelis in the fray.
The trust placed in Demichelis has proven on numerous occasions to be costly. This, above the blockbuster signings mentioned previously, was a certain Pellegrini signing. Looking lazy and slow, laboured and out-of-sorts, the 33-year-old is much-like the attire of the manager during Saturday’s shock defeat to Wigan in the FA Cup on Sunday. Pellegrini’s choice of hoody and track suit seems more Stoke than Manchester. But don’t assume for one minute that I blame City’s lacklustre performances at times this season on what the Chilean boss wears during a game. That would be unfair.
The walking advertisement for the Manchester City Superstore has shown that he may be ambitious and thrive for success in the sky blue of the Premier League’s rich boys, but Pellegrini has an unproven track record of actually winning a trophy; his last prior to this year’s League Cup win over Sunderland came in the 2004 Intertoto Cup with Villarreal.
His true colours are being shown; throw a lot of money at a problem and you may be successful, but only if you know how to manage it. Case in point is Mourinho, who seems to be able to make any squad his own through simple man-management. Pellegrini on the other hand has been handed the most expensive squad in England, added more flair and power through expensive investment, ruined all that hard work with a poor selection in defence, and made the mistake of saying “United” instead of “City”.
I personally don’t think the man is destined to succeed at City, with the FA Cup defeat to Championship side Wigan proof of the frailties brought to what should be an indomitable Manchester City. Don’t be surprised if the track suit-wearing coach no longer remains in charge after this current season.