So another Premier League season is over. But the exciting part has yet to begin. You see because for the first time in 26 years both Manchester clubs will be under new management at the same time.
Manchester United have appointed David Moyes, and while Manchester City have not chosen a new coach rumours say they are close to clinching a deal with Malaga manager Manuel Pellegrini, who announced recently his intentions to leave the Spanish club at the end of the season.
In the short period between Sir Alex Ferguson announcing his retirement and Manchester United’s announcement of a new manager there was a lot of talk about David Moyes - this surprised me, it seemed a little un-ambitious.
David Moyes runs Everton well, but in a very specific way. He does pretty well considering what he has at his disposal at Everton and has a special talent for seeing the potential in players others do not (Seamus Coleman cost less than £100,000 and is a top EPL full back). The biggest thing for me is that the players all buy in to how he runs the club, they respect him and what he has done for Everton.
That’s very different to how I expect it to be at Manchester United.
At Manchester United David Moyes will have a large transfer budget, and an entire squad of international caliber players.
Now, these players played without ego for Sir Alex Ferguson, a man with one of the strongest reputations in football – but will they want to play for David Moyes? A manager who took a bad team and made them a middle of the road one, winning no trophies along the way?
I have studied Moyes at great length and I don’t think that he is the correct choice in terms of immediate success, but he is stable and consistent.
It’s just unfortunate that he is consistently average.
Moyes has a career win percentage of just 41.94% and has averaged just 1.52 points per game with the “People’s Club” with a ratio of 1.21 goals conceded to 1.4 goals scored. It’s true, Everton don’t have a lot of money to spend, but with the quality of players at Moyes’ disposal one should think it’s not unreasonable for Everton to have won some silverware of late.
All of Moyes’ statistics point towards the middle of the road.
With all the talk of Sir Alex Ferguson’s magnificent career coming to a close and the subsequent discussion about the pressure David Moyes will be under to produce, Roberto Mancini’s departure was glossed over a little.
While Mancini’s departure wasn’t necessarily a surprise, the rumour mill was churning a little harder in the blue half of Manchester. Who would Sheikh Mansour bring in? Mourinho? Ancelotti? Klopp? The answer is seemingly none of the above.
Enter Manuel Pellegrini.
While Pellegrini has not been confirmed as Roberto Mancini’s successor he is widely expected to join Manchester City once the Premier League season draws to a close.
Pellegrini took Villarreal to a Champions League Semi-Final and he also amassed a whopping 96 points in one season with Real Madrid but like Moyes he has fallen short at the final hurdle. The only silverware of note Manuel Pellegrini has won is the Argentinean Championship with River Plate in 2002/03.
Ten years ago.
Despite guiding the newly rich club to the quarter finals of the Champions League, and a season where he won 31 games with Real Madrid in La Liga, he only has a career win percentage of 48.45% Take the season at Real Madrid away and Pellegrini’s points per game is 1.58 and has a ratio of 1.25 goals conceded to 1.47 scored.
Despite these stats Pellegrini is revered around the world as one of the world’s top managers, but really when it comes down to the brass tax… he’s very similar to David Moyes.
Pellegrini and Moyes are similar managers and both seem equally un-ambitious hires for the two Manchester powerhouses.
With David Moyes at Manchester United, I don’t expect the kind of problems Andre Vilas-Boas had at Chelsea with regard to dressing room harmony. But at the same time I don’t think it is unrealistic to fathom that Rio Ferdinand, Ryan Giggs, Robin Van Persie and Shinji Kagawa may have a problem getting behind a manager who has a relatively unproven track record unless Ferguson was still somewhat involved.
Manchester City won’t have such a luxury.
Manchester City should be considered the “Galactico’s” in the English Premier League. Players like Tevez, Aguero, Dzeko, Nasri and Silva just want to win – they have little real emotion for Manchester City – and that’s fine, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to win. I just can’t help but wonder if these super-egos will get behind a manager with no real managerial honours.
Roberto Mancini however is a different story.
If Mancini couldn’t galvanise the players he had to get behind him and win a second Premier League title I’m going to place the blame more on Mario Balotelli than anything else. Notice how the “incidents” stopped when “Super” Mario left?
Not a coincidence.
Roberto Mancini has a career win percentage of 55.06% Now while statistics may not mean much to you, that is considerably higher than both Pellegrini and Moyes. It means that he is more likely to win games.
But wait, there’s more.
Roberto Mancini has averaged 1.7 points per game in his career, which includes a career low of just 1.06 points per game at Fiorentina. He did still manage to win the Coppa Italia that year, though. Take that year away and his points per game average out at 1.91 points per game.
His points per game at Manchester City? 1.97. Not bad. Much higher than 1.52 (Moyes) and 1.58 (Pellegrini). It was even more impressive at Internazionale at 2.09 points per game.
What were Manchester City thinking?
He also has a ratio of 0.97 goals per game conceded to 1.6 scored in his career. He trends to the successful side of the road, not closer to the middle like Moyes and Pellegrini.
Mancini has won Serie A three times (and he did it in a row too), both the Coppa Italiana and Supercoppa Italiana twice and finally the English Premier League and FA Cup once.
I’m not convinced of Manuel Pellegrini’s track record, no more than I am convinced of David Moyes’s. Manchester United can afford to have patience with David Moyes – Sir Alex Ferguson has already called for it – and Manchester United is that kind of organisation.
Manchester City is not.
Manchester City should have stuck with Roberto Mancini if they wanted to “win-now.” Mancini is a decorated, successful manager and I can’t help but feel like Manchester City have made a huge mistake in sacking him.
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