Didi Hamann: Manchester City have had it easy so far, but Tottenham are going to blow the title race wide open

Pep Guardiola's side are odds-on for the league title, but former Man City midfielder Didi Hamann doesn't believe winning the league is that starightforward

Manchester City aren’t going to run away with the Premier League. If you want to oppose City and back someone else, now is the time because odds of 4/7 for them to lift the trophy is a massive overreaction. If Pep Guardiola wasn’t the Manchester City manager there is no way they’d be that price for the title.

They’re playing well, there’s no doubt about it, but we’re six games in to the campaign and five of City’s wins this season have been against teams in the bottom six of the table. Arsenal played some truly excellent football against Chelsea on Saturday night, while Liverpool have already won away to Arsenal, away to Chelsea, and drawn away to Tottenham. If Jose Mourinho can get his team selection settled at Manchester United then they will also be challenging come May. This isn’t as sewn up as some people are making out.

Manchester City have been impressive, but there’s no way I can be backing them at odds on. They will have much tougher tests this season – starting at White Hart Lane against Tottenham on Sunday afternoon.


All eyes will be on the red-hot Sergio Aguero who has five goals in four games this year and has nine goals in eight games against Tottenham – but is he the best striker of the Premier League era? I wouldn’t put him ahead of Thierry Henry. Nobody is ahead of Henry.

Admittedly Aguero is probably as close as you’re going to get, he’s got 107 goals in 154 Premier League games, but Henry was just phenomenal. In the first seven seasons with Arsenal he played a minimum of 31 games in the league – and in five of those he bagged 24 goals or more. It’s outstanding consistency. If Sergio Aguero maintains his incredible record and can win the league again I may change my mind – but he’s got to maintain his form for another two or three seasons to be better than Henry.

The best striker I ever played alongside was Micheal Owen. No doubt. When I arrived at Liverpool in 1999 he blew me away. He was a huge reason we had that successful 2000/01 season when we won the FA Cup, UEFA Cup, and UEFA Super Cup. Owen’s pace made it so much easier for everyone else because there always seemed to be space on the pitch. The opposition were so scared of him they constantly dropped off when we were in possession. They were petrified of his speed. Half of the time you didn’t even need to direct your pass over the top particularly well, because you could guarantee Owen would beat the defender to it anyway. The impact he had on Liverpool FC was far greater than the goals he scored and that is a testament to his talent.

Aguero is up there with the elite, but even he may not be able to guarantee Man City another three points this weekend. Mauricio Pochettino has performed miracles at Tottenham since he took over in the summer of 2014. He has got that squad playing some incredible football, they came third in the league last season and now have Champions League football. People thought they punched above their weight last year, but they’ve picked up exactly where they left off and are unbeaten through their opening six games. Without selling Tottenham’s squad short, compared to other sides and what they spend, you wouldn’t put the Spurs team in the same league – but yet they compete with them and have their eyes on challenging for the title again. Pochettino has worked wonders.

Manchester City may have gone on a 10-game winning streak under Pep in all competitions before Wednesday’s draw with Celtic, but Tottenham will take a point out of their clash on Sunday (). Tottenham very rarely give too much away – they’ve got the meanest defence this season, and had the joint best along with Manchester City last year. With that in mind both 0-0 () and 1-1 () look appealing, but at the odds I’d side with a punt on 0-0 and a saver on under 2.5 goals at .

What do you think?