The Chilean coach recently revealed he would be leaving Malaga and, following increased speculation he would be the man appointed to take charge at the Etihad this summer, it seems he will indeed be Manchester City manager next term.
“City have shown a lot of interest in me becoming their new coach,” said Pellegrini.
“My agent has spoken at length with them.”
“There is nothing signed still so I cannot say that I am their coach but I don’t see that there will be any problems. I have a verbal agreement and I hope that it can be executed,” he added.
59-year-old Pellegrini will inherit a strong squad of players at Eastlands, most of which were brought in by Mancini and his predecessor Mark Hughes. However, it is still likely he will bring in his preferred personnel from Malaga – the backroom staff and perhaps even a player or two.
1) Add quality
The first thing he must do is ease City’s over reliance on David Silva – for the past two seasons, the Spanish maestro has been the creative nucleus of City’s first-team and without him they are rendered headless chickens. He is the central cog in the City wheel and whilst he has been in fine form and fitness, Pellegrini will need to ease the creative burden on Silva.
He could very well do this by bringing in someone with a similar flair and style of play to Silva – a versatile attacking midfielder along the lines of his young compatriot Isco who he has been working with at Malaga.
City are crying out for a signing of this calibre and I suspect Pellegrini’s arrival will mean the highly-rated young Spaniard will follow him to Manchester.
2) Style and System
Meanwhile, Pellegrini is known across the globe as a footballing engineer – he actually has a degree in Civil Engineering – and subsequently his preferred style and system is in many ways comparable to a smooth-operating machine.
He much perform some much-needed maintenance to City’s style and introduce a system that he can keep throughout the season – Mancini’s constant tinkering did little to build confidence and form in his players and their organization at times was woeful.
Pellegrini needs to re-instate the flair and elegance City demonstrated in their passing in their title-winning season – some of the movement, the shapes, the ingenuity in their play was mesmerizing in 2011/12 but they failed to duplicate it last season.
Synonymously, Pellegrini must ensure his backline are much more organized and focused next term – Mancini had to deal with a number of injuries to his defence but his management of that problem only served to create more problems.
Pellegrini much add balance to City’s play – as much as they need to reassert themselves in attack, they must solidify at the back. It’s not just the defenders either – they must work harder to defend as a team. It starts with the front men and defending is not solely the responsibility of the backline.
There has to be a harder work ethic – the kind shown by Bayern Munich in the Champions League, especially against Barcelona – they pressed high up the pitch for 180 minutes of the tie and they were relentless in their pursuit of the ball.
That should be the model for Pellegrini – City have very similar qualities to the Bundesliga champions and they can learn a thing or two about determination and work ethic from their performances this season.
Which brings me to motivation – Pellegrini simply has to find a way to re-focus these big babies on big wages with big egos and he must put an end to the big tantrums. He must find the authority to nip it in the bud earlier.
Mancini lost the respect of the players, he lost the dressing room and subsequently he lost the title and lost his job. If Pellegrini wants to build up this project at the Etihad it’s going to take guts and clear intent from the manager and he must show more courage and commitment to his ideas than Mancini.