Manchester City’s failure to exert any further pressure on Chelsea at the weekend has, not for the first time this season, raised questions regarding the long-term future of manager Manuel Pellegrini.
Widespread reports indicate the Citizens are lining up FC Bayern Munchen’s Pep Guardiola (stop me if you think you’ve heard this one before) to replace the under-fire Chilean, who has come in for criticism for a perceived tactical ineptitude portrayed during 2-1 losses to Barcelona and Liverpool last week.
Their hopes of doubling up domestic dominance with continental glory slowly decompose, but the billionaire backers of the Premier League champions would be foolish to part company with Pellegrini.
He remains on course to deliver his primary objective.
When the 61-year-old was choppered into the Etihad, Sheikh Mansour and co instructed him to win five trophies in five seasons.
Having hoisted a Premier League and Capital One Cup double in his first campaign (which confirms his ability to compete successfully on multiple fronts), he has three years according to his initial remit, plus the remainder of this, to achieve the goal.
Guardiola wouldn’t trade his FC Bayern gig for the tumultuous life as City boss.
In his Allianz safe haven, the 6/1 favourite to be next Citizens supremo is afforded the luxury every manager craves – time.
This isn’t the case at City, where one silverware-less season, regardless of prior achievements, is enough to warrant the sack.
The constant upheaval in the ranks is certain to deter the Barcelona favourite, who is more accustomed to stabilised off-field environments.
Aside from off-limits Guardiola, there’s a dearth of ‘big names’ available to displace Pellegrini.
When bizarre runners such as Johan Cryuff assume a mid-ranging 40/1 price, not the 5,000/1 he should be to take the reigns, it tells all regarding the scarcity of potential heirs to the throne.
Pellegrini has proved himself capable of steering a ship of City’s magnitude and deserves more time at the helm.