Manchester City have finally appointed Manuel Pellegrini as their new manager, according to Sky Sports. The former Villarreal, Real Madrid and Malaga boss will be a big success in the English Premier League.
Pellegrini's footballing philosophy makes him the ideal fit after the drab style often emphasized by Roberto Mancini. The Italian's dour brand of football wasted the real talent in City's team.
That talent includes skilled playmaker David Silva, dynamic midfield ace Yaya Toure and tricky attacker Sergio Aguero. While Mancini often restricted his personnel with defensive formations and imposed limits on the numbers City committed to attack, Pellegrini will do the opposite.
He has always demanded his teams play with flair, fluidity and invention. That will certainly suit Silva and Aguero and is reflected in the players City have already purchased.
The big-spending Citizens have secured mega deals for Fernandinho and Jesus Navas. Fernandinho proved with Shakhtar Donetsk that he has a talent for playing defence-splitting passes.
He plays with a bold, creative daring City missed badly during their limp title defence last season. Navas adds pace in wide areas, something else City have long been without, while Mancini relied on the plodding James Milner.
More than just quickness, Navas boasts exemplary technique on the ball. He suits the kind of flowing, pass and move style Pellegrini will insist on.
Another reason to believe Pellegrini will succeed, is the formation he favors. It is a distinctly South American version of the 4-4-2.
Essentially it is a 4-2-2-2. Different players take turns providing the width. The system relies on fluid movement and interchanging positions.
The wide players are not wingers, but rather free-roaming schemers. They tuck into the middle when Pellegrini's team has the ball.
At both Villarreal and Malaga, it was Arsenal's Santi Cazorla who thrived in this role. Silva and Navas already seem like perfect fits.
Pellegrini also expects his strikers to drift into the channels and attack the flanks to create room for runners in the middle. Aguero is already that kind of fluid striker.
The two players in front of the back four are key. They tuck in for advancing full-backs, begin attacks and shield the defence.
The use of this two-man barrier at the base of midfield, is the reason why despite his attack-minded approach, Pellegrini's team's have usually been defensively solid.
City played a version of this approach during their title-winning surge in 2012. Then it was Toure and Silva pushing forward centrally, with Gareth Barry and Nigel de Jong protecting the back four.
Aguero and Carlos Tevez were the creative strike partnership. As much as Manchester United spectacularly collapsed at the end of that season, City wrestled the title away thanks to their attacking prowess.
Sadly, even that run was not enough to convince Mancini to loosen the shackles permanently. He soon reverted back to a cautious mindset.
Pellegrini will have no such qualms about letting City's forward-thinking stars off the leash. The Chilean coach has a no-fear approach to playing expansive, attractive football.
It does not change depending on the opposition, or the importance of the game. Playing restrained football earned City only a fraction of the success their considerable investment should have purchased. It also made last season's title race a one-sided affair.
In Pellegrini, the club finally have a manager willing to produce football as bold and brash as their transfer policy. That is great news for both City and the Premier League.1167133