THE BLOG

Why Manuel Pellegrini Lacks the Substance to Carry on at Manchester City

04/03/2015 17:36 GMT | Updated 04/05/2015 10:59 BST

The end is nigh for Manuel Pellegrini. But for the current Manchester City boss, if the men above are to pull the proverbial trigger on his Etihad reign this summer, he'll have only himself to blame.

Pellegrini is yet to have completed two years at the helm, but time and again the Chilean has failed to prove he has the mettle to turn City into one of European football's most unforgiving forces. His latest two cases in point came last week, when both Barcelona and Liverpool played their way through his porous tactical outlay.

City have come under fire in the past for being impatient and unreasonable towards former managers. Well, Roberto Mancini anyway. But in Pellegrini's case, there's no room for patience with obvious incompetence.

Mancini brought the club their first top-flight championship in 44 years when Sergio Aguero struck on THAT afternoon against QPR in 2012. It was meant to be the start of something special, but one year on to the very day, the now Inter Milan coach was relieved of his duties. Mancini 'had failed to achieve any of the club's targets, with the exception of qualification for the Champions League' - and that was that.

Harsh, to say the least. City may have stepped back and finished 2012/13 empty-handed, cast back into the shadow beneath Sir Alex Ferguson's final flourish across the city. But Ferguson wasn't to be denied. Mancini was picked off and replaced without second thought. The grass is greener and all that.

In came Pellegrini, favoured for his ability to get teams on the front foot - something that the club's owners craved at that time. Entertainment. Victory. And at the end of it all, trophies. He took the Capital One Cup and Premier League title last season - his first season - and everything seemed rosy.

Though the warning signs were there. City came up against a better team in the last 16 of the Champions League in Barcelona and they failed to spring any surprises. Pellegrini's double-trophy haul bought him some time.

But while a large chunk of City fans are still hopeful of some stability - a man to take charge and continue improving the team year-on-year - it's become evident this season that Pellegrini is not the right man for the City mantle.

The team with the best players don't always win. He's even said that himself. Following a summer of upheaval before his only season with Real Madrid, a bitter ​Pellegrini utte​red after his sacking one year on: "They signed the best players, but not the best players needed in a certain position. It's no good having an orchestra with the 10 best guitarists if I don't have a pianist" - and he's not wrong.

However, it's Pellegrini's shortcomings as the conductor that has been letting the reigning champions down. He's got a collection of the best players - at least two in every position. He's had enough time to know their qualities and weaknesses. But Pellegrini's insistence on going out 'all guns blazing' inevitably means that he'll get caught out. Top quality opponents need to be accounted for.

And he has been caught out. Far too often. If Pellegrini had actually showed the ability to learn from his own mistakes, perhaps people would be more forgiving. But the truth of the matter is, it's either he's too naive to realise, or too ignorant to look past his own.

Barcelona just don't get outplayed. Before City knew it last Tuesday, Luis Suarez had blown them away with two first half goals. Aguero struck to give City some sort of lifeline going into the return leg, but they need to score at least twice on 18 March to have any chance of reaching the Champions League's last eight.

But at the weekend, things took an uglier turn. Pellegrini and City essentially surrendered their title to a Chelsea side who are made up of the ruggedness City themselves need so badly. They fell to defeat at Anfield against Liverpool - and in the process Pellegrini proved that his big-match management is nothing in comparison to his direct rivals.

The common denominator is his insistence on the deployment of his beloved 4-4-2. While City possess one of the best strike forces in Europe - and one of the best individual forwards in the world - Pellegrini's love for attack leaves too many gaps. Philippe Coutinho picked up the ball between defence and midfield on countless occasions on Sunday and ultimately punished them as he rifled in a winning goal. Pellegrini was left to take the brunt of the criticism and it's deserved.

Barring a couple of miracles, Manchester City are ending this season empty-handed. And Manuel Pellegrini's continual displays of his shortcomings will vindicate City's decision to let him go, should they decide to do so.

Time is running out.

For more fan views or to join the conversation, visit www.90min.com