Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini will face tough questions at the end of the season, especially if he fails to match the second-placed finish that saw previous manager Roberto Mancini get sacked.
Despite Mancini’s unpopularity with the players, he was doted on by fans after he presided over their first title win in 44 years after Sergio Aguero’s heroics in the final game of the 2012 season.
However, Mancini paid the price after only managing to finish a distant second behind a resurgent Manchester United last season.
Manuel Pellegrini was appointed as Mancini’s replacement and, despite positive early signs, the Chilean’s side have failed to perform in a number of away games this season.
Although still in with a chance of the title, City are now nine points behind leaders Liverpool, and Pellegrini will at least need to beat Jose Mourinho’s side to second place if he wants to keep his job.
For a number of reasons, Pellegrini could fear for his future at the end of the season.
Firstly, the side was strengthened in the summer with the arrivals of Alvaro Negredo, Fernandinho and Martin Demichelis.
Both Negredo and Fernandinho have been impressive, and yet Pellegrini has still been unable to get his team to win on a number of occasions.
The signing of Demichelis was certainly a strange one, and the 33-year-old has often proven to be a liability in central defence.
Pellegrini was also appointed with the hope that he would be able to guide his side into the latter stages of the Champions League.
However, Pellegrini ended up embarrassing himself in the group stages when he failed to realise that City had to score four goals against Bayern Munich to top the group.
Despite being 3-2 up on the night, the Chilean failed to bring on top scorer Sergio Aguero in the latter stages.
The former Premier League champions then went out in a 4-1 aggregate defeat in the last-16 after a disappointing performance over the two legs against Barcelona.
Perhaps most importantly, Pellegrini is well liked amongst the playing staff and is a much less volatile character than his Italian predecessor.
However, he has still been unable to keep up with the hugely impressive Liverpool, despite having a better squad on paper.
Is the trophy that none of the big clubs take seriously really good enough for one of the most expensively assembled squads in the world?
Pellegrini will find out at the end of the season, if the club finish second the Chilean will pray that matching the league finish that saw his predecessor sacked is enough for him to keep his job.
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