Pellegrini admits trophies may not be enough to save him from sack

Manuel Pellegrini accepts his position at Manchester City beyond the end of the season is in the balance.

Andy Hampson
by Andy Hampson
6th January 2016

article:6th January 2016

All to play for: Manuel Pellegrini’s side remain in four competitions.
All to play for: Manuel Pellegrini’s side remain in four competitions.

Manuel Pellegrini accepts his position at Manchester City beyond the end of the season is in the balance.

The Chilean knows that, even if he wins the title, or more, he could still be asked to make way at the Etihad Stadium.

City have long been linked with the much-coveted Pep Guardiola, who is leaving Bayern Munich in the summer, and the Spaniard’s latest comments that he intends to move to the Premier League have further fuelled speculation.

– Premier League: January transfer window watch
– Serie A: January transfer window watch

– Bundesliga: January transfer window watch

– Ligue 1: January transfer window watch
– La Liga: January transfer window watch

Pellegrini has had to deal with such conjecture throughout his tenure at City and he acknowledges the club’s right to make a change whenever they want – regardless of his success.

The 62-year-old said: “I don’t think my position in the future is linked to titles. For me, as a manager, it’s important to win the title because it’s my job.

“My way of thinking is that, if I have the option to renew here for five years more and don’t win the title, or to win the title and be sacked, I’d prefer to win the title and be sacked. For a manager, your work is to win the title, so the other doesn’t matter.

“I think that if you are the owner of a club, you must have the option to replace the manager if they win the title or if they don’t win the
title. It just is about your trust in the way you work. That is more important than if you win a title or not for the owners.”

Pellegrini’s side are still alive in four competitions and, if he is to be replaced by Guardiola this summer, he could bow out on a glorious high.

But, while Pellegrini claims he is determined to succeed on all fronts, he believes winning a quadruple is all but impossible.

Pellegrini, who is preparing to face Everton in tonight’s League Cup semi-final first leg and then travel to Norwich in the FA Cup on Saturday, said: “It’s a lot of games. If you ask me I always prefer to play in all the competitions, but I am worried about the FA Cup.

“After the first rounds you start having to postpone your Premier League games to continue. I am not sure if you can continue in all the competitions. I think if you play the semi-final of the FA Cup and you are in semi-finals of the Champions League, then you don’t have time to play one of the (Premier League) games.

“You don’t have any free midweeks. You don’t have time to rearrange game 36. There is no midweek to play it before you finish the Premier League.”

Midfielder Yaya Toure has been key to all City’s trophy successes in recent seasons and Pellegrini is convinced the Ivorian is still a powerful performer despite recent criticism.

He said: “Yaya gives very good play to our team. I think he’s a very important player. A lot of media criticise his body language and the way he runs, but, if you had all the statistics of Yaya after every game, he’s the one player that runs more.”

City will be without striker Wilfried Bony with a calf injury but the Ivorian is expected to be back in contention for Saturday’s FA Cup third-round tie at Norwich.

Everton will select from the same squad that drew with Tottenham at the weekend. Joel Robles will play in goal instead of Tim Howard, as he has throughout the competition.

Captain Phil Jagielka (knee) and midfielder Steven Pienaar (hamstring) could both return at the weekend but James McCarthy’s hip problem is likely to keep him out until the end of January.