A few talking points from our recent 2-1 win over Newcastle...
1More goals for Walker?
Kyle Walker’s first goal for City was well worth the wait.
The England right-back sent in a howitzer to win the game against Newcastle, almost three years after scoring for Spurs against West Ham.
The question is, will this goal give him the confidence to shoot more often?
Walker says he gets just as much pleasure from creating goals for his team-mates, but the City fans are almost certain to demand ‘Shoot!’ every time he gets within range of the opposition goal.
Danilo weighed in with a few goals last season, so maybe Walker will too this campaign – if so, it will add yet more armour to the Blues’ attack in games when unexpected goals might just decide the outcome.
Raheem Sterling seems to be taking his game to another level.
After an impressive World Cup, where all he was lacking was an elusive international goal, the England winger has added yet another dimension to his game.
Last season we saw his ability to score goals, mainly in the box to finish team moves – but this season he’s added a couple of beauties against Arsenal and Newcastle, cutting in from the right for the former and the left for the latter.
He also demonstrated his ability to hit from long range with a cracking effort against Wolves that brought a world class save from Rui Patricio.
The ability to score from anywhere could the City forward’s latest addition to an already formidable knack of bagging and creating goals.
He may not have had that much to do against Newcastle, but what he did, he did extremely well.
The 24-year-old may not be the finished article yet, but he’s not far off it.
His command of the box is superb, collecting dangerous crosses and then immediately setting the Blues on the attack.
He also knows when to – and when not to – be clever in possession.
But against the Magpies, he rolled out an underarm pass that went fully 40 yards and was inch-perfection to Bernardo to set City on a razor-sharp counter-attack.
He can half-volley 70-yard passes to perfection, has excellent reflexes and is unflappable.
City have got a very special goalkeeper in Ederson.
424 carat gold
City are blessed with at least four top centre-halves who would walk int most teams.
Vincent Kompany and Nicolas Otamendi are experienced, leaders and born fighters.
There will be game time for all the quartet, there is little doubt about that.
Against Newcastle, we also saw John Stones and Aymeric Laporte – both aged 24 and both with many years ahead of them.
What we also saw was two defenders who can ping long passes to feet, and two excellent readers of the game.
The combinations available to Pep Guardiola are legion, but who would envy having to choose between those four every week?