Manchester City got off to a flying start to the season, with a 100% win rate in their first five matches after conceding zero goals and scoring an impressive 11. However, the announcement of Pep Guardiola's arrival at the end of the season on February 1 and therefore Manuel Pellegrini’s imminent farewell have derailed that strong form from the start of the season.
Manchester City are struggling to finish in the Champions League places, with a win needed in their final league game against Swansea City to secure that top four finish.
Pellegrini would have liked results to have been better of course, if not for City’s sake, but his own as he will be looking for another club in the summer with the impending arrival of Guardiola hanging over his head.
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Results and style of play have gradually been getting worse in the second half of the season, with the Champions League semi-final against Real Madrid a prime example of this.
Instead of making changes to a sluggish team that had been unable to get a single shot on target all game, he waited until the last ten minutes, by which point a comeback was unlikely.
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A manager fighting to keep this job for at least another season perhaps would have acted with more urgency to get City back into the game. It’s not just this game where his negativity was evident, the home defeat to Leicester in February was another prime example, only five days after he announced he was leaving.
City fans are clearly displeased with recent performances, with a majority of the fans at the Etihad Stadium at the weekend leaving before Pellegrini’s farewell speech and lap of honour.
However, the Chilean has shown his desire for City to finish the season well and qualify for the Champions League next season rather than having the attitude of: ‘I don’t care what happens, I am leaving’.
Speaking to the BBC after the 2-2 draw with Arsenal last weekend, the Manchester City manager said: “Well qualifying for the next Champions League will be better of course, if we don’t qualify I always say big teams must be every year in that competition."
He added, as per Sky Sports: "We've been in the Champions League places all season so I hope we can do it with a win this weekend.
"I think we deserve to be in the Champions League...there's a lot of difference between our team and United during the season."
If Pellegrini has given up and is leaving the mess for his successor to clean up, he’s certainly not willing to announce it.
Although results have been disappointing, Pellegrini has his own future to think about, leaving transfers and City’s general progression in the future to the club and Guardiola.
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