Manuel Pellegrini is treading water at current Premier League champions Manchester City. After the surprising loss against Burnley at the weekend and loss in the first leg of their Champions League match against Barcelona, things are not looking good for the side.
Their form has taken a turn for the worse in recent weeks with poor performances leading to the team dropping points, and it is now possible Arsenal at least could overtake them and claim second place as they sit just one point below them.
So the big question is: if Pellegrini fails to retain the Premier League title and doesn’t progress any further in the Champions League, will that be the end for him?
Roberto Manchini, despite leading City to their first Premier League win, was sacked a year later because he failed to challenge for the Champions League. Manchester City’s owners have made it very clear that the trophy they want to win the most is the Champions League and so far the squad has not been very successful in the competition.
I am sure Pellegrini is already thinking about this – and probably feeling the pressure – and many pundits have voiced their opinions that he needs to watch his back. The owners have put a lot of money and effort into the club, from new training grounds to more expensive players, and they want results.
I believe Pellegrini could actually be gone before the end of the season if they lose their second leg to Barcelona. Depending on how their remaining Premier League fixtures go the manager might not even last until May.
It is possible that if they carry on dropping points, like those lost against struggling Burnley, and other teams around them start to close in on second place, City’s owners may show him the door even earlier. However, as confident I am that Pellegrini’s time in Manchester may be coming to an end I don’t believe the owners of the club will want to start searching for another manager at this point in the season.
I reckon the team have got ten games – possibly more if they create a miracle and overcome Barcelona at the Bernabeu – to save their leading man from a sacking. It really is the ‘business end of the season’ not just for the team’s positions in the league but also for the positions within the club.
Pellegrini has got a fight on his hands if he wants to remain in charge of Man City. The owners want trophies and they want them now.
Can he deliver? Time is going a lot quicker than the Chilean would like. I think his manager days at City may be drawing to a close.