Premier League - Pellegrini keen to improve 156-goal City, eyes dominance

Manuel Pellegrini insists he will start work on Tuesday to ensure that Manchester City can retain their Premier League crown.

PA Sport
Premier League - Pellegrini keen to improve 156-goal City, eyes dominance
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Manchester City's captain Vincent Kompany (L) and manager Manuel Pellegrini celebrate after winning the English Premier League trophy following their soccer match against West Ham United at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester (Reuters)

WHAT HAPPENED

A comfortable 2-0 win over West Ham saw City triumph by two points over Liverpool in the title race, while they scored a record 156 goals in all competitions this season. City's total of 102 Premier League goals was one short of the league record, but the 156 tally is nine more than the 147 Chelsea managed last season.

Pellegrini, who has become the first non-European coach to win the English top flight, said the success felt "very special" but that after the victory parade on Monday, work would start for next season.

He said: "I think it's very important to celebrate and then on Tuesday start working for next season. We are going to do a balance of the whole year and the positive things and negative things and way we can improve our squad. It has been a beautiful season but you always need to continue winning and improving, and we are going to start working as soon as possible to be the strongest team next year."

The team's style under Pellegrini was in stark contrast to the often-negative tactics under predecessor Roberto Mancini - and the Chilean said he had inherited a disunited squad.

"It was my first season in the Premier League and I had to change a lot of things," he said. "When I arrived at this club maybe the relations between the squad were not in the best moment so I think it was very important to have calm and try to convince all of them how we can play and how was it was important to be very close all of us - managers, players and fans to try to win a very difficult title."

[FACTS: CITY ARE THE BEST TEAM IN ENGLAND]

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EUROSPORT'S VIEW

Pellegrini’s record as manager had been scoffed at in some quarters but a man who had been derided as coach who placed emphasis on style over substance has gone a long way to proving his critics wrong. There was talk of a quadruple at one point this season such was the imperious nature of their early season form and, while that premonition proved unfounded, to secure a league and cup double while simultaneously rehabilitating City’s style of play in his first year in charge is a supreme achievement by the Chilean. An insatiable appetite to improve this squad could very well usher in a period of City dominance.

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT

According to Pellegrini, the process of building for next season starts on Tuesday; a frightening prospect for the rest of the league and Europe - and having galvanised a disunited squad, that process should be a lot more streamlined. Priority should be given to finding a partner for Vincent Kompany in the centre of defence and a left-back; achieve those targets early in the transfer window and City's potential begins to looks ominous.

[RICHARD WRIGHT RIDICULED AS HE DOES A JOHN TERRY]

WHAT THE MEDIA SAID

Paul Wilson (Guardian): City under Manuel Pellegrini are now capable of taking events in their stride, winning major trophies without putting their supporters through an emotional wringer in stoppage time. Get over it. The events of two years ago are not destined to be replayed over and over again, much as the City fans enjoy the memories now incorporated into a mural running around the outside of the stadium. City are beginning to look like a team who could do this sort of thing most seasons, and at this rate the Etihad will soon be decorated with lists of achievements and photographs of winning teams rather than improbably close squeaks against 10-man Queens Park Rangers.

Paul Hayward (Telegraph): Now City must pursue the next part: dominate at home for a decade and cause Europe to fear them. Their back four lacks the iron resolution of the 2012 side and there are players who might need upgrading. Jack Rodwell, Javi Garcia, Micah Richards and Joleon Lescott have either slipped from the manager’s reckoning or, in Garcia’s case, fallen marginally short. Dyke, of course, will think it “depressing” that three of that quartet are English.

WHAT THE FANS SAY

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