Published: Sat, August 12, 2017
Sport | By Wendy Sparks

Guardiola, Mourinho spend heavily to dethrone Chelsea

Guardiola, Mourinho spend heavily to dethrone Chelsea

Empowered by a close-season transfer splurge of some £200 million (HK$2.04 billion), Manchester City are the early favourites to topple Premier League champions Chelsea.

Benjamin Mendy, Danilo and Kyle Walker have followed, costing in the region of £215m, and the Catalan believes City would have been forced to shell out even more had they not acted quickly.

"That group of players is going to stay for a long time at Manchester City", he said. "We are going to see at the end of the season what happens knowing how hard it is".

"But there's only one team that can win it and [Manchester] City brought [Pep] Guardiola to the club to win the Premier League and to win the Champions League, and he has to win something this year".

The Withdean Stadium is an athletics venue but between 1999 and 2011 it played host to Brighton's home games. We bought three and the market is so demanding not just for Manchester City.

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Full-backs have been key to Guardiola's coaching career, and last season the four on his squad simply couldn't provide what he was asking of them. "I would like in three or four passes to score a goal, but sometimes it's not possible and you have to move them [the opposition] a little bit more, and because our strikers are not Peter Crouch, our strikers are completely different, they are not strong in the air".

It seems sometimes that the greatest thing the Premier League offers is schadenfreude: the opportunity to revel in others' misfortunes.

"My experience of being a manager, always the beginning of the season the new ones are the toughest ones", Guardiola added.

With more money available, manager Chris Hughton will have the tools at his disposal to give it a real go this season.

He and Everton target Sigurdsson were the reason Swansea survived last season and, while I think the last relegation place will be between them and Watford, it's missing those two players that makes me lean towards the Swans.

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"We're not expected to beat teams like City". But that patience appears to be wearing thin after the fleet-footed winger made only nine Premier League starts last season.

"Guardiola has given the distinct impression that he is not wildly impressed with English football culture, nearly an air of disdain at times, and behind the scenes City have seen him be intense, irritable and demanding", says Matt Dickinson of The Times. "If the club decides [I am] not able, we are going to take a solution".

"It's the same pressure as I had last season", Guardiola explained. My first press conference we were favourites and that hasn't changed.

Will Antonio Conte and his Chelsea team retain their title glory for a second season, or will they concentrate on a competition they were left out of last season?

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Wenger added: "I'm convinced in 10 or 15 years it will not necessarily be a football specialist who is a manager of a club". When you have treatment on the medical bench it's not easy".


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