Pellegrini savours stylish triumph
Published 11/05/2014 | 21:17
Manuel Pellegrini hailed Manchester City's success for winning the Barclays Premier League - and for doing so in stunning style.
A comfortable 2-0 win over West Ham saw City triumph by two points over Liverpool in the title race, while scoring a record 156 goals in all competitions this season.
City's total of 102 Premier League goals was one short of the record, but the 156 goals is nine more than the 147 Chelsea managed last season.
The team's style was in stark contrast to the often-negative tactics under predecessor Roberto Mancini - and the Chilean said he had inherited a disunited squad.
Pellegrini, who has become the first non-European coach to win the English top flight, said: "It was my first season in the Premier League and I had to change a lot of things.
"The most important thing was we changed absolutely the way this team play. I am not criticising other styles or comparing, I like to play one way and for me it was very important to give the reasons and to have the trust of the players to change the way they played before.
"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.
"I think the way we played was as important as winning the title, the way we did it with the players and the fans enjoying it.
"We have players to play in counter-attack but for me, to win titles just in that way, I will not be happy. We won with 102 goals, and with the record of goals in all competitions in the history here in England it is the way the team must play with the quality of players we have.
"It has been a brilliant season and I would say of all the sides we kept going longest in all four competitions.
"The Wigan (FA Cup quarter-final) defeat was quite tough to bear but when you consider we played 14 or 15 more games than Liverpool, maybe if we had gone further in the FA Cup we may not be sitting here as champions."
Pellegrini warned that it will be a big mistake if his midfielder Samir Nasri is omitted from France's World Cup squad.
France head coach Didier Deschamps left Nasri out of his last squad, but the midfielder has been in outstanding form as City ended the season on a high, including a man-of-the-match performance against West Ham.
Pellegrini said: "The manager of France hasn't said about the list, but I can't believe Samir Nasri won't be in it because he was one of the best players in the Premier League and very important for our squad.
"It will be an important mistake if he doesn't play in the World Cup."
West Ham boss Sam Allardyce added that City deserved to be champions as they had the best squad.
He said: "They are head and shoulders above the rest because they are top of the Premier League and because they have the best squad.
"They have competed in all four competitions to the maximum level. To win a double - the Capital One Cup and the Barclays Premier League - one has to say they are the best squad and the best team in the league at this moment.
"Liverpool came on a fantastic run but they had no FA Cup, no Capital One Cup and no Europe."