Former Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini admits announcing his resignation early was the one mistake he made – just like Sir Alex Ferguson did in 2001. The Chilean was at the helm of City for three years between 2013 and 2016, after taking over from Roberto Mancini. In the summer of 2001, Ferguson lifted the Premier league trophy and announced his decision to retire the following season. It was a decsion he would reverse in January of 2002, and called it ‘the biggest mistake’ of his career in 2016. In Pellegrini’s first season season in Manchester, he brought a domestic double and an all-out attacking flair to Manchester which the owners so desperately craved.
However, he was only capable of adding one more trophy to his collection in his remaining years of his tenure – the League Cup triumph in his final season. Despite reaching the Champions League semi-finals in 2016, Pellegrini’s performance during his last season at The Etihad was viewed disapprovingly in public by Chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak. However, speaking to the Coaches Voice, the ex-Real Madrid boss confessed announcing he would leave prematurely (in the same style as Sir Alex) was the wrong decision. He said: “I think we were able to combine the very direct style of play in England with possession football. Not exaggerated possession, because you have to respect the idiosyncrasy of the English fans, who like the direct approach – the second ball, the crosses into the box, the finish.
“What we had was a mixture of the football I had practised my whole career with something a bit more direct, which the English league requires. “I did make one mistake in my time at City, though. “As much as you don’t want it to be this way, the group has a tendency to relax. To start thinking about the next step” “I said I would end my contract after three years. After that, I said we would see. Not just for me and my career, but because of Ferran and Txiki’s plans to carry on their strategy with Pep Guardiola, who they had worked with at Barcelona for a long time. “There is a lot of trust between those two and myself, so I was always kept in the loop about the plans to try and bring Guardiola to the club. I knew that if he hadn’t wanted to come to City for any reason, they weren’t going to interview for a manager. They would come straight to me.
“But I learned something from the experience in my final season. It’s the same in the case of Sir Alex Ferguson. With all the experience and influence he had at Manchester United, he made his first retirement announcement several months early. I think he always described it as a mistake in his career. I also describe mine as a mistake. “Because, as much as you don’t want it to be this way, the group has a tendency to relax. To start thinking about the next step. “That’s why I say that as a manager you have to keep on learning. Carry on reading.” Pellegrini, who is currently the manager of Chinese side Hebei China Fortune, revealed his love for the Premier League, calling it ‘the best League in the world’.