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Who wants to be Manuel Pelligrini - December 2015

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Manuel Pellegrini is an interesting case in study. The Chilean masterminded the league win for City in 2012 but hasn’t been able to live up to the club expectations. The Sheikh Mansour led project at City has huge hopes of doing well in Europe which hasn’t been achieved thus far. The presence of former Barcelona executives give them hopes of snaring the highly acclaimed Pep Guardiola. When it was announced that the Spaniard will be looking for a new challenge next summer, it was more or less certain that City would be heading the list of suitors. Where does that leave Pellegrini? Nurturing the club till handing it over to Guardiola?

 

Pellegrini was hired to succeed Roberto Mancini at City. He was touted to be an antidote to the way Mancini works; and he was successful at that initially. Pellegrini brought more efficiency and was responsible to bring the best out of his core players. Though there were rumblings from his midfield general Yaya Toure, Pellegrini always made sure that the team interests are kept ahead of everything else.

The pressure on Pellegrini, though, isn’t out of the blue. With money being lavished on the team every transfer window, it only added to the woes of the Chilean because he was expected to do wonders. No longer is domestic success considered success. The club hopes to leave its footprint on the European landscape and so the goalposts have changed. This is where Guardiola comes into picture.

The venerable Spaniard comes with a cabinet of trophies from his time at Barcelona and Bayern. He is regarded as one of the best tactical managers at this moment in world football. Needless to say, there would be many suitors eagerly waiting to poach him and let him run the show. The presence of Ferran Soriano and Txiki Begiristian adds fire to the rumours that Pep would head to Etihad.

There is a strong sense that Pellegrini has not capitalized on City’s league win in 2014. Surrendering the title to Chelsea and an underwhelming performance in Europe is an underwhelming footnote of Pellegrini’s career. Even this season, City were not able to take the league by storm – another negative for the heavy spending at the club.

Unless United, Chelsea or PSG can hijack Guardiola’s next destination, Pellegrini is destined to appear a sitting duck and a tragic figure counting the days till next manager arrives. The instability of his position makes the new-year a difficult and doomed period for Pellegrini. Who wants to be Pellegrini? No one will blame if you run away from that title!

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