Saturday, 15 June 2013


ABOVE: Manchester City director of football Txiki Begiristain, Brian Kidd, Manuel Pellegrini and acadamy ma
‘The Engineer’, as Pellegrini is known, will have to make sure this particular Manchester machine is working properly.
15th June 2013

By Jeremy Cross

WITH a name like Manuel, Manchester City fans can be forgiven for holding their breath following the arrival of a new manager.

The most famous Manuel from these shores, played by Andrew Sachs, was the calamitous waiter in Fawlty Towers.
Most things he did ended in disaster, which is what Manuel Pellegrini’s appointment will be viewed as if he doesn’t deliver success on a plate at City.
The pressure is on Pellegrini, not least because chairman Khaldoon Al-Mubarak has already insisted the Blues are ­expected to win every competition they take part in.
Sacking Roberto Mancini last month was a brave decision considering the success he brought to the underachievers.
Three trophies in as many seasons, including a league title at the expense of rivals Manchester United, was good but not good enough to keep him in a job.
The standards have been set. The question now is can Pellegrini meet them.
His list of triumphs to date is modest to say the least, which means the Chilean is hardly arriving in Manchester with a CV to die for. Yet he is walking into an environment that craves instant success and replacing a manager who achieved God-like status with supporters.
Mancini’s problem was he lost the dressing room. Cliques developed and he was accused of being cold and distant towards a squad containing some of the biggest egos in the business. Pellegrini’s first task will be to win over his new stars and get them performing as a team again.
It promises to be a big challenge, not least because Pellegrini will need time to adjust to the demands of a league and country he has never worked in before
‘The Engineer’, as Pellegrini is known, will have to make sure this particular Manchester machine is working properly.
At Villarreal and Malaga, Pellegrini was in charge of teams who were never expected to win anything. But the Blues’ Abu Dhabi powerbrokers expect the exact opposite and this is something Pellegrini must adapt to. Jose Mourinho has returned to Chelsea and is expected to turn them into title challengers again, while just down the road is the establishment of English football in the shape of United, albeit without Sir Alex Ferguson at the helm any more.
For the time being, City supporters should share the faith club bosses have placed in Pellegrini, who had a brief taste of high-level pressure and expectation following his short stint at Real Madrid.
While he was in charge at the Bernabeu, Real won more points and a higher percentage of matches than any side before. Only Barcelona’s remarkable exploits denied him a La Liga crown.
Former Arsenal ­striker Julio Baptista, who worked under Pellegrini at Malaga, reckons the 59-year-old’s ability to create a strong team spirit is one of his greatest strengths.
He said: “Wherever he has worked, he has managed to create very strong groups, not just of football players but of people as well, which is also important.
“He managed to create a strong group here at Malaga out of practically nothing. I think his work speaks for itself.”
Pellegrini is renowned for being calm and composed, the exact opposite of Mancini.
But he will need all of his patience to work successfully at the club that has resembled a circus in recent years.
Winning back the title will be priority No.1, followed by progress in the Champions League.Pellegrini in the prem: New boss needs success or Sachs not far away