Peter Crouch: Man City are even stronger than last season with Haaland

Can't see anyone stopping them this season


Changes at City

Every team seems to evolve and players always want to play. With a squad like Man City’s, there are always going to be changes.

Bringing the players they have, it’s always going to mean others will want to go.

That’s the nature of football.

I dunno why on earth they’d want to let Bernardo Silva go to Barcelona, as has been rumoured, but Sterling, Jesus, and Zinchenko have all gone elsewhere this summer, and I can understand why.

Raheem Sterling wants to be part of England’s set-up and his pride was damaged last season by Foden coming into the first team and with Mahrez and Grealish also there.

That would’ve hurt him.

But credit to him, he’s put his head down, worked hard, and deserves a chance to move on and play. And I think Chelsea have got a really top player now.

Haaland’s guaranteed goals

It’s so funny watching people read into what is basically one preseason friendly in the Community Shield.

All of a sudden it’s all “Nunez is going to get more goals than Haaland”.

I’ve no questions about City’s new frontman though – Haaland’s going to bang in 30 goals, no doubt for me

Liverpool or the other sides chasing City shouldn’t take too much encouragement from the player turnover there.

City have been so strong in the league in recent years, and Liverpool pushed them so close last season. Kalvin Phillips has signed, Haaland’s arrival is huge, and they’re trying to seal more deals before the window closes.

The champions look stronger to me this year than they were last, so they’ll be formidable again. They really haven’t got a weakness.

Chelsea blues?

Chelsea are in a really interesting spot. They’ve lost some key players. Christensen was big them, Rudiger was so important there too defensively.

Koulibaly’s been brought in and I think he’s a good player, but losing both of those creates a lot of uncertainty. We don’t know how he’ll settle in either, where Rudiger was ready-made for the Premier League.

With new owners there, there’s a lot of transition and they seem to be in for every player.

It makes you wonder do they have a real plan of who they’re going to sign?

I’d still expect them to be “the best of the rest” behind the top two though. Signing Sterling was very important for them. I think he’ll score a lot of goals.

Tottenham have improved greatly and they’ll put the pressure on but Chelsea should still be comfortably in the Champions League spots.

Antonio Conte Inter Milan Benevento Serie A September 30, 2020

Conte key for Spurs

Spurs fans must be delighted with how they’re shaping up for the new season.

Perisic is top player. Bissouma’s in from Brighton, Richarlisonsigned from from Everton, Lenglet’s on loan from Barcelona. It adds to the depth of their squad while they’ve hung on to their best players, Son and Kane especially.

It’s not just my allegiance to Spurs that makes me so optimistic either, it’s their manager. He’s a class act. I saw a lot of them last season and under Nuno it was a shambles. As soon as Conte came in they just picked it straight up.

We’ve seen him put the squad through their paces in preseason too. Those running sessions in Korea looked like every single preseason when I was there under Harry Redknapp.

I remember he had us running like that in Epsom forest – that wasn’t that long ago.

We ran around there until we threw up, basically.

The fact they were training on the pitch in front of supporters is what made that a big deal. Usually, we’d be doing it away from prying eyes, you wouldn’t see the players getting flogged, but it shows you that Conte doesn’t care that much about what people think.

Arsenal have obviously spent a lot trying to catch them – but they needed to.

Jesus is a great signing. I think he needs to be the main man at Arsenal, and he should be after signing for so much money, then he’ll be full of confidence and get goals.

Zinchenko and Vieira also look very good signings to me, but it’ll be hard to close the gap on last season’s top 4.

Ronaldo ructions

With all the problems at united last year, you would’ve wanted Erik ten Hag to come in and have a clean run at the job because it’s tough enough already, but the Ronaldo situation has been a real blot on a preseason that seems to have gone reasonably well.

They’ve made some signings, but add the Ronaldo issue to the Frenkie de Jong saga and it everything gets overshadowed. It’s ridiculous a club of United’s size and with their history and these kind of things are happening to them.


Ronaldo talked about how he’s a United fan and he received all the fanfare when he returned – that was all only last year. For him to no longer want to play for the club now leaves a bad taste.

He’ll have to play if he can’t get a move away, From him point of view, he wants to be in the Champions League but if no one comes in to take him then he’ll be playing for United

For Ten Hag, he’ll want the Champions League too, next season, For a club of United’s stature, they need to be there and if they can’t make it back in this season that will be looked at as a failure. They’ve enough in that dressing room to achieve it, they just need to get the spark back. Hopefully the new manager can do it for them.


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