Premier League Diary: Greetings to Manuel Pellegrini, Manchester City’s Ambassador for Wholeness

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Look, we know it * looks * like the blues are everywhere, but their manager is really just doing a broader public service

“Yes, that feels good”

You won’t read this anywhere else this Monday, but Manuel Pellegrini is a genius. As is well known, the Chilean was hired to replace the chippy scarf model Roberto Mancini in the hope that he could bring Manchester City a “more holistic” management style. On Saturday we learned how far he is ready for this mission.

City lost to Burnley. This could be taken as a shock, as one side carries a price that wouldn’t put an aircraft carrier to shame while the other was actually mounted in exchange for some poorly painted Airfix, but Pellegrini never minded the odds. George Boyd scored a really pretty cute winner and while City should probably have received a penalty later in the game, Sergio Aguero would almost certainly have overtaken the field.

In itself and in view of her defeated title defense, a terrifying result. City are now six points behind Chelsea – who have one game in hand – and, more amusingly, just one point ahead of Arsenal and two ahead of Manchester United. But that’s not the holistic picture.

In essence, it became clear that City wouldn’t win the league again this season after catching Chelsea and then allowing them to escape. Fine. Now a less holistic manager than Pellegrini might have gladly accepted the comfortable second place that he received; keep things going, go home, make lots of apologetic shrugs at Chelsea and maybe keep his job. But not our Manuel! Oh no.

You see, Pellegrini knows what wholeness is. Wholeness, despite the weird disappearance of the “w”, is about the bigger picture, about the networking of all things, and the bigger picture looks much more entertaining this morning. His loss – the loss of his team – is everyone else’s gain: the United and Arsenal fans, the neutrals who just want to see interesting things, and the sponsors and television companies and everyone else involved in the premier’s enduring fiction League is the best in the world. It is not. But it can be exciting sometimes.







Take Hart, Joe: City is holistic
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Image:

Reuters)


Of course, he doesn’t do this on purpose. That would be an accusation of hosting soccer games, and that kind of thing excites lawyers and diary writers a lot. No, it is not intended; it’s more fundamental than that. City rulers may have thought that holism was just a cheap, fancy-sounding slogan, a practical euphemism for suits that can’t bring themselves to admit we fired the last guy because he, frankly, is a [redacted]’.

You should have been more careful. You happened upon someone who was so damn holistic that he couldn’t help but take the needs of the wider country to heart. We can’t have a race for the first, he realized. Let’s take one for the second, third, and fourth. Hell, if Southampton’s squad can hold out, if Tottenham can avoid turning into Spurs, and if Liverpool can’t get rid of Brendan’s quotes then let’s include fifth, sixth and seventh place too.







What is important here is the complete absence of a scarf
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Image:

Clive Brunskill)


They wanted a man who would not irritate most of his squad, who would not wear a scarf like a weapon, or who would not wear a scarf like a weapon. They wanted a man who would work amicably with those above and below him, who would keep things going comfortably and comfortably outside of the field. Instead, they have a man who can do most of it at times, but is basically a servant of the mysterious powers of wholeness. Here to make the world a better place for everyone. It could cost him his job. But it cheered the Premier League up to no end, and for that, Manuel, we greet you.

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Down at the other end, Tim Sherwood was having fun at Gus Poyet’s expense. While we don’t love the unfortunate Uruguayan in the diary – never trust a man with a personalized snood, as a wise fortune cookie once said – the spectacle of Sherwood clearing the dust from Villa’s corridors is strangely captivating. Look at these soccer players who used to be the miserable in the whole country, walking around smiling. Who would have thought that management could basically boil down to storming a football club, clapping a lot, and insisting that everyone has fun right away?







Mr Fun meets Mr Miserable
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Image:

BPI)


Okay, it’s probably a little more complicated than that. But not much.

Yet everything moves in cycles, and a violent insistence that everyone is having fun only lasts as long as everyone can remember the wretched guy who was before it. So here is what we propose. Tim Sherwood and Paul Lambert both sign five-year contracts to run Aston Villa, but they do so on the understanding that they take turns switching jobs and switching jobs shortly after Christmas when each other’s strength fades. From the dizzy chirping to the grumpy tactician and back again, never letting the other time get boring, always staying fresh. If you’re interested, Randy, and would like more information, please feel free to contact us. Our prices are reasonable. Bill about mirror towers.

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