Pablo Zabaleta believes that Manchester City manager-in-waiting Manuel Pellegrini will produce a more attractive style of play than his predecessor Roberto Mancini, the
Mancini was sacked shortly before the end of the season, a year to the day after winning the Premier League, City’s first title success in more than 40 years. The axe fell days after City were beaten in the FA Cup final by Wigan Athletic, who were soon relegated from the top flight.
Zabaleta began his career under Pellegrini at Argentinean side San Lorenzo and has followed the career of his former boss closely, feeling that the Chilean’s experience – particularly his expertise in the Champions League – will enable him to fit in nicely at the Etihad Stadium.
“When I was at San Lorenzo with him, I was in the second team,” Zabaleta said. “He did well when we were at San Lorenzo. He won the South American Cup. After he left San Lorenzo, he went to River Plate. He was always keen on youth development and also won important things there. That makes him a good manager.
Zabaleta continued: “He’s done well at Real Madrid, Villarreal and Malaga. Now we will see how he will do at Manchester City – if he comes. His football is great. Someone I know and trust has told me that he’s a superb manager now.
“He’s a very quiet person. He likes to play attractive football. Also his record in Europe is great – and that’s something we haven’t done so well in recent seasons.”
City twice failed to get past the Champions League group stage under Mancini, eliminated last season after failing to win a game in the tournament. Zabaleta added that the expected new boss and his predecessor are not too dissimilar.
“Both like to play good football, but Pellegrini likes to play with two wingers – get the ball out wide. I think we will be more attacking,” he said.
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