What Manuel Pellegrini Can Bring to Manchester City

Sam TigheWorld Football Tactics Lead WriterMay 31, 2013

What Manuel Pellegrini Can Bring to Manchester City

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    According to the BBC, Manuel Pellegrini has a verbal agreement to take over at Manchester City once the Spanish Liga season ends.

    The Citizens have been without a manager since sacking Roberto Mancini after the FA Cup final loss to Wigan Athletic, with assistant Brian Kidd stepping in for the final two games against Reading and Norwich City.

    The Chilean now looks all set to depart current club Malaga and take the reins at the Etihad Stadium, so what will the new man bring to the North of England? 

A Wealth of Experience

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    Manuel Pellegrini would arrive at Manchester City with a wealth of footballing experience.

    The 59-year-old has managed 10 clubs to date and moved to Europe in 2004 with Villarreal. From there he's learnt, developed and changed with the sport and now represents a top-notch tactician.

    Despite never winning a trophy in Europe, his resumé is impressive: He took underdogs Villarreal to the UEFA Champions League semifinals only to lose to Arsenal and got Malaga into the UCL knockout rounds despite the club's poor financial state. 

A History of Overachieving

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    The main reason many defend Manuel Pellegrini's lack of trophy wins in Europe is his tactical mastery, taking smaller clubs into positions where they are clearly overachieving.

    Malaga were minutes—or yards—from a place in the UEFA Champions League semifinals, while he took Villarreal there in 2006.

    He did what he could at Real Madrid but never had full control of transfers and team selections. In truth, he did remarkably well considering the attacking players he was forced to shoehorn into the side.

    With the lion's share of control at City and a talented team at his disposal, this could be the defining era for him as a manager. 

Ultimate Tactical Flexibility

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    As detailed here, Manuel Pellegrini is the master of tactical adjustments—the man never stops learning.

    He's famous for his 4-2-2-2 at Villarreal and Real Madrid, and he will always play two strikers if possible. Adept at training players at both ends of the field, he's not the kind of coach who sends out a mindless 4-4-2.

    He produced a steely 4-2-3-1 this season at Malaga that proved incredibly tough to break down. Marco Reus and Co. of Borussia Dortmund had more joy against Real Madrid's Sami Khedira than they did against Malaga's Ignacio Camacho.

    Anyone who manages to get Kaka, Raul, Rafael van der Vaart, Esteban Granero, Guti and Cristiano Ronaldo into the same lineup and not concede bucket-loads of goals deserves commendation.

A Gracious, Professional Face for the Organisation

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    Aside from his tactical nous, Manuel Pellegrini is adored by many due to his polite nature.

    The Chilean told ESPN after Malaga's loss to Borussia Dortmund that UEFA "did not want us" in the Champions League semifinals (following their ban earlier in the season)—a rare, outspoken moment considering his history.

    His anger was understandable given the offside nature of the goal that knocked them out in the final minutes, but his professional past ensured his name wasn't smeared.

    Roberto Mancini had a tendency to be a little off with reporters, but Pellegrini will be the consummate pro Manchester City football club want and need.