SharetheMatch.com ambassador Andy Gray was talking to Mancunian Matters…
Sir Alex Ferguson will always try to goad people and try to test fellow managers at this stage of the season, especially when he’s second in the league and chasing his city rivals.
There’s no surprise in what Fergie might say and what he might do to try and unsettle a relatively inexperienced Premier League manager in Roberto Mancini.
I think that there are enough good professionals though at Manchester City to cope with that pressure, they’ve been around the block, they’ve played at big clubs and I don’t see a problem with them at all – I think Manchester City have got what it takes to win the title this season.
It’s going to be tough for them; they have the toughest run-in compared to Manchester United, there is certainly no doubt about that.
Fergie thinks Manchester City will slip up somewhere but I just see a team focused on doing one thing and that’s winning the title.
They are not destined but I think they believe they’re strong enough and confident enough to do it.
I thought they’d win it at the end of last season. I thought that Manchester City would have a great chance if they spent well in the summer of winning the league.
United might catch them and they might overtake them but they’re going to have to play very well for that to happen because I don’t see City losing many.
I’d have Carlos Tevez back in the squad at Manchester City, there is no doubt that Mancini spoke to his players before Tevez came back to England and asked them what they thought.
I think if he’d got any anti-Tevez reaction from his squad then he wouldn’t have encouraged him back.
I think the fact that the players have said to him ‘he might help us win the league’ that Mancini has opened the door for his return.
‘As long as he’s going to knuckle down and work hard then we’ll accept him back’ – I think that’s what the likes of Vincent Kompany and Kolo Toure have said.
The players aren’t fools, they know that it might be a moment of magic from Tevez in a game that they’re struggling in that could get them the points that wins them the title, so I’m not surprised to see him back at Manchester City after he said he’s sorry and I’m not surprised that the players have said ‘welcome back.’
Moving on to England and the Euros this summer – I don’t think there is a cat in hell’s chance that Paul Scholes will play for the national team this summer.
He stepped away from that many years ago to concentrate on playing for United and I think that coming out of retirement is unrealistic, he’s loved it but it’s too much football in too shorter a time for Paul and I don’t think it would be a great sign for the rest of the English footballers if somebody just coming out of retirement at 38 years of age comes in and takes somebody’s place.
What if Jack Wilshire is fit or people like that? Are you saying they would have to step aside for Paul? Now I think it’s brilliant that Paul’s come back but I would be amazed if he agreed to play for England this summer.
At his best he is always good enough but he is 38 I don’t think has got 90 minutes in him.
Sir Alex uses him sparingly, but whether he’s got 90 minutes in an England shirt and then another four days later and then another 90 four days then I think that’s a big ask.
People might say take him as a sub and bring him on, but there a few England players that would feel put out in my opinion, especially whoever was left out for him would feel a little hard done by.