Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Kompany: City do not need to retain title to prove greatness

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 3 Mar 2019

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Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany does not believe his team must beat Liverpool to the Premier League title to be considered great.

City edged ahead of their title rivals at the weekend – Saturday’s 1-0 win at Bournemouth leaving them with a one-point lead after Liverpool played out a goalless draw against Everton in Sunday’s Merseyside derby.

Pep Guardiola’s side are attempting to become the first team since Manchester United in 2008-09 to retain the Premier League title, a significant yardstick for many observers when it comes to ranking their achievements.

But Kompany feels last season’s record-breaking haul of 100 points stands up on its own merits, with both City and Liverpool already unable to reach three figures this time around despite their largely relentless form.

“I think it’s just two different things [retaining the league and being great],” he said. “It depends who you listen to.

“Reaching 100 points – good luck to anyone who wants to do it all over again. That stands in isolation as an incredible achievement.

“You can’t know until we’ve passed the time and we’ve played. We’re playing as well as we can, nothing is going to take away from that.

“If Liverpool end up being even better than us then that’s credit to Liverpool. It can’t be something that we’ve done wrong in this case, not with the amount of points we’ve got at this point, the way we’ve played so far and with the way we’ve approached every game.

“I think we’re doing as good as a team can do but sometimes, if you want to talk about having back-to-back seasons, I’m sure that not a lot of teams had to face the sort of opposition we have now with Liverpool.

“Liverpool are having the best season I’ve ever known them to have since I’ve been following the Premier League. So it’s a strong team and we just need to raise our level every time.”

The relentless pace set by Jurgen Klopp’s men has dipped significantly of late, however, with the Everton stalemate their fourth draw in six Premier League outings.

By contrast, City have won five in a row since slipping to a 2-1 defeat at Newcastle United – form that also contrasts with Tottenham’s one point from a possible nine over the past week that has effectively trimmed a three-horse race to two.

After overcoming Chelsea on penalties to lift the EFL Cup for a second successive season, Kompany and his team-mates saw off West Ham 1-0 in midweek before facing Bournemouth

They will turn their attentions to FA Cup and Champions League ties against Swansea City and Schalke on the back of next Saturday’s league match against Watford.

“The past week doesn’t say anything about this squad that we didn’t know,” Kompany said.

“It’s a squad of tremendous achievements already, so it’s more about confirming you can reach those standards time and time again, that’s the hardest part really.

“But to get through this week with three clean sheets and three unbelievable results, it’s as good as we could have hoped for.”

Kompany is in his testimonial season at City and his contract expires at the end of the campaign, although he insists there are more pressing matters at hand than securing a new deal.

“There’s four competitions and I couldn’t care less about anything other than winning games at the moment,” the centre-back, who turns 33 next month, added. “It has to be about that.

“When you’ve been 11 years at the club, you’re pretty relaxed about the situation.”

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