EPL: City poised for assault on Europe

EPL: City poised for assault on Europe
WE DID IT: Man City fans celebrating their league triumph yesterday.

Our analyst tells Sazali Abdul Aziz that Pellegrini will strengthen title-winning squad while Rodgers faces a pivotal close season. It's a case of up and up for Manchester City from now.

They have won two Premier League titles in three seasons, and they've firmly established themselves as the top dogs in England.

Their next big test lies in Europe, and I think they can launch an assault on the Champions League as soon as next season.

Even this season, they've shown they're good enough.

They finished second behind Bayern Munich in the group stage because of goal difference and, had they topped the group, they could have gone on even further than the Round of 16.

City boss Manuel Pellegrini will make maybe three or four big-money signings, key players, I would think, and they'll get even stronger.

They'll be the team to beat in England for a few years yet.

As for my old club Liverpool, I'm hoping it will be what most associated with the club are saying - that this is the start of a special project under Brendan Rodgers.

But, I'm not as boisterous as some are. I'm worried next season could go very badly for them, if they don't get the right players in the summer.

Rodgers has got away with making poor signings like Iago Aspas and Fabio Borini because of the excellence of Luis Suarez, Daniel Sturridge and Raheem Sterling.

STRUGGLES

If he repeats those mistakes, Liverpool will struggle next season.

Now that they are in the Champions League again, there are just too many games for them to negotiate with such a thin squad.

When I say Rodgers has got to make the right signings, I mean he's got to show ambition and get the top players.

There has been a lot of talk about Southampton's Adam Lallana, but I'm not sure he's the kind of player that can take Liverpool to the level they want to go.

There's plenty of work to be done by the Reds.

They need an entirely new back-line, and I think even goalkeeper Simon Mignolet should make way for someone more decisive, who doesn't flap at crosses and has more of a presence in his own penalty area.

Rodgers can't afford to dawdle in the transfer market because a number of clubs are already looking at his star striker Suarez.

There are probably not many clubs in the world that can afford the Uruguayan, but the likes of Real Madrid and Barcelona are reportedly interested.

I don't think Suarez will go, though.

Yes, Liverpool didn't win the title, but he can now show off on the Champions League stage.

A world-class player like him will want the club to keep going forward.

What the club have got to do now is give Suarez the assurance that they will back the manager with money, and that they'll sign top-class players to play alongside him.

I'm sure Rodgers and his scouting system have identified potential targets even at this early stage.

I'm just hoping they get it right.

This article was published on May 12 in The New Paper.

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