MANUEL Pellegrini, if recent Press reports are to believed, is to be the new supremo at Manchester City.
Well known in Europe, but what qualities does the man now charged with winning the Barclay’s Premier League, bring to the table?
As a player he has in excess of 400 appearances to his credit for his club side, Universidad in his native Chile.
He then took his coaching badges in England and Italy having opted to hang up his boots at the age of 33.
He has managed at the highest level, albeit for just one season at Real Madrid where his team amassed a club record of 96 points - yet failed to win the La Liga title!
The South American also enjoyed European success with Villarreal and Malaga and he did so playing an attractive, flexible brand of football and it was, almost certainly, this attribute which gave him the advantage for the Manchester City job over quite a few highly qualified candidates.
I’ve been led to believe that the “sky blues” want to introduce a style of football which will be played by their underage academy sides, right through to the senior team as is the case in Barcelona.
So it comes as no surprise that Pellegrini that been selected as the man to put this in place.
Manchester City also demand to be acknowledged as a contender in terms of Champions’ League football and Mancini failed miserably in that regard.
Inside sources at Eastland have suggested that Mancini’s inflexible tactics cost him his job in the end.
Pellegrini, on the other hand, has enjoyed some memorable successes in Europe with limited resources and City are banking on his tactical ability.
The Chilean is also understood to be cool and focused when under pressure and he is also believed to be a strict disciplinarian when tough decisions are required.
So it goes without saying that his handling of the Ballotelli controversies would have been significantly different that those handled by Mancini.
Testimonials from players at his previous clubs such as Ruud Van Nistelroy and Marcos Senna confirm Pellegrini’s coaching ability but, more important, he is recognised as an excellent communicator.
Because of his background, he will be well used to having transfer targets sourced for him, so titles such as Director of Football will not trouble him in the slightest.
Of course at Manchester City, any new manager would be expected to have a fairly decent “war chest” to work with and I would imagine that he will require in the region of five quality additions to the squad if they are to challenge their Manchester neighbours for the Premiership title.
Looking in from the outside, it would appear that City looked at Mancini’s main failings - tactics, man management and European football - opting to replace the Italian with an individual who had already succeeded in those very areas.
It sounds good and if one is running a multinational company it may well prove successful, however, in the business of football, where so much depends on luck and, indeed, the attitudes of human beings, it’s not so straightforward.
In other words, you can pay so much for a car and it will do everything that is stated in the manual, however, purchasing and managing a player, no matter how successful elsewhere, is a totally different experience. Indeed, it’s very much a case of wait and see.
So if Pellegrini is the new man in town (sorry, make that city), despite his reputation, he would be buried under the weight of expectation.