herald

Tuesday 23 October 2018

Rampant City improve with each game

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola
Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola

As each test comes and goes, Manchester City and Pep Guardiola seem to get better and better at the job of chasing down the Premier League title and I don't expect Spurs to stop their gallop tomorrow.

They put Manchester United, the only serious challenger up to now, away last weekend. While nobody hands out medals in December, City have carved out a winning lead already by being so much better than any other team.

It would take a spectacular collapse for them to throw the position they have won away and I just don't think Guardiola will let that happen in the next four or five weeks. He's far too good at his job.

If he wants to, he can spend big again in January and I have no doubt that he will be backed to the hilt by the Mansour family.

I really thought that Spurs would be the main opposition for City about six weeks ago when Mauricio Pochettino and his players looked like a team with a mission.

But they had a very disappointing spell in November which began in the final week of October when they lost a League Cup game 3-2 to West Ham.

I was surprised by this until I saw the stories about dressing room problems caused by Pochettino's 'warts and all' book about Spurs.

He does seem to have recovered from that moment but there's now 18 points between Spurs and City. Pochettino is reduced to fighting for the Champions League and a ticket to next season's top European competition.

At this point, City can only beat themselves and it's likely that they will turn into the New Year with such a big advantage over everyone else that Guardiola will be in the ideal situation to set his mind to the knockout stage of the Champions League.

He can do that secure in the knowledge that his main task for the season is all but complete.

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