MEN: Pellegrini hoping for a perfect week
- 29 March 2014 08:30
- Posted by @roline_mcfc
As the clock ticks down to another crucial Premier League encounter, what City-related 'news' has made this morning's headlines?
"As weeks go it has not been a bad one so far for City," writes Mike Keegan. "It started with a 5-0 hammering of Fulham and continued with a resounding 3-0 derby rout of the old enemy at Old Trafford.
"Now, Manuel Pellegrini reckons the Blues can make it the perfect seven days by knocking out the Gunners’ title challenge.
"Arsene Wenger’s men have a woeful record against their fellow title contenders conceding 17 goals in their last three matches against City, Liverpool and Chelsea.
"While the Blues were getting their season back on track (although some would say it was never derailed), the gutless Gunners were getting pounded 6-0 by Chelsea and conceding an injury-time equaliser against Swansea City.
"They are in fourth, three points behind the Blues who have two games in hand. A win for City here and in those matches could stretch that lead to 12 points.
"It was not lost on Pellegrini, who is confident enough to speak without a translator these days and eloquently described it as ‘a match of six points’."
According to Keegan, the City boss stated: "It will be very difficult for them [Arsenal - if City win]. In football, the mathematics always have a chance of happening. There can be an option. Twelve points is an important difference. It is not the last match or a match that will decide the title but it would be a huge step.
“We have had a very good start to the week and we hope we finish the same.”
We hope so too, Manuel!
Elsewhere, our Chilean boss also features in the Independent, apparently offering support to Wenger after a disappointing week for the Gunners saw the Frenchman criticised once more.
Pellegrini described Arsenal's decision to persevere with the same manager for 17 years as 'a good way of working – the best way' and continued:
'Maybe one of the most difficult things for a manager is to stay so many years. It’s good for a manager to stay so many years. That’s why I have respect for Arsène Wenger because 17 years in the same club is not easy. I think it’s the best way to work.'
Back in the Manchester Evening News, former City striker Shaun Goater has urged the Blues' midfielders to 'feed the forwards' as much as possible as the title run-in hots up.
"The Bermudan, who scored 103 goals for the Blues between 1998 and 2003, believes City’s front three are up there with the best finishers in Europe," claim the MEN.
"Speaking ahead of Saturday's You Are Football Experiment, which will see Goater and 10 fans wear heart monitors during the game, Goater, 44, said: 'What’s good about the strikeforce is its quality. It’s really exciting about the players we have up front. They can score the goals we need, starting against Arsenal.
'[Alvaro] Negredo has gone off the boil a little bit at the moment but he is a player who can score goals and certainly with the service we have is able to put them away. He’ll bounce back very soon.
'Edin Dzeko seems to love playing against United, always scoring goals against them. But he’s got a really decent general record and he’s scored important goals.'
'The key to City is really in midfield and the players who can produce chances for the strikers – and with Yaya [Toure] and [David] Silva you have the class to do that'."
Spoken like a true striker, Shaun! And I think you're right.
Never far from the headlines, Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho is trying his hand at mind games again, suggesting that Chelsea are at a disadvantage in the title race due to their Champions League commitments.
Mourinho is quoted in the Express as saying: 'We have the most difficult (run in) because we play Champions League - they don't. We have to play matches with two and three days in between.
'We have to change our focus from the Premier League to the Champions League... [we must] play two big matches (against PSG). We have no time to prepare for matches like they [City and Liverpool] have.
'It's an advantage that City has now, an advantage that Liverpool have had since the beginning of the season'."
And finally, after it was reported yesterday that Yaya Toure has been tipped for the Player of the Year Award, Manuel Pellegrini has also backed the Ivorian to beat Liverpool's Luis Suarez to the crown.
According to Goal.com: "The Ivory Coast international has been a driving force behind City's title challenge this season and is also the club’s leading Premier League scorer with 17 goals.
"However, Pellegrini thinks Toure deserves the award and is hoping he can maintain his fine form until the end of the season:
'I think Yaya has had a very good season so far and we hope he can continue. Hopefully we win the title and then he can be the best player.'
"While Pellegrini refused to compare the two players, he did insist that Toure is now of the best in the world: 'I don’t want to compare him with anyone – both Yaya and Suárez have had amazing seasons so far.
'They must try to finish the season in the same way and after that, it [Footballer of Year award] will be the same as the fight for the title. But Yaya is one of the best midfielders in the world and it doesn’t matter if he’s European, African or South American.
'He has a chance to be there with the best players in the world'."
That's all for today. Check back to mcfc.co.uk tomorrow morning for the papers' post-match reaction and more City-related media speculation!