Blogs & Opinion


Man City: Success without Sergio Aguero shows why they should win title

Jamie Carragher - Jamie Carragher Posted 10th January 2014 view comments

I am not shocked that Man City have racked up the wins since Sergio Aguero's injury but I am a little surprised at the number of goals they have scored.

Aguero is City's main man, their main scorer, so you thought they might have slowed down a bit on the goal front, but they have been smashing them in, with Alvaro Negredo and Edin Dzeko in great form.

Dzeko's power and goal threat are vital for Man City, says Carra

Dzeko's power and goal threat are vital for Man City, says Carra

I think this proves that City are far from a one-man team - something Liverpool with Luis Suarez and Manchester United with Wayne Rooney have been accused of in the past - and shows why they are favourites for the title.

Manuel Pellegrini has so many world-class players to pick from but also so much variety.

Aguero is lethal in front of goal and is hard to stop because of his low centre of gravity, while there is also the power and physicality of Dzeko and then Negredo, who is a strong boy but also links the play well.

Negredo, for me, is the signing of the season.

Jamie Carragher
Quotes of the week

Jesus Navas, meanwhile, gives City out-and-out width, which they have probably lacked since Adam Johnson left, and there is also the skill of David Silva and Nasri and the muscle of Yaya Toure in midfield.

Style

Negredo and Dzeko, though, have forged a very good partnership and it must be hard for defenders to come up against two guys of that size who also have such ability.

There are big frontmen about, especially at teams towards the bottom of the league who play a direct style, but they don't have the skills of these two, so not only do you have to be prepared for a physical battle, you also know they can trouble you on the floor.

Negredo, for me, is the signing of the season.

If you look at what he's done - 15 goals in 15 home games following Wednesday's hat-trick against West Ham - and how inexpensive he was, the deal looks like an absolute steal.

As for Dzeko, it always seems like he has been third or fourth choice at City.

He has had to compete with Carlos Tevez and Mario Balotelli for playing time and now he battles with Aguero and Negredo, but he pops up with important goals, often ones which set City on their way in games or turn out to be winners.

Dzeko came with a big reputation when he arrived from German team Wolfsburg for a lot of money and in his interviews he always talks about how he wants to play more games, so he deserves credit for sticking it out and not moving away.

Quadruple

I think you could argue that City have the best squad in Europe - though Bayern Munich would say otherwise - but I don't feel they have the best team as I think they are slightly short of Bayern and Barcelona on their day.

However, they are certainly closing the gap on the top teams in Europe and I think the Champions League games with Barcelona will be very tight and one that City can certainly win if they are at their best.

Pellegrini's team are 150/1 with Sky Bet to win the Quadruple - Premier League, FA Cup, Capital One Cup and Champions League - and I'm sure City fans are daring to dream of seeing their club match Celtic, who did it in the 1966/67 season.

They are virtually in Capital One Cup final already; are at home to Watford or Bristol City in the FA Cup if they beat Blackburn; are getting better all the time in the Premier League; and, as I said, are capable of beating any Champions League team.

But some great teams in the past have not achieved the Quadruple and you only need one slip-up or one bad refereeing mistake and it's all over, so I think it's almost impossible and I'll be keeping my money in my pocket.

Do City have the best squad in Europe? Is Negredo the signing of the season? Is the Quadruple on? Let us know YOUR thoughts using the feedback form below...

back to top

Other Football Experts:

Latest Posts in Football:

Paul Merson

Merson's predictions

Merse predicts the weekend results and says Chelsea will beat Arsenal and Spurs will struggle at home....

Andy Walker

Walker: Deila must use Commons

Celtic manager Ronny Deila should build his side around midfielder Kris Commons, says Andy Walker....

Ed Chamberlin

Ed: Arsenal must learn lessons

Now is the time for Arsenal to impress against the 'big guns' like Chelsea, says Ed Chamberlin. ...

Latest News RSS feeds

Europa League live!

Updates from Thursday's action, starting with Everton in Russia

England call-up for Clyne

Nathaniel Clyne has been named in England's squad for the European Qualifiers against San Marino and Estonia.

Sturridge discussing new deal

Manager Brendan Rodgers has confirmed that Liverpool are in talks with forward Daniel Sturridge over a new contract.

Merson's predictions

Merse predicts the weekend results and says Chelsea will beat Arsenal and Spurs will struggle at home.

Live transfer updates

Lukas Podolski has hinted he could leave Arsenal in January, while Lionel Messi insists he will be staying at Barcelona.

Features

Sky Sports YouTube top five: Gary Neville gets a soaking

Sky Sports YouTube top five: Gary Neville gets a soaking

Our official YouTube channel is a great way to catch up with some of the best Sky Sports videos. From top highlights and big-name interviews to funny moments that showcase the lighter side of sport, here's what you've been clicking on in the last seven days...

Problems for Brendan Rodgers' Liverpool

Problems for Brendan Rodgers' Liverpool

"The message to the players is that we can win the game. I see signs that we are starting to get back to our level."

Matic a midfield master

Matic a midfield master

Match-winner Nemanja Matic is now an integral part of Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea team, says Roberto di Matteo.