Independent: Kompany buoyant ahead of derby
- 19 September 2013 08:45
- Posted by @porter_mcfc
Yesterday’s papers may have been filled with Champions League drama (and car puns of varying quality), but the focus has now shifted to Sunday’s Manchester derby.
The much-anticipated fixture is already the talk of the city, and Vincent Kompany is raring to go after beginning his preparations with victory in Plzen.
The Independent’s Jack De Menezes writes: Goals from Edin Dzeko, Yaya Toure and Sergio Aguero gave them the perfect start, and Kompany believes the result has buoyed the squad ahead of the anticipated derby match.
"Until now the derby was not a priority at all but obviously now it is the next game,” said Kompany.
"We will make sure we are in the right condition for the game.
"It is a special game. It is becoming one of the most sought-after fixtures in the world and it is always great to be involved in such games. I never take them for granted.”
He added: "I was probably more happy than anyone else to be on the pitch.
"It feels great. I am really happy to be back with the guys and I work hard every single day to make sure I can play as many games as possible.
"I am also very thankful to the medical staff that gave me such good attention and allowed me to come back in perfect condition.
"I felt in incredible form when I left the team and I have come back in feeling in the same form and that is the most important."
Great to have you back, captain!
One man who is still absorbed in City’s Champions League campaign is former Blue, Dietmar Hamann, who liked what he saw in the Czech Republic and reckons Manuel Pellegrini’s men have shown they can beat anyone.
After a convincing win against Viktoria Plzen and an eye-catching second half performance, Hamann is confident that City can come out on top when Bayern Munich visit the Etihad Stadium in two weeks’ time.
The former City midfielder told Sky Sports: "I think City can be a threat to the very best in the Champions League. On their day they are as good as anyone in the competition.
"They played the second half how you expect to see Real Madrid, Bayern Munich or even Barcelona dismantle a limited side.
"This is how they have to set the bar now, this is the standard they have to be and they have to kick on now, because this team is capable of beating any team in the competition, I'm sure about that.”
Elsewhere, January transfer speculation continues to pop up across the media.
(I’ve checked - it’s still several months away, so need to go out and panic-buy Christmas presents yet.)
Predictably, after a fantastic performance in Plzen on Tuesday night, it’s Samir Nasri collecting the column inches today. Website Caught Offside claims that Liverpool will make an “audacious” swoop for the player when the New Year arrives.
The report states: “But despite the fact that Nasri has so far been more involved under the new City coach than he was under his predecessor, the word coming out of City is that Pellegrini is not a fan of the former Marseille star, just like Mancini was not either, and is more likely to favour the attacking players that he signed himself during the close season.
“All of which means that unless Pellegrini undergoes a dramatic change of heart between now and January, then City will be prepared to let Nasri go if a club meets their £17m valuation of the player, who by that point will have just 18 months left to run on his deal in the north west.”
It might be worth noting here that the Frenchman has played a part in every single one of City’s five competitive fixtures so far this term.
Anyway, if any deals are confirmed in January, we’ll be the first with the news right here on mcfc.co.uk.