Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini managed to become one of the few managers English football history to have won the Premier League title in his first season in charge of a club in England. Not only did they lead City to the title, but he also made them exciting to watch. This was a remarkable turnaround from the days of Roberto Mancini, whose teams were criticised for not playing good football sometimes. Kit man Les Chapman has revealed that Pellegrini has not only made the squad as winners, but also brought about a new atmosphere with the team.
He says that Pellegrini has made the atmosphere at the club extremely likeable. City will be starting the new season as favourites for the title, while they will be targeting an entry into the semifinals or finals of the Champions League. This was one of the disappointing aspects of last campaign, as City failed to progress past the last 16 of the Champions League. They came up against one of the top teams in the world, Barcelona. However, this may not be an excuse for the coming campaign since this team has already won the league title twice in the last three years.
Chapman says that the current City squad believes that they can win the league title once again. “How do Mancini and Pellegrini differ? Well, [Pellegrini] actually speaks, which is more than the previous one did. He is a cool guy, a gentleman and says hello. It’s certainly a lot happier dressing room,” said Chapman. Apart from winning the league title, City also won the League Cup last season. The club has made some crucial signings in the summer, which will help them overcome the limitations imposed by UEFA with respect to spending and the amount of losses they can make.
Manchester City star David Silva has claimed that he is hoping to successfully defend the World Cup title with the Spanish national team. As one of the important players for the current world champions, Silva is expected to start the first match against Netherlands. Spain go into the tournament as the defending champions after having lifted the title in South Africa. Silva comes on the back of title winning season with City. Ahead of the opening match, the 28-year-old has claimed that it will be very important that Spain get three points against Netherlands.
Since the other group opponents are not going to give in easily, any dropped points will provide the momentum to the likes of Chile and Netherlands. Australia are the final opponents and they are considered as the only easy opponent. Silva is under no illusion that defending the World Cup title will be very difficult after only Brazil have managed to do it in the long history. This time around, Spain come with a lot of major absentees like Carlos Puyol and Victor Valdes. The likes of Xavi are also approaching the end of the careers.
Silva was definitely not a first choice in the 2010 squad, but his image has been boosted immensely after two Premier league titles with City.
“We know the environment that awaits us. Now we have a base here and that’s great for us. We are ready. The first game is crucial and if we win it, it’s an important game. I feel more comfortable behind the front line. I am very good in that position. I attempt to adapt. We have very good strikers and we hope to score a lot of goals,” said the Spaniard. After the match against Netherlands, Spain take on Chile before ending the group stages against Australia.
Manchester City are now very close to winning the Premier league title after a 4-0 win over Aston Villa in the penultimate game of the season. City have led the table for only 11 days in the whole campaign, but they are set to leapfrog everyone else at the most crucial stage. There have been a lot of combinations over the season, as four different teams have led the table during this period. Arsenal, Chelsea, and Liverpool have dropped points at crucial stages of the campaign to allow city in this position.
Manuel Pellegrini, though, does not expect his team to do the unthinkable and go out of the title race on the final day of the season. Instead, he expects City to now add to the League Cup that they have already won the season. City will need just point to win the title against West Ham. They have come back to win the title on the final day of the season in 2012, but Pellegrini says that his team will not be making any mistakes this time around. He says that City will be going out for a victory against a mid-table team that has little to play for.
City have become only the second team to reach 100 goals in a single season.
“Winning the title is very important but so is the way we are going to win it. There are many ways to win it but I choose this one – attractive football. Of course I expect to win the title now. It is the last game and we know if we win the last game we will win the title. It has been a strange season because we have never been at the top of the table. Now we are top and I hope we are not going to lose on Sunday,” said Pellegrini.
Manchester city take on Liverpool this weekend in a clash that could potentially decide the title outcome. City can move one step closer towards their second title with a win over Liverpool, but a defeat would alternatively give Brendan Rodgers’ team a great opportunity to win the first league title in more than two decades. The two teams are separated by four points, but city crucially have two matches in hand. This could allow them to leapfrog Liverpool, but the Reds can prevent it with a win over the blues.
City have been boosted with the news that Sergio Aguero is back in full fitness ahead of the match. The former Atletico Madrid striker has not been available for the last few weeks. In fact, he has been suffering from several injury problems in the second half of the campaign. Prior to getting these injuries, he was the top scorer for the club and on course to challenging Luis Suarez for the Golden Boot award. City did not utilise the Argentine – even though he was fit last weekend as well – against Southampton on Saturday.
Pellegrini said that he wanted Aguero to cure 100% before being recalled to the team and he says that the striker is now in contention for the match against Liverpool.
“I don’t think that has any relation with the World Cup. Sergio was very unlucky this season with his injuries, but I hope from now until the end of the season he will play regularly without any problem. It’s very important also for him to play [for his club] before the World Cup so that he arrives in the competition at his best moment. I’m sure he will be very important for us in the last few games. Sergio is very important for us in every game,” said Pellegrini.
Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini was critical of his players after the 2-1 defeat against Wigan in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup. This defeat has knocked the team out of the competition, while also threatening to dismantle the season that promised so much only a few weeks ago. After winning the Capital One cup, it looked like City were heading to become the first English team to win the quadruple. There were in the Champions League last 16 stage, while they had promising positions in the Premier league and FA Cup as well.
However, things have turned sour since the 2-0 first leg defeat against Barcelona. They are on the verge of being knocked out of the Champions League while this latest defeat against Wigan raises more questions than answers. The club could be left only with the Premier league to fight for towards the end of the season if they do not overcome the first leg deficit on Wednesday night. Wigan were completely dominant in this match and they have beaten City for the second consecutive meeting in the FA Cup.
Pellegrini said that his players were to lackadaisical in the first half and it allowed Wigan to take a commanding lead before the hour mark. Even though City tried to come back in the second half, it was not enough.
“I think it’s the worst first half we’ve had in the year because we didn’t have the pace to play against a team that is in a good moment. They won five games in a row so we knew before the match we are going to play a difficult team, maybe we thought that was not going to be so difficult and when we react it was too late. We knew exactly how Wigan play; it’s not a tactical problem, it was a pace problem, a tempo problem,” said the Chilean.