Manchester City, with Pep Guardiola at the helm, since 2016, have won the Premier League title thrice, and is hoping to clinch an overall eighth this season. The team from the blue half of Manchester though are locked in a tight title race with Liverpool, the second most successful in England.
Nonetheless, former Manchester City attacker Shaun Wright-Phillips believes, that despite Liverpool’s progress and prowess, the Citizens are in pole position to come away with their fourth title in five seasons.
“The Premier League title race being neck and neck is good for the neutral fan, but for me as a City fan, like the other City fans, hope Liverpool lose the next two and Man City win theirs. I think Man City are in a fabulous position,” said Wright-Phillips on his first trip to India.
“We’ve seen it before that City can deal with the pressure and what’s going on behind. They always focus on what they’ve got to do and not worry about the other teams.”
Both teams have 6 more games to go with Man City one point ahead of Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool. Both sides also have the UEFA Champions League semi-finals coming up soon.
Racism and How Did He Deal With It
Racism has often reared its ugly head at the highest level in sport, with the England men’s football team being among target last year after the Euros. That, of course, hasn’t been the end of it in football, with incidents cropping up in the sport at various places. Wright-Phillips, who is happy about the way the game’s authorities are dealing with the situation, also made his point about what he’d do.
“We’ve seen some punishments go out and some people spend time in jail. We’ve seen people get banned from stadiums for life, which is my way, that’s the way I’d handle it.”
“I’d ban them from football in general, they can go watch it at a pub or somewhere and keep that sort of language away from children, who don’t need to hear it,” he asserted.
“I think they’re taking the right steps and the players are too, the more people keep pushing, the quicker hopefully it will go away.”
Sergio Aguero, Kevin de Bruyne and Phil Foden
City’s first Premier League title came in the year 2011/12, when a certain Sergio Aguero, broke the hearts of Manchester United fans, with a winner in the final seconds of the title race. Wright-Phillips, who was on the opposite team, Queens Park Rangers on that fateful day of 13 May, 2012, said that the iconic goal set the pace for Man City, paving the way for their domination in recent years.
Kun Aguero, who won 5 Premier League titles at Man City, finished his career at the Etihad with a record 260 goals from 390 games. The Argentine was recently also inducted in the Premier League Hall of Fame as well.
“(Sergio) Aguero’s goal was very important because of the timing. If that doesn’t happen, then maybe years down the line, things turn out completely different. That kind of set the pace and belief that now we can do this over and over again.”
“The time that he did it, it was immaculate, I remember playing in that game, and the last person we wanted the chance to fall to is Kun Aguero, because he is cold as ice. City lift the trophy and it was massive,” Wright-Phillips recalled.
When asked about what he found most special in players like Kevin de Bruyne and the young Phil Foden, the former England man explained that both never second guess their abilities.
“With Kevin de Bruyne, whatever he sees, he can do, he doesn’t question it and never second guesses, believes in his ability. More times than not, it will always work out. He’s there to create chances and its fantastic that he does that.”
“With Foden, he’s a different class, people underestimate how quick Foden actually is. When you think you have the ball, he already knows you can’t get the ball and that’s when skips around you, and once he does that, he’s away,” Wright-Phillips said.