Manchester City to Appoint Lillo As Assistant Manager?

Manchester City Manager Pep Guardiola has been without an Assistant Manager since the departure of Mikel Arteta to Arsenal.

There have been many rumours concerning a new Assistant to Pep Guardiola at Manchester City in recent months. Names from Xabi Alonso to even Vincent Kompany have been linked.

However, Spanish media have suggested a deal has been done and Guardiola will shortly have a new Assistant. The name though will come as a surprise to City fans as few will recognise him.

Journalists suggest that terms have been agreed for Juanma Lillo to join up with City in June from his current position with a Chinese side.

To understand why Pep may have turned to Lillo requires an understanding of their relationship, which goes back more than 20 years.

Lillo is a 54 year old Spanish coach and manager who has had strong ideas about how the game should be played but has not always managed to equate these with success.

In his over 30 year management career he has few trophies and honours but is well respected as a charismatic and innovative coach.

The relationship with Guardiola goes back to 2000 when Pep was a Barcelona player facing a Real Oviedo team managed by Lillo. In the dressing room afterwards a friendship was struck which has continued.

In 2005 Guardiola was in the swansong of his playing career when he ventured to Mexico to play for Lillo who was by then manager of Dorados de Sinaloa.

By 2010, Guardiola was Barcelona manager and he faced up against an Almeria side under the guidance of Lillo. The 8-0 drubbing which ensued cost Lillo his job.

Lillo spent some time as Assistant to Jorge Sampaoli at Chile where the Copa America was secured and together they has a glorious but shortlived run at Sevilla.

Lillo has averaged 0.94 years at each management job during his career so far! Currently working in China where the Leagues are suspended, the temptation to join Guardiola at Manchester City would be huge.

Hopefully the news will be confirmed and we can welcome Lillo to City in the coning weeks. It looks  to be an interesting appointment and there will be few dull moments at least!

Load Comments