SkySports: Pellegrini refuses to play mind games
- 31 March 2014 07:52
- Posted by @roline_mcfc
Another day, another heap of City stories in the news. So, what's making the headlines today?
Let's start with SkySports.com, who suggest that Manuel Pellegrini is refusing to take notice of Jose Mourinho's mind games, after the Chelsea boss ruled his side out of the Premier League title race.
"Chelsea crashed to a shock 1-0 defeat at Crystal Palace on Saturday afternoon, after which Mourinho claimed it is now impossible for his team to win the Premier League," their article states.
"Mourinho's latest declaration follows previous talk of big horses, little horses and the Liverpool Chihuahua earlier in the campaign but Pellegrini has no intention of embroiling himself in a war of words with the Chelsea boss."
Pellegrini is quoted in the piece, asserting: "I don't think that important managers can give any importance to those mind games, and I don't know if you think that managers who seem to play mind games are more intelligent. I don't think so.
"I do not know what Mourinho said, and I don't know the way he thinks [but] it is not my duty to analyse what Mourinho has said. That is your duty.
"My way of thinking is that the four teams have the same option to win the title. It is very close. All the other teams have a few points more - six games more - we have eight games more. We have to win those six points [in hand].
"We don't have six points more, we have two games postponed. It is not the same thing so I think all four teams have the same chances."
Wise words as ever from the boss!
Also in the Mirror, Mark Lawrenson has commented on the title race in his column, declaring that City will pip Liverpool to the Premier League crown.
He concludes: "For some time now I’ve been saying that although Liverpool can win the Premier League they ultimately won’t – and I still believe that.
"For Liverpool to win the league they will have to turn eight wins in a row into 14. That is a massive ask. And I think Manchester City’s deeper squad will just give them the edge.
"Look at the way that Edin Dzeko has stepped up to get the goals while Alvaro Negredo has gone off the boil. Look at the way that they coped without David Silva and Sergio Aguero.
"What a classy option he is to come back to spearhead their run-in. It all gives them a bigger chance.
"They’ve got games in hand and although they were held at Arsenal on Saturday their away record has been impressive during this second half of the season.
"The goal that they conceded at the Emirates on Saturday was their first in the Premier League since February 3 at home to Chelsea.
"And Manuel Pellegrini will know that, like Liverpool, all his side have to do is win their remaining games to be champions. I just believe their greater momentum will take them to the title."
Here's hoping you're right, Mark!
Elsewhere, the Manchester Evening News are reporting that Blues defender Martin Demichelis is now starting to feel at home in Manchester, after receiving messages of support from the fans in recent weeks.
Writes Stuart Brennan: "The Argentine stopper is winning round City fans who were distraught when his errors in conceding two penalties led to them being knocked out of the FA Cup and Champions League in the space of a fortnight.
"His partnership with Vincent Kompany has formed the bedrock of a defence that kept five clean sheets on the bounce, for the first time since 1915 – a run that came to an end in the 1-1 draw at the Emirates on Saturday.
"Demichelis has brought all of his vast experience with River Plate, Bayern Munich and Malaga to bear in recent games – and City’s defence has looked better for it.
"That has changed the minds of many supporters, and that is transmitting itself from the stands."
According to Brennan, Demichelis admitted: "I welcome those messages. My confidence is very high and I feel I am in really good form and am happy to help the team.
"It’s true that I conceded penalties in two different competitions and it’s true they were punctual mistakes but I am not in bad shape and am full of confidence.
"I could have been worried, for example, that Olivier Giroud might win all the high balls but he didn’t and I could have been late into the challenges but I wasn’t.
"I felt I played well at Arsenal and my form is high – and the positive messages are good."
Glad to hear it, Martin!
And finally, there's a snippet of transfer gossip for you this morning as the Mirror claim City are preparing a £15m bid for Barcelona defender Dani Alves in the summer.
"The 30-year-old defender is believed to have a £30 million buy out clause in his contract," announces Chris Richards.
"However, according to The Sun, Barca want to sell the Brazilian to help finance the £500 million cost of remodelling the Nou Camp.
"Alves has spent six successful years with the Catalan club and has won 72 caps for Brazil. He previously made 175 appearances for Seville."
That's all for today folks. Check back to mcfc.co.uk at the same time tomorrow for more City-related media speculation.