Manuel Pellegrini has, this morning, been unveiled as West Hams new manager. The 17th permanent manager in our history.
The 64-year-old Chilean has a wealth of experience having managed River Plate, Villareal, Real Madrid, Malaga, Man City and most recently Hebei China Fortune (nope me neither!).
Manuel Pellegrini – A Brief History.
Manuel Pellegrini has been in football management for 30 years. He has managed various clubs in the late 1980’s & 90’s but came to prominence in the early 2000’s while at River Plate where he won the Argentine Primera Division in 2003, his first season in charge.
He moved onto Villareal in 2004 where he qualified for the Champions League upon finishing third in the league and took them to the UEFA Cup quarter finals that season. The following season 2005/6 they reached the Semi Finals of the Champions League, losing to Arsenal. In his time at Villareal he also took them to their highest ever finish of second place behind Real Madrid. He had a win percentage of 47.5% during his tenure.
It was his success at Villareal which took him onto Real Madrid in 2009. It’s safe to say he didn’t have the best of time at Real Madrid in the season he was there. They were knocked out of the Copa del Rey in the Round of 16 by a Segunda Division B side Alcorcon. In the Champions League they lost to Lyon in the Round of 16. However, Pellegrini did take them to their highest ever points total for a season (at the time) of 96pts although they still finished second to Barcelona. Despite his time at Real Madrid not producing any silverware he had a win percentage of 75%.
Malaga was his next managerial position taking u the post in 2010-13. Like at Real Madrid, he led them to their highest ever points total for a season with 58pts. They finished 4th in the league and qualified for the Champions League qualifiers. A first in the club’s history. Malaga progressed through the qualifier stage to reach the group stages. They progressed through the group stages and reached the knockout stage where they beat Porto. A defeat by Borussia Dortmund ended their run in the quarter final stage. At Malaga he had a win percentage rate of 41.1%
Pellegrini’s next stop was England with Manchester City. After a shaky start he took Man City on a 20-game unbeaten run including our 9-0 aggregate demolition in the League Cup semi-final. In his first season he won the Premiership and the League Cup. He also won the League Cup in 2015/16 season. He left at the end of that season with a win percentage of 59.9%.
The last two seasons has seen Pellegrini ply his trade at Hebei China Fortune where he led them to their highest ever finishes of 7th and 4th. His win percentage in China was 42%.
He has an overall win percentage rate as manager of 51%.
Despite me having had other potential managers as my preference, I must say I’m looking forward to this appointment. Pellegrini has managed some of the biggest clubs in the world and now here he is at our prestigious club.
He is renowned for his attacking style of play, calmness and man management skills. I remember vividly his time at Man City. A time when they were labelled ‘the best team in the world’ and were being touted to complete the quadruple. Man City were a joy to watch. You couldn’t help but appreciate the way they played football.
Out of all the clubs Pellegrini has previously managed, I would liken us most to Malaga. Malaga are an inconsistent team. Prior to Pellegrini’s appointment and since 2000 they have finished anything from 17th to 8th, been relegated in 2006/7, promoted in 2007/8 (not winning the division, finishing 2nd – like we have done) & even managed to win the Intertoto Cup in 2002 (again like ourselves in 1999).
As previously stated Pellegrini’s time at Malaga was between 2010-13. He took over from a team that finished in 17th position. In his first season in charge he took them to 11th, the following season it was 4th and in his final season with them they finished 6th. In his final season though, he also had the ‘distraction’ of taking them to the quarter final stages of the Champions League.
No doubt some of our ‘fan’ base will be up in arms about the appointment. I have specifically stayed off social media before writing this as I want to be positive. I know some fans will be commenting on his age and how they would have preferred a Unai Emery or such like. But how many fans would want the next two seasons to be like his time at Malaga? This, for me, would be our ‘next level’ so in that effect Pellegrini is the perfect appointment.
His win percentage at Malaga would have him in joint third in our list of most successful (permanent) manager list. Behind Billy Bonds (43.61%) and Charlie Paynter (41.25%) and on par with Alan Pardew. His overall win percentage would have him sitting first.
So let’s be positive for a change. Let’s back our new manager from the start. Let’s get the old West Ham support back. A support that embodied the good old East End traditions of sticking by one of our own. Manuel Pellegrini is now one of our own. Give him all our support and most of all give him a chance!