The remit sounds simple enough; land trophies and do it with style. The holistic approach. Manchester City won the league title for the first time in 44 years under Roberto Mancini. That is the minimum achievement for Manuel Pellegrini. He must also do it with more of a swagger. He must dominate in Europe. If Manchester City begin to resemble Spain or Barcelona as they do so, all the better.
Pellegrini has worked at Real Madrid before, so he will at least have experience of unbearable expectation. The 59-year-old has more than 25 years of experience to be precise. He will need it. The engineer, his nickname in Spain, will have to build and build quickly. Unlike Mancini, Pellegrini will find allies in those around him. Txiki Begiristan and Ferran Soriano have coveted the 59-year-old for months. Two of the players on his wish list have beaten him to the Etihad Stadium. More than £45m went on signing the Spanish winger Jesus Navas and the Brazilian Fernandinho. Do not be surprised if he goes back to Malaga, the club he managed for three season in La Liga, to land Isco, one of the most exciting players playing in Spain. Malaga reached the Champions league quarter-final last season and it was a true heartbreaking defeat at Borussia Dortmund, when with a late goal themselves through Eliseu they looked set to clinch a semi-final berth.
Dortmund scored twice in injury-time with off-side goals. Defeat does not come much more painfully but it was another mark to put on the CV. Reaching that quarter-final sat at a polar opposite to Mancini's hapless efforts in the same competition. Mancini fared no better in the previous campaign. Pellegrini, in his first season at Malaga, took them to the Champions League quarter-final. From 44 games in the competition he has only lost eight times. He appears to have a greater understating on the European game. He must now prove it.
Mancini was fractious, deliberately provocative with his players. Explosive would meet explosive. In Pellegrini there will be a calmer approach. They will want sophistication to flow from the new manager into his players and they will want a Manchester City style to emerge. Sergio Aguero and David Silva will be expected to flourish. A team must emerge with a killer instinct and a delicate touch. He must create subtlety in the breakneck speed of the Premier League. Six trophies in his six years of management in South America suggests pressure will not be a problem. City have state of the art training facilities to move into. That will suit Pellegrini, a manager who coaches, who believes he can fine-tune the very elite players. At Real Madrid he took the Galacticos, when more than £200 million worth of talent arrived at the Bernabeu one summer, to a record points haul. They finished second to Barcelona and he was sacked. The investment in City now stands at around £1 billion and it will grow and as it does the microscope will be placed on everything the football club does. Pellegrini is no Mancini, or a Jose Mourinho, who succeeded him in Madrid. The new manager will not slide on his knees to celebrate a goal. More likely he will stay in the confines of his dugout, watching and plotting. There will be no soundbites either, and few promises. He will rely on his team's expression to fill in the voids, just as the remit asks.Reuse content