It's no secret that manager Manuel Pellegrini is under pressure at Manchester City. Since a 2-1 loss to Liverpool in the league rumours have begun to swirl about potential replacements for the former Malaga manager, including Liverpool's Brendan Rodgers.
City, the defending champions are second in the league, five points behind leaders Chelsea, who have a game in hand. They are also at risk of exiting the Champions League when they travel to Camp Nou for the second leg of their group of 16 match trailing Barcelona 2-1 on aggregate.
Over the last few matches Pellegrini’s has been criticised for tactical naivety. In the first leg of their Champions League group of 16 match against Barcelona, City, according to their manager “[…] couldn’t put three passes together”.
Conceding possession is never advised against Barcelona and inevitably Pellegrini’s side fell to the sublime attacking trio of Suarez, Neymar and Messi.
Against Liverpool, City were disjointed between defence and midfield. Which meant that Liverpool’s attackers found ample space between the two, which was exemplified by sublime curling strikes from outside the 18-yard box by Jordan Henderson and Philippe Coutinho.
The Missing Piece
Pellegrini was outdone by Rodgers on this occasion, and the later has really turned things around for Liverpool this season. He is an excellent manager in his own right, but he isn’t the world class manager City need to get to that next level.
With the amount of capital that is invested into the playing squad and footballing infrastructure the club clearly aims to be winning silverware on a consistent basis, with domestically and in Europe. And Rodgers just isn't of that calibre, at least yet.
However, what is often the case when trying to replace a manager is that a manager of greater quality is not always available. But that’s where the situation developing at Real Madrid plays in City’s favour.
Lack of Faith
After Madrid’s 4-3 loss to Schalke in the Champions League round of 16 Carlo Ancelotti conceded that “there are problems across the board.” He went on to states that every aspect of his team's game isn’t working.
The loss to their German opposition was the second in a row for Madrid after losing 1-0 to Athletic Bilbao over the weekend; a defeat that cost them the first rank in La Liga after bitter rivals Barcelona thumped Rayo Vallecano 6-1.
These results have eroded whatever faith Madrid president Florentino Pérez had in Italian whom, according to Sky Sports Guillem Balague, may be sacked by the end of the season. But when one door closes another opens.
Ancelotti is exactly the type of manager that they have been waiting for. The former Milan player has managed such world class clubs as Chelsea, Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain as well as Real Madrid.
Until recent hard times at Madrid, Ancelotti was able to successfully juggle and accommodate a cast of superstars and their egos. More importantly he’s won trophies for virtually every single club he’s managed.
It’s surprising to think that a team who is second in La Liga by a single point, recently had a 22 game wining streak and are the defending Champions League winners, would get rid of the manger that oversaw all of these accomplishments. But such is the nature of football.
If Ancelotti became available City should pounce and pounce quickly.
Do you agree? Would you replace Pellegrini with Ancelotti? Have your say in the comments below!