Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini has criticised the Swansea City hierarchy for their decision to sack Garry Monk ahead of their clash and has called for more patience for managers.
Speaking ahead of his side’s match on Saturday, Pellegrini also confirmed that the frustratingly injury-prone Sergio Aguero was again ruled out with a persistent heel complaint, with Fernando, Pablo Zabaleta and Vincent Kompany also unavailable for selection.
Head of the match Pellegrini was emphatic in his criticism of Monk’s sacking, adding to the plethora of voices speaking in support for the man who made over 250 appearances for the Swans but who was dismissed after the club suffered eight losses in their last 12 games.
“I don’t think that’s the way to manage a club,” said the former Real Madrid boss.
“They’re in a bad moment but it’s not down to one person. I’m sure he’s the same good manager he was last year.
“I don’t think the problem with Swansea was the manager – Monk made a very good season with Swansea last season.
“Normally in England some years ago there was more patience with managers. Garry Monk had a great season last season, now he’s sacked because they lost two or three in a row. For every team, in my opinion, they would play better if they stick with the same manager.”
With an all-too familiar roster of injury-hit star-men, Pellegrini had a lengthy run-through of updates on his sidelined players to offer. Confirming that the invaluable Kompany and Aguero would still be missing from action, he said: “Aguero is improving but he will not be ready for this game.
“I hope next week he [Aguero] will start working with the squad Tuesday or Wednesday. We hope he’ll be fit for Arsenal.
“I hope Vincent [Kompany] will start work next week.
“Martin [Demichelis] was just a precaution last game – he’s on the squad list. Fernando and Zabaleta are not ready yet. At least two or three weeks more for Fernando. Pablo I hope in the next week he can start working.”
Following their historic win over Borussia Monchengladbach in the Champions League on Tuesday night, which earned the Chilean manager’s side the top spot in Group D, the 62-year-old will be looking for a similarly inspired showing against a struggling and now manager-less Swansea City.
Pellegrini singled out Raheem Sterling, who bagged two well-taken goals against the German outfit.
“Raheem always works very well from the first day until now,” said Pellegrini. “One of the most important things is he’s a very good player but his age – he’s just 21 so he has a lot of years to improve.
“In the way he’s doing, we’ll see he’ll improve year by year.
“Maybe he plays one game better, then the other not so good – like every player. But playing with Kun [Aguero], Yaya [Toure] and David [Silva] every day is important for a young player.
“Raheem is doing what we expect but he must keep improving – he can’t be a player he just scores 11 goals as he did another season. I hope going forward he will score more; he will take the best solution more often.
“He’s not just a striker but one of his targets must be to improve the amount of goals he scores every season.”
Former Swansea City striker, Wilfried Bony, scored 35 goals in 70 appearances for the Swans in his two seasons with the club, and with Aguero injured the Ivorian looks likely to lead the line for City on the weekend.
The City man, who has seven goals and five assists so far this season in all competitions, likewise offered his support for Monk, saying: “It’s a pity to see him go, but football is crazy. I thought he did well and they had a really good season last year so it’s a shame.
“It’s difficult to see Swansea struggling because they are the club that brought me to England and allowed me to establish myself in the Premier League and win a move to City so I will always have respect for the club and their fans.
“I hope things turn around for them and that by the end of the season they are on an upward curve again. Every player is fighting to do their best and sometimes things go your way and sometime they don’t.”
It has been a topsy-turvy time in Manchester for Bony, who has struggled with injuries for the first time in his career whilst at the Etihad. Speaking on his fitness tribulations, the 27-year-old said: “I played for five years without picking up an injury.
“But since I’ve been here, I’ve been out on seven different occasions – but there’s nothing you can do about that except to accept it, train hard and I’m fighting to get to my best level.”
In desperate need for three points to reclaim top spot in the Premier League, City will take inspiration from their midweek success according to Bony, who said: “I really enjoyed the game in midweek and I want to better in the Premier League matches as well.
“I’ll keep working hard to get to the standard I want to be at. We want to get back to the top of the table as quickly as possible but we’ll be aware that Swansea will come here on Saturday and can be a dangerous side if we’re not at our best.
“We saw against Aston Villa that the players all tried as hard as they could to impress their new manager and make sure they kept their place in the team – we don’t want that to happen again.
“Plus we didn’t perform as a team at Stoke last week so we intend to make home advantage count and take the three points this weekend.”
Image courtesy of MCFC via YouTube, with thanks.