At the start of February, it was announced that Manuel Pellegrini would be released as Manchester City manager in the summer, to make way for Pep Guardiola.
It was a move that both excited City fans, and saddened them. It was a statement from the club, securing the manager who most feel is the best in the world, but would also mean that the quiet Chilean would be forced to leave the club, after three successful years.
In his time at City, he won the Premier League and two League cups, a relatively impressive total for such a short amount of time. However, the club felt they needed to expand their conquest to the Champions League, and to do this, hired the man who guided Barcelona to European success twice in his four years with the club.
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For Pellegrini, it was a case of the brilliance of Guardiola being too good an opportunity to miss, rather than his own poor results. There is an argument to be had that letting go of the Chilean was more thoughtful than on the surface.
Credit where credit is due, Pellegrini did win the title. His side played some absolutely fantastic football, and showed the character and resolve needed handle the pressure. A lot of the success came from the spine of the team, which still mostly exists today. A combination of Joe Hart, Vincent Kompany, Yaya Toure, David Silva and the marksman Sergio Aguero, allowed City to push the boundaries and flourish.
This crux had nothing to do with Pellegrini though. All these players were in place on his arrival, so he arrived into a team prepped for winning the league. It poses serious questions of the manager when all of his vital players were brought in by someone else.
The players that the 62-year-old brought in should have had a big impact on the team, but they didn't and since that season, as the manager put a stamp on the squad, well, things got worse. One League Cup in two years isn't exactly setting the world on fire, especially given the amount spent in transfers.
In Pellegrini's defence, most pundits think that the club suffered this season from the early announcement that the manager would be replaced in the summer despite making an excellent run in the Champions League, finally succumbing to Real Madrid in the semi-final.
It was his transfers that were the most disappointing. Manchester City have spent an absolute fortune on players in the Chilean's reign, and of those players, there aren't many people would call vital. Kevin De Bruyne, and possibly Nicholas Otamendi are the only Pellegrini signings considered as part of the team's spine.
Furthermore, Silva and Kompany are both ageing, and with the defender's injury problems, and Silva's lack of form, it looks like rather than strengthening the squad, they are fixing growing problems.
Players like Stefan Jovetic and Alvaro Negredo came and went quickly and almost without a trace. Interestingly, Denis Suarez, who recently moved to Barcelona was allowed to leave the Manchester City academy by Pellegrini, showing that in the transfer market, maybe the manager lacked the necessary guile.
It is hard to say whether the manager honestly deserved the sacking, but City fans will look on Pellegrini's time at the club with fond memories, and look forward with hope and Guardiola at the helm.
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