The former Liverpool defender turned TV pundit told Sky Sports that Manuel Pellegrini’s playing down of Manchester City’s title hopes with just one game left to play following the Citizens’ 4-0 win over Aston Villa on Wednesday night suggest he is not much of an ‘entertainer’ but that, ultimately, that may well be to his credit should City be crowned Premier League champions this weekend for the second time in three years.
“Every time he comes across in interviews he plays everything down and you very rarely get anything out of him. You never see him on the back pages," explained Carragher.
"But credit to him for that. He's here just to do his job in terms of management and get results - and he's done that.”
"He has had a few spats this season - not so much him but Alan Pardew and Jose Mourinho - and he's never got involved. You talk about players letting their football do the talking, well he's let his team do the talking," he added.
I suppose Carragher’s comments could be taken in reference to, for example, Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho who has indeed done a lot of talking this season – the Portuguese ‘Special One’ has, however, played down the Blues’ title challenge on a repeated basis this term, as Pellegrini has, but ultimately the Chilean’s class and refusal to get involved in ‘mind games’ has paid off.
Pellegrini has typified class this season – even, as Carragher refers to, in the midst of incidents that could be considered ‘spats’, he has distanced himself and diffused potential feuds by backing away from the situation and playing down the conflict. His manner and demeanour has been exemplary from the moment he arrived at the Etihad last summer. He has paid respect to his fellow coaches and kept his squad seemingly happy despite the need for a lot of rotation.
The only incident he has been even remotely emotive in was in his comments regarding the referee in the aftermath of City’s defeat to Barcelona in the Champions League.
The 60-year-old Chilean has seen it all in his time – as I have discussed previously with regard to his time spent in Argentina – and he has shown supreme decorum and calmness this term amidst the backdrop of a fiercely contested title race involving four teams.
A title race he looks set to win.