Man City should've rewarded their Abu Dhabi owners with a third Premier League title

Man City should've rewarded their Abu Dhabi owners with a third Premier League title
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Published April 17th, 2015 - 20:35 GMT via

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Sven-Goran Eriksson
Sven-Goran Eriksson

Manchester City possess the best squad in the English Premier League and should have rewarded their Abu Dhabi owners with a third English Premier League title, according to ex-Blues boss Sven-Goran Eriksson.

The Swede is mystified by City’s collapse in the second half of the season, which has left the defending English Premier League champions 12 points adrift of leaders Chelsea in fourth place.

Eriksson says the millions of pounds pumped into the club since 2008 by Shaikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, merited sustained success.

“With the squad City have, they should do better,” he said in Shanghai, where he is in charge of one of the three clubs in the Chinese city, Shanghai SIPG.

“I think they have the best players in the Premier League, so they should be the best team, but they are not.

“They are out of the Champions League again and it looks like they will not win the Premier League this year. Now they have to concentrate to finish in the top four.”

So who is to blame? The players or the much-maligned coach Manuel Pellegrini?

Eriksson, who was sacked by City’s previous owner Thaksin Shinawatra after only a season in charge in 2007/8 after leading the club to a ninth-place finish, said: “I don’t know what is going wrong but with the money they have spent, they have to do better. I suppose it is not good enough.”

Is it fair that Pellegrini is under pressure, having won the title and the League Cup in his first season in charge last year?

The former England coach replied: “This is football today. For these rich clubs whose owners invest a huge amount of money, they expect to win every year, but only one team can win the title.”

Yet Eriksson believes City have made significant progress under Shaikh Mansour but concedes that only consistent success is good enough for a club whose owners have such towering ambitions.

The Swede, who was technical director of Arabian Gulf League outfit Al Nasr for a brief spell in 2013, said: “The year before I was there they were almost relegated. Now they have success and the fans should be happy. But expectations are high, and it is the same at Chelsea. They want their team to win all the time.”

Of his own career, Eriksson is content to remain in China.

He led Guangzhou RNF to a third-place finish in the Chinese Super League last season to secure qualification for the Asian Champions League. Late last year, he joined Shanghai SIPG, who are part-owned by the port authority in Shanghai and who have enjoyed significant investment.

They are currently joint top of the CLS, behind leaders Beijing Guo’an only on goal difference after five games.

Would he consider a return to management in England?

Eriksson, whose nomadic career has led to him working in Portugal, Italy, Mexico and the Ivory Coast, said: “I was there for many years and now I am in China. I have a two-year contract with an option to extend, we are top of the table and I am very happy here. Chinese football is growing quickly and I see a future here.”

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