Pellegrini Article

There was an interesting article on Goal.com regarding underrated coaches, which spoke about Pellegrini:

The 54-year-old Chilean is already a well-known, big name manager in his native South America, having won six trophies in all with various clubs including Argentine outfits San Lorenzo and River Plate.

It didn’t take long for him to make his mark in Europe. In his second year, he guided a Juan Román Riquelme-inspired Villarreal to a Champions League semi-final two seasons ago. But he is still fairly unrecognized in Spain, despite yet another humdinger of a season wherein the Yellow Submarines look on course to book themselves a return to Europe’s elite club competition after a two-year absence.

Pellegrini is the kind of coach who emphasizes on team work and collective effort rather than the dependence on one particular superstar player. This particular quality in him is evident after he lost two of the team’s most influential players – albeit for sharply contrasting reasons – at the start of the season, in Diego Forlán and Riquelme. Yet instead of the club going backwards, like many had predicted, they have actually gone forwards in leaps and bounds, with the very promising likelihood of finishing the term as La Liga runners-up just a small testament to how much they’ve improved.

Despite his remarkable track record, you rarely read or hear about Pellegrini being linked to the league’s big guns. In fact, you rarely see his name even being mentioned. Had it not been for the whole Riquelme affair, most people wouldn’t even know that he is the Villarreal entrenador. Quiet, relaxed - a bit like his team, really - he's an unsung hero.

I think the article doesn't do him full justice. Pellegrini has been recognized as one of the top coaches in Spain, and unfortunately, has been strongly linked away from the club to the likes of Barcelona and Chelsea. The article is right on point, though, about his focus on the team. Pellegrini has not just taught technique at Villarreal, but rather has infused his personal style into the club. The seemingly laid back approach of the club, with the short, quick passes getting down the pitch (it regularly takes eight or more passes just to get to midfield), is all Pellegrini. And the best part is, it is beautiful. The Yellows play one of, if not the most beautiful games in Spain.

Speaking of Pellegrini, he is refusing to talk about the transfer market. Likewise, Llenaza stressed that the team is in good shape and it will be difficult to find quality backup players for our current squad. But perhaps his most encouraging statement, he said , "What I can assure is that Villarreal will not sell or negotiate the departure of its players. But in our country and with the exit clauses there is always that risk."

Llenaza refused to comment on the likelihood of Villarreal signing the two Argentines linked to the club earlier in the week, Diego Valery and Cristian Villagra, but did say the two players are "very good." I'll sign off here under the belief that is a positive sign from Llenaza. ;)

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