Sport Soccer

Friday 23 February 2018

Pep Guardiola makes Manchester City 'the team to beat' - Trevor Sinclair

Trevor Sinclair
Trevor Sinclair

Trevor Sinclair believes Manchester City will be the team to beat next season after his former employers "jumped the gun" to beat Manchester United to the signature of Pep Guardiola.

The Catalan was announced as Manuel Pellegrini's successor back in February, catching many by surprise as the then City boss still had five months remaining on his contract.

Guardiola had also been linked in reports with United but chose the Etihad Stadium challenge.

Sinclair, who spent four seasons as a City player after leaving West Ham in 2003, thinks United's capture of Jose Mourinho will make next season's "battle of Manchester" very interesting, given the former Real Madrid and Barcelona bosses will be going toe-to-toe after a four-year estrangement.

But he insists the better manager will be in the City dugout come kick-off in August.

Speaking to Press Association Sport while representing the Football Association and McDonald's at a community football day in Penrith, Sinclair said: "If you got a bit of honesty from people and they had their choice of manager, I think Pep would have been have been top of the list.

"They've jumped the gun on Manchester United to get the main man there, and they've reacted by getting Jose and we'll see how that pans out, but all eyes are going to be on Pep.

"I just feel there are going to be good players brought in and good players developed and I feel City will be the team to beat next season.

"The battle of Manchester is about to commence and it's going to be interesting.

"It's not just good for the Premier League but for the rest of the world to see how it unravels and there are two fantastic managers who have time now to get their ducks in a row ready for the start of the season.

"I think it's going to be very, very interesting over the next few months."

Earlier in the year Sinclair accused United of taking a short-term approach to competing with their city rivals, who have won the Barclays Premier League title and reached the Champions League semi-finals in recent years while the Red Devils have struggled to break into the English top four.

And neither Mourinho's installation nor the mooted arrival of prolific Sweden striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic at Old Trafford will change anything in that regard, according to former England winger Sinclair.

"You look at Mourinho, I think he only stays for two or three years at any club," he said.

"And then obviously Zlatan is in the later years of his career and you can't see him playing for more than one or two years if he does go to United.

"I still feel there's a little bit of short-termism at Manchester United, but I think they've got a good man in."

:: Trevor Sinclair was speaking at the McDonald's & FA Community Football Day, encouraging youngsters to play football and celebrating Charter Standard clubs in the Cumberland area. For more information visit

Press Association

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