Hammers no match for City

As your former boss Sir Alex Ferguson so memorably said, this is "squeaky-bum time". Surely, Manchester City won't let it slip as they look to lift their second Premiership title tonight?

No, no way. They will beat West Ham and win the league at home convincingly. They have the players who have done it before. Even if West Ham are going to be as negative as Chelsea have been, they still won't be a match for City.

When you look at this season's title race, would you say that City won it, or Liverpool lost it?

City definitely won it. At this point, they've scored the most goals, sorted out their poor away form at the start of the season, got the second-best defence and the best goal difference.

Liverpool lacked experience when it mattered. They haven't got many players who have been involved in a title run-in.

Look, City were the favourites from the start and Liverpool were all about getting back into the Champions League, so they both achieved their targets.

What's your view of Manuel Pellegrini?

He's learnt the English game well. He has found you can't always play your best players.

Different games call for different sets of players. Maybe you have to win ugly at times away from hime and field the likes of James Milner instead of Jesus Navas to win the league in the long run.

Where do City and Liverpool go from here?

City obviously have got to get out of the Champions League group stages next season, otherwise Pellegrini's job may be on the line.

Liverpool have to use this experience to their advantage. Their front six are as good as any team but they need a new goalkeeper and back four because, effectively, their goals-against tally killed them.

Will Luis Suarez stay at Liverpool?

I don't trust him. Talk is cheap. I don't think he would move to another English club. Why would he when Liverpool have got as good a chance of winning the league. But if Real Madrid come calling, he'll push the deal over the line 100 per cent.

Will Louis van Gaal be a good managerial fit at Manchester United?

I think so. They need someone who is calm, experienced and influential.

Van Gaal should be able to attract top players to work with him but he needs to be given a proper transfer kitty.

United need tried-and-tested players who are hungry to win and not be satisfied with just one medal.

Van Gaal will need his own people like Patrick Kluivert. The likes of Phil Neville shouldn't be on the bench yet. He should join Nicky Butt and earn their stripes coaching the youth.

Which new players will be a hit at Old Trafford and who should leave?

We can name many names, but I just want players who have the appetite to win.

The time is up for Luis Nani, Ashley Young and Rio Ferdinand, whose appetite may have gone.

Patrice Evra and Darren Fletcher are not the players they once were. Javier Hernandez hasn't done much wrong, but he needs to play regular football.

Marouane Fellaini needs to reinvent himself and get a haircut, while a different coach could get more out of Tom Cleverley.

So will United come right back and challenge for the title or spend a few years in the wilderness?

United will be up there challenging for top honours.

On to the World Cup, will England even make it out of Group D?

They are not going to win the World Cup, that's for sure.

If Roy Hodgson is brave enough to go with Raheem Sterling and Daniel Sturridge, they have a chance of progressing because there will be goals.

If he is negative and relies mainly on set-pieces, there are going to be problems.

I think they will be beaten by Uruguay and hold Italy to a draw, which leaves them needing a result against Costa Rica, which won't be easy.

You mentioned some young players. How about Ross Barkley and Jack Wilshere?

I'm not a Wilshere fan. He lacks pace and energy, and he's been injured.

Barkley hasn't played enough football. It's not fair to put the responsibility of winning games on him.

He's a good player, though. I'll take him, but I'm not going to start him for every game and expect him to win it for England.

Who's going to win the World Cup and why?

Brazil are going to win it. They have many exciting young players and they're playing at home.

They won't have Ronaldinho, Robinho and Kaka, but they still have that edge as their young players can be mavericks who can do something different to change the course of a game.

I also hope for Lionel Messi's sake that he has a good World Cup. If he does, then Argentina will be Brazil's main rivals.

You don't need to win a World Cup to be the best footballer in the world, but if Messi and Argentina win it, that would end the argument once and for all.

This article was published on May 11 in The New Paper.

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