Lots to go at this morning with the dust still settling on City’s impressive dismantling of Real Madrid.
The Blues are receiving plenty of praise for the summer recruitment policy undertaken thus far and Kevin De Bruyne admits the spree was needed for the Club to kick on again this season.
Four Four Two report: “De Bruyne feels City needed to strengthen in the close-season, particularly after several departures – including the likes of Pablo Zabaleta, Aleksandar Kolarov and Gael Clichy.
‘It’s how the market goes. There’s a lot of money [going out], but there’s a lot of money going in,’ the Belgian said, via the Manchester Evening News.
‘Who can say that spending £200m is normal? It isn’t. But how the league and football is going at the moment, it’s normal prices.
‘Obviously it’s a lot of money, but it’s things that we needed to do. The revenue that the club gets in will be more than the £200m.
‘I think we’re on the right way. Obviously this game doesn’t say a lot, but it says that we’re moving in the right direction.
‘Hopefully we can have a good performance against Tottenham [on Saturday] and then we will work hard in Manchester to be ready for August 12 [Premier League opener against Brighton and Hove Albion].’
Before we move on from the Madrid game, an interesting thread can be found on Sports Features, a US website, regarding the massive crowd that watched the game and how it could help Los Angeles’ bid to host the Olympics.
They write: “LA 2024 bid leaders today highlighted last night’s soccer match at the LA Memorial Coliseum between Real Madrid and Manchester City as further evidence of the City of Angels’ unique potential to grow Olympic and Paralympic sport in the US and around the world.
“The match, which finished 4-1 in Manchester City’s favour, broke the Coliseum’s record crowd for soccer by attracting more than 93,098 fans. Bid leaders underlined this achievement as a sign of US fans’ insatiable appetite for live sport.”
Wow – 93,098 – incredible.
Moving on to the Daily Mail and MOTD pundit Martin Keown’s column.
The ex-Arsenal man says City could be quite something to watch this campaign and believes the new full-backs will transform the side.
He writes: “We had elegant speed machines at Arsenal, with Ashley and Lauren. It could leave you feeling vulnerable as a centre back when both of them suddenly charged up the field.
“I would sometimes ask Lauren to ignore the manager and give it a rest and tuck in for a while, to stop teams exploiting the space behind — and to give me some help!
“City don’t seem to care about that. They are building a squad packed with outrageous pace.
“New flying full backs, to play with flying wingers — money no object. It really is a delicious prospect — they will come at teams from all angles. I am very excited to see how it works and how rivals try to stop it.
“Think of it — the best wide forwards, such as Alexis Sanchez, Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale, and City’s own exhilarating wide man Leroy Sane, now come off the line and go inside either with, or without, the ball. They are either dribbling with it or hunting for space without it.
“Then a high-speed train comes hurtling up into the space created down the touchline to add further bodies to the attack.
“The defending full back doesn’t know whether to follow him or deal with the onslaught. Expect plenty of this from City this season. Guardiola will overload in these attacking wide areas.
“They have already signed Kyle Walker, Benjamin Mendy and Danilo — total cost £133m — to play in the full back positions and it gives them serious wide weapons of mass destruction. And we are led to believe they want to sign one more.
“Guardiola’s mentality, however, is not ‘how do we stop the opposition?’, but ‘how do we win the game?’, which is why he sees the full back areas as a chance to add more attacking firepower. Stand by… it could be spectacular!”
Finally, alleged City target Alexis Sanchez may be allowed the leave the Gunners if the price is right – at least that’s the opinion of talkSPORT’s South American expert Tim Vickery.
The report says: “Sanchez is‘ willing to take pay cut to join Manchester City’ in bid to work with Pep Guardiola
“Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City have been strongly linked with a move for the 28-year-old and would provide the forward with the chance to shine in European football’s elite competition.
“And Vickery expects Sanchez – despite Arsene Wenger’s insistence his star man will stay – to be playing for a new club by the end of the summer transfer window.
‘He’s 28 now Sanchez, if I were Arsene Wenger there’s something that would be going round and round in my head,’ Vickery told The Sports Bar.
‘[The] 2014 World Cup, [the] 2015 Copa America – all the way to the final, [the] 2017 Confederations Cup, 2018 – assuming they [Chile] qualify – another World Cup, 2019 another Copa America.
‘Sanchez is a player who plays with that intensity and he’s at that age – when he was in his pomp – Wenger would let the player go, maybe a year before you thought the player had reached his peak.
‘For that reason, it wouldn’t surprise me at the moment when the price is right, they let go of him.’
That’s it for Friday – back tomorrow…