Is Manuel Pellegrini the right man to lead the ‘Málaga Project’?


The Chilean coach Manuel Pellegrini admits that the Málaga job is his biggest challenge so far in his career. What’s important  to remember is that the Chilean coached Real Madrid before, but even having done so, he sees the “Málaga project” as a more complicated one to approach and master.

He does admit that getting into European competitions is the biggest objective for the club. Whether it’s for this year’s campaign or next season remains unknown, mostly because nobody really knows what this team is capable of.

Málaga can mix good results with flop results and that’s the core of the problem, they’ve had trouble finding a real consistency within the club. The main idea was to appoint a big name coach like Pellegrini to solve this, but this hasn’t really been the case. The other night the team went from two goals down to record a victory, and yes there is a good mix of players here, with Baptista on the night being the hero.

With signings like Santi Cazorla, Joaquín, and even Ruud Van Nistelrooy the team are starting to lay the ground for a good team. And coach Manuel Pellegrini admits that this could be his last job in Europe, having signed a four year contract. The hope  in Spainis that Malaga make the Champions League within three years.

For obvious reasons, the club can only do so by investing money in new players. But it’s still a hard job for a coach: we’ve all seen how many coaches the likes of Man City have fired, before finding success. The same goes for the Chilean Pellegrini, who admits that the last job he wants is coaching his National side.

He does however as a sidenote admit that “other teams have invested more than us” and that there has been more changes to his side, compared to others. Pellegrini is a veteran who comes with a high demand, who was at his best when he was coaching Villarreal, which was his dream-job. With that team he transformed them into a real force, both in Spain and in Europe,  even reaching the semi-finals of the Champions League, where a poor penalty kick from star-player Riquelme was the only reason they missed out on the final.

He says “I got a bigger responsibility now than ever before in a club”, which is quite a strange remark to make considering he has coached Real Madrid before. But I believe him in saying so, as he will either be at Málaga for four years or get fired as quick as the results start fading. When managing a sugardaddy club, you have to get the results quick, and that will be something that Pellegrini will be keen to deliver on. He wants results fast and he’s got a great heart for the game too.

He also talks about Málaga’s distance to that of Barcelona and Real Madrid; In one note he says that the dreams for other teams are starting to shrink because of these two megaclubs, but he also says that he is going to do the utmost to close the gap. He desperately also wants to win something, something that we´ll probably see the club do within four years, the only question is: Will it be with Pellegrini or another coach?

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