Blogs & Opinion


Graeme Souness: Manchester City run-in makes title tough despite derby win

Graeme Souness - Graeme Souness Posted 26th March 2014 view comments

Graeme Souness says Manchester City still face an uphill task to win the Premier League, despite their comprehensive derby win over Manchester United.

A 3-0 victory at Old Trafford saw Manuel Pellegrini's side close the gap on Premier League leaders Chelsea to three points with two games in hand, but they face tough away trips to Arsenal, Everton and Liverpool in their final nine games of the season.

City: face tough away trips in the run-in

City: face tough away trips in the run-in

Sky Sports pundit Souness feels City have the strongest squad in the Premier League, but says they should have more points on the board with so many tough fixtures still to come.

"I thought they would win it at the start of the season, but I think the run-in they've got is a really hard one," he said.

"They'll take so much confidence from tonight, though. If they'd lost they'd be damaged and I don't think they would have won.

"Mathematically they'd still be in it if they'd lost tonight, but I think they'd be damaged.

"Look at the games they've got left; they are going to go to Arsenal now and what sort of Arsenal are they going to play?

"They are certainly going to play an upbeat Liverpool and an upbeat Everton and those are certainly not easy games, no matter when you go there.

"Winning here tonight does not assure them of anything. They've still got it all to do because of these games.

"I thought by this stage they would be well in front. They're not."

Vulnerability

Souness believes City should have won the title under Roberto Mancini last year and questioned the attitude of some of their big players under the previous manager.

And he says the FA Cup Final defeat to Wigan last summer - and the subsequent defeat to the same team in this year's competition - shows that there are still weaknesses within Pellegrini's ranks.

He added: "Man City are without doubt a very good team, but they have shown vulnerability several times this year.

"They lost in the FA Cup Final in May to Wigan and they lost to Wigan again.

"That tells me something about that group. They weren't angry enough playing Wigan the second time around.

"Go back 12 months to the best team and the best group of players in the Premier League last year - and they didn't win it.

"Did the big players in the dressing room last year not do their bit?

"Maybe with the previous manager there was a little bit of unrest in there, but the big players should have carried the rest of them through that.

"That should not have been an issue, not with the quality they've got and when you see the way they can play."

back to top

Other Football Experts:

Latest Posts in Football:

Paul Merson

Merson's predictions

Villa to beat Spurs and a draw in the Manchester derby... read what Paul Merson predicts this week....

Latest News RSS feeds

Carra: City would choose Angel

Man City would select Angel Di Maria if they could put one United player in their side, says Jamie Carragher.

Rodgers: No Balotelli concerns

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers insists he has "no concern" about controversial striker Mario Balotelli.

QPR to discuss Rio appeal

QPR manager Harry Redknapp has questioned Rio Ferdinand’s ban by the FA and says the club will discuss an appeal.

Merson's predictions

Villa to beat Spurs and a draw in the Manchester derby... read what Paul Merson predicts this week.

Tonev banned for racist abuse

Celtic's on-loan Aston Villa winger Aleksandar Tonev has been banned for seven games for racially abusing an opponent.

Features

The statistics that show Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure is enduring a slump in form so far this season

The statistics that show Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure is enduring a slump in form so far this season

Yaya Toure has had his moments. There was the whipped strike against the crossbar against West Ham last weekend and the deadlock-breaking effort late on at Aston Villa. It’s not that he’s failing to contribute. It’s that this contribution is so diminished by comparison to last season’s heroics.

Championship: Mali internationals Bakary Sako and Nouha Dicko have forged a productive partnership for Wolves

Championship: Mali internationals Bakary Sako and Nouha Dicko have forged a productive partnership for Wolves

Bakary Sako and Nouha Dicko are unlikely to forget their first game together as Wolves team-mates. It was April 2013 and the scene was Molineux for the final home game of the season against Burnley. Wolves were desperate for a positive result to avoid a second consecutive relegation.

Mario Balotelli's return to form reminds Kevin Davies of the mavericks he's played with...

Mario Balotelli's return to form reminds Kevin Davies of the mavericks he's played with...

Former England and Bolton striker Kevin Davies remembers individual enigmas that he played with after Mario Balotelli's return to form...