Manuel Pellegrini held his first press conference as City manager today. When facing the British media for the first time with new signing Fernandinho in tow, the Chilean manager spoke of his targets for the season ahead, transfers and his style of play. He said:
I know the last two years were not very good in the Champions League and I will try to improve that. That’s not the only thing, though, and I will try to get another Premier League title. When Manchester City won the league it was one of the most important things for the club and we will try to repeat it. But we don’t have priority for one competition and we will try to do our best in all of them.
With City, Manchester United and Chelsea all having new managers the race for the Premier League looks set to be more open in comparison to previous seasons. Despite this, Pellegrini feels David Moyes and Jose Mourinho won’t have a problem settling at their new clubs.
I’m sure Moyes will do very well and Mourinho already knows everything about the Premier League. I think it will be a very competitive Premier League and five or six teams will try to win it. I think here in the Premier League we have Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham, and maybe another one. These teams are always trying to win the Premier League. It’s not easier than other years and we will try to win it.
After United regained the Premier League title from City last season Pellegrini is confident that he can be the man responsible for overtaking United once again.
I know the most important thing for City fans is to beat United. I’m sure we will do it and this year, the same as other years, we will be on top of United. I also played United twice with Villarreal in the Champions League, in 2006 and 2009, and both times we qualified for the last 16 and they didn’t.
With Jesus Navas and Fernandinho already acquired, Pellegrini has outlined his desire to sign more players and find a replacement for Carlos Tevez, who departed for Juventus in a £12 million deal. Pellegrini also explained that Tevez wanted to leave and felt that it was the best for all parties concerned if the Argentine striker was sold.
I spoke with Carlos a few weeks ago and I felt that he didn’t want to stay here. He was very clear. It was the best choice for Carlos and for the club. We have two strikers at the moment and we need another but I won’t name names at the moment. We need two players in every position and we will try to do our best to get them. In the next week we will see the different situations of all the players. We will see what happens with all of them. I think we have a very good squad and some really very good players so we can try to reach important targets.
Much has been made of Pellegrini’s brand of attractive and attacking football prior to and since his appointment at City manager and he has assured supporters that the style of play will change for the better.
Fans of City will see a different way from how they played in other years. We will always try to play in the other team’s half and be an attacking team. Will it be better or worse? We will see from the scores we get against other teams.
Manuel Pellegrini has certainly conveyed himself as a smooth operator and has said all the right things, so far. With further transfers expected in addition to the acquisitions of Navas and Fernandinho and reports suggesting that top players like Joleon Lescott are staying put there are numerous reasons to be exited for the season ahead.
Written by Robert Toole