Cooney and Black

Your time’s up, Pellegrini. Close the door behind you when you leave. City have come up short not because they were not good enough, but because YOU weren’t good enough

Manuel Pellegrini


MY message to Manuel Pellegrini is formulated along simplistic, sincere, if savage, lines.

Your time’s up, old chap…close the door behind you when you leave. Walking out on Manchester City voluntarily is the best way out of the mess you are in. So, get in first, mate, before they fire you.

Pellegrini knows it’s all over for this or any other season. His side have come up short not because they were not good enough, but because he was not good enough.

For the last few weeks, he has presided over a team which has now lost four away games in a row and, playing without purpose or pride, has fallen way short of catching Chelsea.

Pellegrini has been in charge of a multi-million-pound outfit which has just not performed for him. The signs have been apparent for some time that City needed reinvigorating. Pellegrini has failed to get anywhere near doing that.

It’s been a case of vinegar and brown paper, when big money to heal the wounds should have been spent in the transfer window. Under his management, the champions have stood still.

After winning the title last season, it was expected they would grow and develop. Instead, they have lost focus and shown nothing of the cold eyed concentration that is needed to win back-to-back titles.

Why Pellegrini failed is because he could no longer get the best out of a team who seemed to believe they didn’t have to get their hands dirty any more. They thought they didn’t have to scrap fight and battle against sides like Crystal Palace.

For an ageing squad, there is now an old man with a beard and a sickle standing at their shoulder. Father Time has caught up with them.

Didn’t Pellegrini see that coming, or did the euphoria of a late title-winning run last season blind him to the obvious?

On the Continent, Vincent Kompany’s nickname is the “Prince”. He was such a good defender, the heart and soul of the side. But he, like Yaya Toure, is fraying at the edges. Both will have to be replaced, but it is unlikely that Pellegrini will be the one who chooses the replacements.

James Milner wants to move on, Sergio Aguero may follow suit, while Fernandinho could find himself sidelined as early as the weekend derby dog fight with Manchester United.

It is little use Pellegrini claiming he is not worried about losing his job. He should be because City’s failure this season is because of him. This is the time for a brave man to walk.

He’s done his best. It was enough a year ago, but now City are out of date, out of time, and now out of any expectation. To finish behind United would be the ultimate blow, so perhaps it is right that the Chilean makes the first move and walks away from the Etihad.

Right now, there is not an outstanding candidate to replace Pellegrini. That shouldn’t matter. The Arab owners have enough wealth at their disposal to buy in whoever takes their fancy.

City, technically, were clearly superior to Crystal Palace on Monday night. But, in the modern day game, artistry and ability are worth nothing without attitude. Palace had it, City didn’t, and Pellegrini has not been able to install it back into a side that has not been able to raise its game away from home.

So, I say again: don’t wait around, Manny. It was all good while it lasted, but the Barclays Premier League is the hardest of all in which to manage.

By the end of next weekend, it could be all over both for City and Pellegrini. He can’t pretend he hasn’t seen it coming. People claim he is a very nice man. But very nice men have a habit of coming second.

Where was the iron fist when City began to falter? Where was the dressing room spirit of derring-do that could have knitted the team together?

It was nowhere to be seen. The man who should have provided it has come to the end of his run, and a thousand dreams have disappeared. That’s why he should leave now.


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