PABLO Zabaleta has blasted back at the City snipers who have branded their season a “disaster”.
And the iconic Blues defender has leapt to the defence of manager Manuel Pellegrini, who he says deserves more respect for what he has achieved with the Blues.
The Argentine ace was not trying to sweep a disappointing season under the carpet, but says the reaction to one trophy-less season is ridiculous.
“We must be honest with ourselves and recognise that it was not our best season but sometimes football is like that,” said Zabaleta.
“You look at Liverpool, Arsenal, they are also some of the greatest teams and they’ve not won that many trophies in the last few years.
“But at City it seems one disappointing season is like a disaster. Maybe it’s because we’ve won the Premier League twice, the FA Cup, the Capital One.
“Now it seems like because we have not won something it’s a disaster and we have to change seven or eight players and the manager – that’s what people say.”
City are well placed to finish second in the league behind champions-elect Chelsea, with rivals United and Arsenal still to play each other and the Blues yet to face trips to Spurs and Swansea and home games against QPR and Southampton.
But the fact that they have won nothing has brought intense speculation about Pellegrini’s position, harking back to Roberto Mancini’s final season.
Mancini at least reached an FA Cup final, but one major difference between him and Pellegrini is the fact that the Italian had some serious and influential enemies, both within the dressing room and the hierarchy of the club.
Mancini was sacked because his bosses decided the football had become stale and predictable – which has been the case for Pellegrini as well – but the underlying current of disharmony in the camp, which is not the case at the moment, undoubtedly influenced the decision.
Doubts over the future of Pellegrini are dragged out whenever the team loses - and sometimes when they win, as happened on Saturday!
Zabaleta said: “The manager deserves more respect from everyone. He came last season, he won the league and the Capital One. We cannot blame just the manager for this moment.
“Individual players have not been great in the whole season. Everyone is responsible - when you don’t win titles it can be a little bit frustrating for everyone.
“But listen, we have to wait until the end of the season. Now is not the time to be thinking about what went wrong, it’s the time to finish as well as we can. Then we’ll see what happens.”
Pablo Zabaleta feels Manuel Pellegrini deserves more respect for winning the league and Capital One Cup last season