Premier League Previews: Manchester City
What are you most excited about heading into the new season?
Simply put, I’m just excited to watch us play football again. How could you not be? The football we play, the goals we score… it’s genuinely mesmerising stuff. You get a real thrill watching world class talent, and we have that on display every single week.
Add a fully fit De Bruyne into the equation, and the quiet, assured brilliance of our new man Rodri, and we should be even better! Hopefully this is the year we finally capture our maiden Champions League title too.
What worries you ahead of the new season?
Two words: Vincent Kompany. Or, to be more precise, the lack of him. We’ve lost our captain – a genuine, one-of-a-kind person who epitomised everything that was great about our club’s development over the past decade.
With him gone, there’s a genuine lack of leadership in our team and that could affect us towards the business end of the season. It might not of course, but it could, and that’s a concern. He wasn’t a bad footballer either, mind.
What have you made of your club’s transfer activity this summer?
It’s been good! Our squad was excellent already – the only concern City fans had last year was the existential crisis-inducing possibility of Fernandinho picking up a serious injury. But we’ve signed Rodri now, and brought back an ex-academy lad in Angelino (which is always nice) as cover for the left-back spot, so we’re looking good.
The only downside could be if Leroy Sané finally heads to Bayern. Hopefully, by the time you read this, he's still at City!
What unpopular opinion do you have about your team going into the season?
An unpopular opinion about this City squad is impossibly hard to think of. Everything is more or less perfect these days, but here’s a more out there one – this could be the year that Gabriel Jesus finally ends up as our first choice striker.
Aguero is astonishingly good, but I’ve got a gut instinct that Gabriel Jesus is about to go up a level and surprise everyone by demonstrating just how perfectly suited he is as a ‘Guardiola striker’.
Who would win if your squad had a WWE Royal Rumble style fight?
Rodri immediately stands out because, well, he literally stands out – he’s huge! But even then, I don’t think he’d win. It would have been Kompany last year, but with him gone, it’s open season. Rodri and Laporte are both big guys, but I'm going for a surprise in Ederson.
He’s absolutely mad. He’s so impossibly calm that I'm convinced he’s an android or something, so with that in mind, I imagine he’d be a ruthlessly efficient fighter. Plus he has a smiley face neck tattoo. Never, ever trust a man with a smiley face neck tattoo.
Where do you think your team will realistically finish in the Premier League?
Top of the pile. I’m not trying to be arrogant here, but all logic dictates that City are still the best team in the country. Our recent points tallies, the goals we score, the back-to-back titles… that’s before you consider we’ve got a manager who literally thrives off domestic domination, a brilliant new holding midfielder, De Bruyne back fit and raring to go, Bernardo constantly improving, a confident Jesus fresh from his Copa America win, and Foden being another year stronger and wiser. Who knows, even Mendy could be back!
Liverpool will push us hard, but I think we’ll just about get over the line again.