Manchester City’s new manager Manuel Pellegrini was introduced to the media today and he promised City fans a more attacking brand of football, trophies and found time to take a shot at former manager Roberto Mancini.
Expectations are high at City that they can reclaim their Premier League title after finishing 11 points behind champions United last season, and the new City boss wasted no time reigniting City’s rivalry with United:
“I have played against Manchester United twice in the Champions League with Villarreal, in both years… we passed to the last 16 and Manchester United didn’t (in one of them), so I have experience playing against Manchester United.”
Pellegrini took debutants Malaga to within minutes of a Champions League semi-finals palce last season and he expects to improve on City’s dismal Champions League record:
“We don’t have priority for one competition or the other,” he said. “I know we have to improve in the future what Manchester City have done in the last years in the Champions League but also, for me, it’s as important, the same as (the Premier League) championship or FA Cup.”
One knock on Roberto Mancini last season was his pragmatic approach winning, preferring results over style. That is not Pellegrini’s style. He has built a reputation for building teams who play attractive, possession-based football and is hoping to instill this philosophy in his new team.
“Fans of Manchester City will see a different way how they play (compared to) other years,” he said.
“I’m sure we are going to play an attractive game. We will always try to play in the opposite side (of the pitch), trying to be an attacking team.”
Unlike last season, City have already been busy in the transfer window signing Brazil midfielder Fernandinho and Spain winger Jesus Navas. But the glaring need is up-front where they have lost Mario Balotelli and Carlos Tevez this year:
“We have two strikers at the moment and we need another one but I’m not talking about any different names,” said Pellegrini.
“We need a very good squad, a strong squad with two players in each position.”
City were outbid for Cavani this summer by PSG, and it will be interesting who they bring in, as they the likes of Stevan Jovetic or Pablo Osvaldo are not in the same class as Cavani.