Following his appointment at The Etihad, Vincent Ralph considers Pellegrini's key priorities.
So it is finally official – Manuel Pellegrini is the new manager of Manchester City. In his mind he may have been for some time. But now it is on paper, too, which means we can consider what he has no doubt been pondering for some time.
What exactly are his main priorities?
Too many faces, not enough places?
The signings of Jesus Navas and Fernandinho speak of an exciting new era for City and their fans. And yet with talk continuing of a move for playmaker Isco, where exactly is everyone going to play?
With David Silva, Samir Nasri, Yaya Toure, Javi Garcia, Jack Rodwell and Gareth Barry already fighting for midfield roles surely some will leave; while others may have to get used to a place on the bench.
Of course conversely, such competition for places could rejuvenate the players who didn’t perform consistently last season. Or they could just sulk.
The striker situation
There was a time when Manchester City had four of the most exciting forwards in the Premier League. One of those, Mario Balotelli, has since left to continue his headline-generating mission in Italy. And both Edin Dzeko and Carlos Tevez have at one time or another been rumoured to be on their way, too.
The Dzeko rumours have quietened down somewhat, with reports that Pellegrini wants to see how much the Bosnian will fight for his place. Tevez on the other hand seems almost certain to leave, with Serie A his most likely destination.
In short, Pellegrini needs to buy a new striker and rejuvenate those he has inherited.
The defender situation
Vincent Kompany and Matija Nastasic are in the early stages of forming one of the best defensive partnerships in European football. While some may accuse me of hyperbole, the speed and ease with which the 20-year-old Serbian has settled in, along with the fact that the imperious Kompany is still only 27, suggests City have little to worry about if both stay fit.
And yet with the departure of Kolo Toure and likely farewell of Joleon Lescott, Pellegrini needs to sign at least one able replacement. And it must be a good one; because the number and standard of games City will be playing next season means defensive mistakes must be at a minimum.
Keeping his ‘promise’
Upon his appointment, Pellegrini gave himself quite a challenge, that will either prove prophetic or damning this time next year.
“Last season they were not successful in winning a title,” he said, “but I’m sure next year we’re going to win maybe the Premier League, the Champions League. But we’re going to try to win it all.”
That word “maybe” won’t be remembered should he fall short in a season full of managerial changes, in which to a degree the advantage is with both no one and everyone.
The Chilean’s priority, above all else, will be to win a trophy…quickly. But it will also be to play the entertaining football he was known for in Spain.
What do you think are the new manager's key priorities?
image: © geetarchurchy