It might have escaped your attention, but City are in a bad place at the moment. This last week has been awful and results need to pick up soon or this season might be beyond saving.
As I’ve argued before, the dignified university professor look is a good one when everything is going well but when events take a turn for the worse the lack of communication with the outside world is not helpful. Fans and the media have little to comment on apart from rumour and what happens on the pitch.
When City are destroying all comers, such as the period between November and January last season (the best football I’ve ever seen City play) or seeing the team lift either of the two trophies won last season, this is a fine strategy.
However, when City are falling to self inflicted wounds over and over again it is not.
To be clear, I’m absolutely not wanting Pellegrini to be fired and this is not kneejerk criticism. The same failings we have witnessed over the last seven days have been on display for over a year now; The adherence to 442 no matter what in particular is irritating and frustrating.
We don’t know Pellegrini. Maybe he’s different away from the cameras and the microphones. Maybe behind the scenes he’s a Ciceronian firebrand who switches from logic to pathos in an instant, spinning stories of bravery and love to inspire his people to great deeds
I mean, he probably isn’t, but maybe. Compare and contrast to his predecessor.
Mancini was an elemental manager, leaving burned bridges and scorched earth behind him with the promise of ruin ahead, but you could bet after last night that he would have come out swinging this week.
Pellegrini’s Manchester City on the other hand will retreat into their shell. City are becoming predictable to the opposition and the familiar approach simply won’t cut it anymore. Blaming the bad run of form solely on nebulous concepts like confidence and ‘lack of trust’ when there are obviously practical solutions to problems is not good. Stubborn and hard adherence to your principles is all well and good, but hardness is not strength and City look weak.
Mancini cared too little about what others thought of him and his principles, Pellegrini cares too much about his.
This is not a call for Pellegrini to turn into Mancini, or a wistful desire to have the Italian back in the fold, but the attitude at the heart of the club needs to change. Pellegrini and Mancini represent opposite ends of the same spectrum. Either approach in isolation will lead to their own disasters so we need a bit of both.
Written by Alex Timperley who is on Twitter