The inside track on Manchester City...
30 September 2016|Tottenham Hotspur
Who better to tell us about Manchester City ahead of Sunday's big game at the Lane than a journalist watching them week to week? Step up James Robson, Manchester City Editor for the Manchester Evening News...
James Robson, Manchester Evening News
What have you made of the Pep Guardiloa revolution? Guess the results are there for all to see!
James: "It’s not so much a case of the results - as impressive as they’ve been - but the complete transformation of a team that looked ready to be completely broken up last season. The effect he’s had on players like Kolarov, Otamendi and Sterling shows just what a fantastic man-manager he is. Personally, I thought he would take time to have an impact - but City are unrecognisable to the one we’ve seen in recent years - and the suspicion is they are still some way from the finished article."
Who has impressed most of the new signings?
James: "Another really promising sign for City fans is just how quickly the new signings have made an impact. So far John Stones has stood out for me - largely because City have been so desperate for a top quality centre back to ease the burden on Vincent Kompany. If there is one player who really excites me it’s Ilkay Gundogan. He looks absolute class and is capable of playing as an attacking or holding midfielder."
Below: John Stones
A lot has been made of Pep's style - how do you think he'll approach this away game at White Hart Lane?
James: "So far it’s been City playing their game and other teams trying to stop them. The way they set up at Old Trafford - pressing high and dominating the first half - showed just how confident Guardiola is in his team, no matter where they go. But after seeing the trouble they had against Celtic on Wednesday, I wonder if that will influence Guardiola. I imagine Spurs will be high intensity too, but with more quality. City can’t afford to be so open again."
Below: Kevin de Bruyne
Are City missing anyone for Sunday? How do you think they will line up?
James: "Kevin de Bruyne and Vincent Kompany are injured and Nolito is suspended. It’s been 4-1-4-1 so far this season and I expect a few changes from Wednesday - with Stones, in particular, recalled - Bravo; Sagna, Stones, Otamendi, Kolarov; Fernandinho; Navas, Gundogan, Silva, Sterling; Aguero."
Below: Pep Guardiola
Finally, what have you made of Spurs this season and how do you think it will go on Sunday?
James: "I’m impressed most times I see Spurs. I think they are one of the most complete teams in the Premier League and thought they’d go on to win the title last season. Given the way it unravelled, I wondered if they’d learn from coming so close and go on to win this time around. But having seen City this season, it’s hard to look past them as champions. As for Sunday, I think it’s the toughest game yet for City, so I’m predicting a score draw."