Oh Manuel

Tottenham is a good squad, even outside of Harry Kane. They are a solid, well built squad. But so is City, so much so that they sell off former high priced purchases for a fraction of what they paid and bring in new ones. They try to sell us on it being an “upgrade of talent,” but thats not always the case (see “Bony, Wilfried”). However, this is not about the men on the pitch, rather their maestro on the sidelines.

I am not going to bash Pellegrini. I will leave that to people who make money doing this, and like to say outlandish things to get attention. I will say he has been an effective coach, who won an EPL title with largely Roberto Mancini’s team, and has fallen short of expectations since. What happened today (4-1 drubbing away to Spurs) did not start today, it started last week when City lost to Juventus in their first match in Champions League group play, at home. A match where they led in the late stages and not only gave up the lead, but the win.

Now Juventus is not a bad side, but this was not the team which made the Champions League Final this past summer. No Arturo Vidal, no Andrea Pirlo and no Carlos Tevez, all three of whom were key pieces in last years side. This is about Manuel Pellegrini and what I have named “The Annual Pellegrini Skid.” Every year since he has been Manager, City have lost a match, usually one they led late, then gone on a terrible run of games. Last year they blew a lead to once again Championship side Burnley and lost, then drew them. They were demolished by a very weak Manchester United side in the second meeting of the season, and barely righted the ship.

This is not Pellegrini bashing, this is a fact. The frustrating part is not so much the skid, but what its cost City and my fellow fans. Last season they finished second behind Chelsea. If they had beaten Burnley twice, like you’d expect a club like City to do, thats five more points, let alone all the other disappointing stretches in last season’s slide where extra points could have been picked up. It cost City another title, or at least a run at one.

I am not sure where the disconnect lies. From what it appears on the outside looking in is that Pellegrini has zero ability to raise confidence after a bad or humiliating loss, which compounds to allow more and more losses to inferior sides. Eventually the talent of the players on the pitch turn things around and they are off and cruising again. However, for an ownership that wants trophies, European as well as domestic ones, this does not bode well for Manuel. The only thing saving him at the moment is the other big name clubs are also underperforming. I have a feeling if he fails to get past the first round of Champions League and/or falls short in England yet again, his days on the Blue side of Manchester are over.

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