Manchester City’s new manager Manuel Pellegrini said he was “sure” the club would win the Premier League or Champions League next season after the club finally announced his appointment, on a salary of £3.4m a year.
The Chilean immediately declared he would start “a new cycle and style of club… another way of playing”, promising that his City side would play an attacking brand of football. He also insisted that one or two players per season would now start being promoted from the academy to the first team, because the process of going back into the transfer market for heavy investment each summer was unsustainable.
“I work very hard. I am very persistent of what I want to reach. At my other clubs I always got the best out of the players who worked with me and together my way of working, with wonderful players,” said Pellegrini who, at 59, will become the second oldest manager in the Premier League, behind Arsenal’s Arsène Wenger.
City’s chief executive, Ferran Soriano, believes that an older manager is important to help create the harmony that was lacking under Roberto Mancini. City had been unable to confirm Pellegrini’s appointment because of delays in settling his outstanding salary issues by his previous club, Malaga.
But the Spanish side appointed German coach Bernd Schuster on a five-year deal at La Rosaleda yesterday, enabling City to confirm Pellegrini’s appointment. The Chilean, who has signed a three-year contract, is holidaying on home soil, so no presentation of the new manager is imminent. Despite winning only the Intertoto Cup during his time as a coach in Europe, Pellegrini said his inexperience in the Premier League would not be an issue.
“I’m sure 100 per cent that I won’t have any problem being in the Premier League,” he said. “I worked in four or five countries in my career, Chile, Argentina, Ecuador and Spain for about nine years and now England. I know a lot about the Premier League. I have played against Manchester United twice, Arsenal, I have always seen their matches every weekend that they play in the Premier League, so I have no problem in that sense. I will adapt without problems.
“We are not going to be a team who will score a goal and then goes back waiting for a counter attack. We will always try to play at the opposite end of the pitch, and play attractive football.” Pellegrini will bring with him three members of backroom staff. His trusted right-hand man Ruben Cousillas, an Argentine, will be his assistant with Xabier Mancisidor as goalkeeping coach and Jose Cabello fitness coach. Assistant manager Brian Kidd will also remain as part of the set-up.
“Everyone knows if you arrive at a club like Manchester City, you must win titles,” Pellegrini said.
“They have invested a lot of money for improving the squad every year and to try to win titles every year.
“Last season they were not successful in winning a title 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.”
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