logo

20 July 2017

Vincent Kompany knows only Premier League title joy will do for Manchester City and United

VINCENT KOMPANY has warned the moneybags Manchester clubs: There are no excuses this season.

The two old rivals go head-to-head in the early hours of Friday morning at the NRG Stadium here in Texas.

Vincent Kompany hoists the Premier League trophy in 2014
Vincent Kompany hoists the Premier League trophy in 2014
Getty Images
Manchester United celebrate their last title win in 2013
Robin van Persie and Manchester United celebrate their last title win in 2013
PA:Press Association

It will be an early chance to claim bragging rights before a campaign in which both clubs — and their illustrious coaches — need to do better.

City ended up 15 points behind champions Chelsea as Pep Guardiola finished without silverware for the first time in his managerial career.

Meanwhile, despite picking up two trophies, Jose Mourinho’s men were a distant sixth, 24 points off his old club Chelsea.

More than £230million has already been lavished on bringing new faces to Manchester this summer — and that figure could well double before the end of August.

City are poised to take their outlay to around £150m by signing Real Madrid full-back Danilo.

And United will not be far behind them if they can finally snare Ivan Perisic from Inter Milan in the next few days.


No wonder many experts believe it will be a shootout between the two for the Premier League crown come May.

Kompany said: “It’s hard to say who are going to be favourites. In my opinion, more teams than ever can claim that they want to be Premier League champions.

“Or not just can be — they HAVE to be. The distinction is important. They have to because everybody is investing heavily at the moment.”

Kompany
Kompany says ‘it’s hard to say who are going to be favourites’
Reuters
City are poised to take their summer outlay to around £150m by signing Real Madrid full-back Danilo
City are poised to take their summer outlay to around £150m by signing Real Madrid full-back Danilo
Getty Images

It is three years since City last picked up the trophy and in that time they have tasted glory only once, last year’s League Cup.

The fact his team failed to mount a title challenge beyond the early days of April clearly hurt Guardiola.

He said: “We didn’t compete in the Premier League until the end of the season.

“We fought until the end, yes, but were not close enough to Tottenham or especially Chelsea.

“There was one period where we dropped a lot of points and lost that chance to fight for the Premier League. But OK — it was a good experience and hopefully next season we can do better.”

He will certainly have to do just that and, as ever, City’s Abu Dhabi owners have backed their manager with huge resources.

Kyle Walker, Ederson Moraes and Bernardo Silva have already joined this summer, with Danilo likely to follow soon.

United are looking to finally snare Ivan Perisic from Inter Milan
United are looking to finally snare Ivan Perisic from Inter Milan
Getty Images
Pep Guardiola: 'We believe we have to try and refresh the team'
Pep Guardiola: ‘We believe we have to try and refresh the team’
Reuters

City are also still hopeful of landing Monaco’s Benjamin Mendy, as well as Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez.

Guardiola said: “Until August 31 we have a chance, we are working to make the squad better for the next three, four, five or six seasons.

“Ederson will be for many years a good goalkeeper for Manchester City.

“Bernardo Silva was one of the best players in Ligue 1, he’s really good out wide.

“Kyle, you know him better than me, he’s experienced and has great quality. We believe we have to try and refresh the team and Kyle is going to help us.”

Manchester City star Gabriel Jesus shows amazing ball on wall control challenge

Guardiola declared himself happy with the way his close friend, City director of football Txiki Begiristain, has gone about his transfer business so far this summer.

By contrast, there are murmurings Mourinho is unimpressed that he is still waiting for two players.

Croatian Perisic should arrive to strengthen United’s wide options.

Jose Mourinho...not so happy with United's transfer business
Jose Mourinho…is thought not to be happy with United's transfer business so far
Getty Images
Guardiola expect a tough, uncompromising game
Kompany and Guardiola expect a tough, uncompromising game
Reuters

But there is yet to be a breakthrough in the search for a holding midfielder, with Tottenham’s Eric Dier and Chelsea star Nemanja Matic still in the frame.

Anyone looking for pointers for the season ahead tonight may end up disappointed — after all, this is City’s first game of pre-season.

Manchester United man Paul Pogba shoots some hoops with friends

But Kompany still reckons the International Champions Cup clash will not be your typical friendly. The Belgian defender, 31, said: “My situation is simple, my wife is from ­Manchester, she’s a blue, her family is divided between blue and red.

“At Christmas for dinner it’s an issue sometimes — that’s everything about a derby, really.

Antonio Valencia...sent off against
Antonio Valencia…sent off against Real Salt City
Rex Features

“It’s a friendly game, but I’ve never played it as a friendly. The fans are right to anticipate this match.”

Ahead of the clash, United defender Antonio Valencia has apologised for getting sent off in their last friendly against Real Salt Lake.


Keep up to date with all the latest news, gossip, rumours and done deals in SunSport’s live transfer blog


He scythed down Sebastian Saucedo, who had earlier injured Juan Mata — the Spaniard will now miss tomorrow’s match with City.

And Ecuadorian Valencia, 31, said: “The boy was very excited and he wound me up a bit.

“It was my fault, I hope it doesn’t happen in an important competition like the Premier League or the Champions League.”


Please follow and like us:

Share
#

Write a comment

5+2 = ?