The Manchester City Problem

It was fun while it lasted. The brief and tantalising prospect that Claudio Ranieri would be the new Manchester City manager. It was all but confirmed last week. But the Italian tinkerman has, perhaps wisely, decided to jump back to Italy and take the Juventus job.

The real shame is that apart from providing constant mirth at press conferences and interviews with his flamboyant, if inaccurate take on the English language, that Manchester City have actually missed out on a pretty decent manager. The fact that Juventus have banked on him to take them back to glory after a year in the wilderness is a pretty impressive display of his credentials.

In order to progress Manchester City desperately need a manager who can think a little outside of the box, someone a little bit special, much as I think Stuart Pearce’s sacking was harsh, I cannot defend him against the fact that that manager wasn’t ever going to be him. Pearce is an excellent man manager and motivator but I don’t think that he has the tactical nous and hasn’t impressed wholly with his dealings in the transfer market either. I wish him success with the England U-21s job and in his future managerial career.

Sam Allardyce would have been the perfect manager for Manchester City. He could have bought stability and his knowledge of tactics and expert signings, often on the cheap, have always impressed me. He’s the one English manager at the moment who I think has the potential to go down as one of the great managers in the game. In the end he chose Newcastle and in that instant City’s only hope of getting a good enough British manager seemed to have disappeared.

I think City need to look abroad, as they did with Ranieri, to find success. Their choice should, ideally, be a boss new to the Premier League. This rules out Gerard Houllier for me, as a Liverpool fan I can testify that his management style doesn’t necessarily reap the rewards in the Premiership. Spain may be a good place to look, it has produced several excellent managers over the last few years and if City could find another then they could possibly break from mid-table obscurity to a Europe challenging team.

The Contenders

  • Juande Ramos (Sevilla): A talented manager but unlikely to want the City job, not glamorous enough.
  • Co Adriaanse: Former Netherlands striker recently resigned from Metalurh Dontesk job in Ukraine and apparently the current front-runner.
  • Billy Davies (Derby County): I think I made it clear earlier that I didn’t think any British manager had the quality to be what City need. Davies however is a likely choice if they can persuade him to ditch Derby.
  • Felix Magath (Hamburger SV): An excellent manger by all means, the best to appear on the list. He is settled in Germany but may want a new challenge.
  • Didier Deschamps: Just resigned as Juve manager. Likely to be a popular choice with fans and is an excellent European style coach.
  • Kenny Jackett: A dark horse for the role perhaps? Current reserve team manager at Manchester City. A stylish Watford and Wales midfielder in his playing days. An unlikely choice.

Feel free to reply with your views.

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