Wenger admits City are title favourites
- 02 February 2014 08:46
- Posted by @roline_mcfc
The start of February signalled the end of the transfer window and right on cue, the headlines revert back to the matter at hand: the Premier League title race...
Let's start with Goal.com's claims that Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has admitted that City are favourites to win the title, asserting though that the Blues will have to continue to win away from home to do so.
Writes Chris Davie: "Wenger insists that his side can recover top spot, pointing out that City still have difficult fixtures on the road to come in 2013-14, including trips to Manchester United, Liverpool and Everton as well as the Emirates Stadium.
According to the website, Wenger told the press: "Man City are the team of the moment, so everybody goes to definite conclusions.
"I don't deny their strength, quality and the exceptional players they have but let's not forget they have lost four away games, so they must have some vulnerability.
"On the fixture front, they have more difficult fixtures than we have.
"Yes, they are the favourites. I agree with that at the moment. You cannot say that a team that scores over 100 goals has no quality.
"They are top quality but it is an even bigger target and scalp for us to get in front of them. It would be absolutely fantastic and I think we can do it."
We'll see about that, Mr Wenger!
Elsewhere, there is special praise for the boys in blue from a very surprising source - former Manchester United captain Gary Neville, who believes that City are building a squad capable of winning the Champions League.
He states: "This season may be too soon but I see signs that City and Chelsea are building teams that will win trophies not just in England but in Europe as well.
"With City, that must now be obvious to anyone who sees them.
"The biggest compliment I could pay to them as a United fan is that watching them beat Tottenham on Wednesday night gave me a sinking feeling in my stomach. It was as though I were watching one of the title-winning United sides — only they were wearing light blue shirts.
"Given that they seem to be making additions in central defence and midfield this summer — the two areas where they might need some cover — you can see them only improving. And now that Joe Hart, Vincent Kompany and Yaya Toure are back to their best, I think they are on a different level from anyone else."
Well, that certainly made very pleasant reading indeed! Thank you for sharing your delightful thoughts, Mr Neville.
Finally, the Mirror are reporting that Joe Hart's future is not secure, despite a string of solid performances.
Claims Simon Mullock: "England’s No.1 has been warned by his Manchester City boss that he must maintain the standards he has set since returning to the Blues’ Premier League line-up just before Christmas.
"Hart was axed by Pellegrini after a last-minute blunder handed Chelsea victory at Stamford Bridge in October.
"The Chilean decided it was one mistake too many - and the 26-year-old was replaced by Costel Pantilimon for City’s next six league games.
"City have collected a perfect 21 points since Hart’s return seven games ago - but the keeper has been told in no uncertain terms that he must not allow his performance level to drop.
"Hart was a key reason why City have boasted the best defence in the Premier League for the last three seasons.
"But while Pellegrini’s all-out attack philosophy has brought a flood of goals, it has also left his team exposed at times.
"And Hart was well below his best during defeats to Cardiff and Bayern Munich before his blunder at the Bridge allowed Fernando Torres to score a Chelsea winner.
"Sources at the Etihad insist that, contrary to reports from abroad, City haven’t been scouring the globe for a new keeper.
"But it is clear that Hart still has some work to do to convince his manager."
So, the Blues have won every game since Hart's return to the squad, it's pretty obvious that City aren't in the market for a new goalkeeper AND no other club has declared their interest in him... Yet, his future is uncertain because of errors that occurred back in October? Right...
I think I'll leave it there!
Join us again tomorrow here on mcfc.co.uk for more media speculation regarding all things City!
City take on Sunderland in the Premier League on Wednesday 12 February in what will be a dress rehearsal for the Capital One Cup Final in March.
Can the Blues avenge the Stadium of Light defeat earlier this season? A night match under the lights at the Etihad and a preview of the forthcoming final - demand is expected to be high as Manuel Pellegrini's side attempt to continue their incredible run.
Don't miss out - ticket details can be found here...