Man City could still win treble despite Liverpool embarrassment says Paul Merson

Manchester City could really stick it to UEFA by winning the Champions League this year.

They have to be considered one of the favourites, along with Bayern Munich, and I would like to see them do it.

City have top players like Kevin de Bruyne and Sergio Aguero and many of them may never get the chance to win it again if their two-year ban from the competition stands.

It would be ironic if City win it this year after UEFA announced the ban. That must be the last thing the powers that be want to see.

It would also weaken the competition massively if the champions weren’t allowed to compete in it next season.

If City win it but stay banned, whoever wins it next year won’t feel like worthy winners because the holders didn’t get a chance to defend it.

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It’s hard for me to comment on what City have done with Financial Fair Play but they seem very sure they’ve done nothing wrong.

They seem very sure they are going to get away with it, they have appealed, and they are obviously going to take it all the way.

The way we are going, could a club like my old team. Aston Villa, who were once European champions, ever get to the top again?

Even with a rich owner, you’re still not going to be able to spend the kind of money it would take. You wouldn’t be allowed to do it.

If you’re a Villa fan you’re praying for a rich owner to come along, but with the rules as they are and City getting punished like this, you STILL couldn’t do it.

These rules protect the older, elite clubs. If you’ve got the money, why can’t you spend it? I do feel for City. They’ve got the money, they should be allowed to spend it.

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We’ve seen Chelsea do it. Before Roman Abramovich came along, they were going nowhere. Then he came in and suddenly they could buy whoever they wanted.

But we’re not going to see another Chelsea. It’s sad. Will Leicester and Sheffield United finish next season where they’re going to finish this one? I doubt it.

In US sports you can be the worst team in the world one year and then three years later you can win it all. I can’t see that ever happening in football now. It blows my mind.

I still remember Paul Dickov scoring for City at Wembley in the 1999 Second Division Play-Off final against Gillingham at Wembley.

If someone had told you then that City would one day win the Champions League, you’d have said no chance.

But they really could do it this season. What Pep Guardiola did against Real Madrid was a master stroke.

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And it worked because even though Gabriel Jesus was out of position, he worked his socks off.

They made Madrid look average and I really think they could go all the way. Bayern look dangerous because they gave Chelsea a lesson.

But if Liverpool play like they did against West Ham the other night when they play their second leg against Atletico Madrid, they are going to go out.

I’ve been critical of Guardiola this season and I still think the Premier League is your bread and butter. To be so far behind Liverpool in it is embarrassing.

But you could swallow it if he wins the Champions League. That’s what City brought him in for. And it would be a huge achievement because they’ve never done it before.

The league is lost. City could play the kids for the rest of the season and focus on the cups – and they could still win three.

I really don’t see why Phil Foden isn’t playing every week already to be honest. If he’s so good, play him. City aren’t catching Liverpool. What have they got to lose?

West Ham fans need to treat every game like they're playing Spurs

West Ham fans need to get behind their team big time this weekend.

The London Stadium needs to be rocking when they play Southampton because that is a cup final for them.

Some of the fans are planning a big protest against the owners outside the ground. But why would you protest before one of the biggest games of the season?

They need to try and make it like the Boleyn used to be, with the fans on it from the first whistle. And they need to stay with the players.

Don’t turn on them if you’re not winning the game after 20 minutes. Treat it as if you’re playing Tottenham and back them for 90 minutes.

I think this is a really horrible game for West Ham because Southampton are better away from home and they will have a go.

I would play the young lad Jeremy Ngakia though. If he can do it at Liverpool against three of the best in the business he can do it against Saints.

A draw would take West Ham out of the bottom three so they must make sure they don’t lose the game. But a win would really boost their confidence.

Bruno Fernandes must be more successful at Man Utd than Paul Pogba

Bruno Fernandes has given Manchester United a lift and I hope he ends up being more successful there than Paul Pogba.

Pogba has left already in my opinion. His heart’s not in it. It’s a shame we’ll probably never get to see the two of the play together properly.

But wherever he goes, when he looks back on his time at Old Trafford, Pogba is going to have regrets.

United are the biggest club in the world. I think one day he’ll look back and think: “I can’t believe it didn’t work out for me there. I could have been a legend.”

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I’m a fan of Pogba. He won a World Cup. But he disappoints me. It’s a shame.

I never saw Pogba be a leader for United. And Fernandes is not that sort of player either. He’s not a Roy Keane or a Bryan Robson.

But he’s a good player and he’s better than what they’ve got. He’s improved them and he brings a bit of composure.

He’s a confident player as well and that spreads quickly. He looks like a good signing. If he isn’t more successful there than Pogba, he’s going to be disappointed.

*Paul Merson was speaking to Paul Brown

  • Champions League
  • Premier League
  • Paul Pogba
  • Pep Guardiola
  • Sergio Aguero
  • Manchester City FC
  • Manchester United FC
  • West Ham FC
  • Liverpool FC
  • Aston Villa FC

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