Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Why Pellegrini Has to Go Big This Summer

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Why Pellegrini Has to Go Big This Summer

Article excerpt

"THE way it's growing, I think this team needs a crack world- class player," said Manuel Pellegrini back in March. "That gives you a kind of ascendancy, status."

It's an assessment of his squad that is difficult to disagree with.

Pellegrini has been on the receiving end of criticism after a season of regression at City.

His first year in charge was an unequivocal success. He delivered the a league and cup double in style after inheriting a divided squad from Roberto Mancini.

Pellegrini released the handbrake and ushered in a new, ultra- attacking approach that maximised his players' talents.

But City ended last season eight points adrift of champions Chelsea having exited both domestic cup competitions in desperately disappointing fashion.

Their Champions League campaign, too, was unconvincing. City hobbled through the group stage and only played well fleetingly, with concerns about their ability to perform in Europe once again rearing their head.

He's lucky to still be in a job. A run of eight defeats in 15 matches in all competitions between January and April saw City's season collapse spectacularly.

Very few managers at top clubs survive such a damning sequence of results, but Pellegrini will lead City into the final year of his contract.

However, his point about the squad needing an injection of world- class ability is a pertinent one.

In the past the Blues looked to bring in the very best. Under the Chilean, restricted in their spending because of UEFA's Financial Fair Play rules, they've lowered their expectations in the transfer market. Their squad has been allowed to stagnate.

Which is why City need to show the same ambition they did prior to Pellegrini's arrival if they want to reclaim their title and make further progress in the Champions League.

Garry Cook, the club's former chief executive, may have been written off by some, and he certainly deserved to lose his job after the insensitive email he sent to Nedum Onuoha's mother, but his legacy is perhaps not given the proper credit it deserves. …

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