City were finally able to announce the appointment of Manuel Pellegrini as Roberto Mancini’s successor yesterday, as the Chilean put pen to paper on a three-year contract worth £3.4m per year after finally reaching an agreement with Malaga over his severance package. Malaga appointed Bernd Schuster as Pellegrini’s replacement on Friday.
In his first interview, Pellegrini has vowed to build upon the foundations laid by Mancini, and usher in a new style of play at City. Pellegrini is a manager known for implementing an attractive brand of football, something which has clearly enticed the City board, as well as maximising the talents of the players at his disposal. At Villareal, in particular, he managed to squeeze the very best out of his squad, taking a tiny club to a Champions League semi-final in 05/06 before finishing runners-up in La Liga in 07/08. It was an incredible achievement from a man known in Spain as one the finest managers around.
Pellegrini will bring with him Rubén Cousillas, his long-term and trusted assistant, as well as goalkeeping coach Xabier Mancisidor and fitness coach José Cabello. Brian Kidd will remain at City to provide some continuity from the last regime. Their job now is to build and prepare a squad capable of overhauling the 11 point deficit which saw United saunter to the title last season, as well as shown signs of progression in Europe. He said:
Everyone knows that when you arrive at a club like Manchester City you must win titles.
Manchester City have invested a lot of money to improve the squad every year and to try and win titles every year. They were not successful in some titles [last season] but I’m sure next year we can win maybe the Premier League and Champions League. We will try to win it all.
But Pellegrini’s remit extends beyond just the first-team, something he was eager to acknowledge:
It is one of my duties at Manchester City to work closely with the youth team as well as the first team squad.
See the full interview, as well as Kidd and Marwood’s reactions, below.
Written by Rob Pollard