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Media Watch

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Media Watch: Everyone talking about City

GAME CHANGER: Pep Guardiola is raising standards according to sections of the media.

GAME CHANGER: Pep Guardiola is raising standards according to sections of the media.

Judging by today's media coverage, everyone, it seems is talking about City and every man and his dog has an opinion on the Blues' start to the season.

The international break is certainly giving one or two players of other clubs and pundits the chance to get one or two things off their chest.

The phrase ‘there will be haters’ is probably a bit strong, but as Pep Guardiola indicated at the weekend, City are very much the team to stop and it seems the topic at the international press conferences has been anything but international football.

The theme seems to be that the Blues will trip up at some point and while there are disguised complements among the quotes, it seems the football world is largely waiting for the Blues to stutter.

We’ll begin with Sports Mole who focus on one of the Napoli stars who recently played City twice as they write: “Guardiola's side are now favourites to win the Premier League title and amongst the frontrunners to lift the Champions League too, but Dries Mertens is confident that they can be beaten.

 

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‘They're not unstoppable because the game at home we played really good and we had chances to make it 3-2 and we didn't score them and two seconds later they scored to make it 3-2,’ the Belgian told reporters.

‘That was a bummer but I think they have a very good team, it's working, they're doing really good but like every team, it's going to stop one day.’

“City are currently on a club-record 15-match winning streak across all competitions and will look to extend that against Leicester City after the international break.”

Stop? Hopefully, the Blues are only just getting going!

Liverpool keeper Simon Mignolet is also waiting for the blip as he spoke to Sky Sports: ‘City are doing really well at this time,’ said the 29-year-old. 'They've got loads of quality. But like always the Premier League is a long journey, there's a long way to go.

“Manchester City are on 31 points after 11 games, 12 more than Liverpool in fifth. Mignolet though thinks the busy winter schedule is key.

‘After that win at West Ham we closed the gap [on others]. In the busy winter period, anything can happen. It's up to us to be challengers and that's what we'll try to do.’

 

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Meanwhile, the MEN’s Stuart Brennan has also noticed some of the negativity floating around in his comment piece this morning.

He writes: “And yet the haters gonna hate, as Taylor Swift - who I am told played outside left for Preston North End in the 1950s - once said.

“Stan Collymore dismissed the Blues in hilarious fashion in his newspaper column this week, stating that Tottenham are the only club in the league he would pay to watch.

“The rest of the free-thinking world has been drooling over City's football – even the more fair-minded Reds will grudgingly admit that Pep's creation is a thing of beauty.

“And yet Stanley is having none of it. He said, with marvellous understatement that they are 'good to watch' but then added 'but I just can't get excited about them as a club. They are trying to build the best team with the biggest budget. What does that mean?'

“A strange comment from a man whose move to Liverpool in 1995 was for a British transfer record.”

Well worth reading the full article.

But there’s more – of sorts – and we’ll continue with Eric Dier, who says Spurs’ 3-1 win over Real Madrid has given his team belief they can chip away at City’s lead.

Ninety Minutes report: “The Tottenham midfielder commented on how well they have been playing and how good the Etihad Stadium outfit have been so far, although he does not expect Pep Guardiola’s team to continue at such a rate.

‘The games we have had in the last month have been really good and the results have been very positive,’ he added.

‘Obviously, Manchester City have been fantastic recently but there is so much football to be played before the end. I’m sure there are going to be lots of twists and turns before the end.’

That’s true, of course, but it is something Pep and our players have been saying as well.

 

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Pundit Graeme Souness has added his opinion, too, as picked up by the Sport Review.

It reads: “However, former Liverpool star Souness feels sure that Manchester City will indeed slip up at some point.

“Speaking to Sky Sports on Sunday, Souness said: ‘City will lose a game I think, I don’t see them going through it undefeated.

‘When they do lose a game, what will the reaction be? The teams catching up will hope it’s a negative one, but at the moment they’re the team to beat.’

Moving on, and the exciting Roma side that currently top Serie A are being influenced by City.

We’ll let Football Italia take up the slack: “Eusebio Di Francesco is confident Roma will ‘fight for the Scudetto to the end’ and cites Pep Guardiola as an influence on his football

‘We are in the Scudetto race too and will be fighting for the title to the end,’ the Coach told the Corriere dello Sport newspaper.

Roma are currently top of their Champions League group ahead of Chelsea and Atletico Madrid, showing some spectacular football in a 3-0 victory over Antonio Conte’s Premier League title holders.

‘I am working to help this team grow. My idea of football is inspired also by (Manchester City manager) Guardiola, starting from pressing to get the ball back high up the pitch.’

And finally, the general opinion on yesterday’s Twitter character increase was that the Blues’ always inventive social media team were one of the winners with the ‘Aguerooooo! Tweet posted and liked around 100k times.

 

Digital Sport (among others), do their own round-up of the general reaction by the sporting world.

They write:“For sports teams, too, there’s been a mixed reaction as we’ve seen from the rest of the Twitter-verse.

“Some clubs, like the New England Patriots, Manchester City and Yorkshire County Cricket used their new-found ability to tweet in 280 characters to promote their team’s achievements or those of one of their players. In City’s case, it was to relive one of their club’s greatest moments.”

More of the same tomorrow…

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