Niall Quinn insists Manchester City can bounce back from a disappointing season and has branded anyone who writes off Pep Guardiola’s side as ‘foolish’.
Speaking exclusively to TEAMtalk, the Virgin Media Sport analyst has admitted his old club fell short of their expectations this season. City surrendered their Premier League title to Liverpool. They also fell at the quarter-final stage of the Champions League for a third successive season.
Whilst the Carabao Cup was once again retained with victory over Aston Villa in the Wembley final, their FA Cup hopes were ended at the semi-final stage by Arsenal.
The Champions League defeat to Lyon will have caused the most disappointment for City’s owners though.
Now Quinn reckons City mean business next season with the club already showing their teeth in the transfer market. The Blues have already signed defender Nathan Ake and winger Ferran Torres.
Now Republic of Ireland legend Quinn is backing City to bounce back. That’s despite admitting City have lost some of their fear factor that was in evidence in the previous two seasons.
However, Quinn has dismissed theories that City can already be discounted from winning the biggest prizes.
“Maybe teams that play Man City now don’t have the same fear factor they had a year ago,” Quinn told us. “But it would be pretty stupid to say City are easy to work out now.
“What the last year has done is pose a question over whether they are this unstoppable force. The days when they have slipped up may have been the occasions when their wizards didn’t perform. It may be that the opposition are making life difficult for them now. But the idea that City are a spent force or their manager is not the genius he has always been is ridiculous.
“You can’t have a nine out of ten performance every week and while City did their best to reach those levels over the last three years.
“Yet keeping that level of consistency going its a tough task. Liverpool have just changed the whole mood of the Premier League with the way they played this season.”
Quinn unsure what summer market will bring
Quinn believes there is a cloud hovering over this summer transfer window amid the Covid-19 pandemic. He’s also hinted we may not see too many big-money transfers this year.
“There is still uncertainty in the air about where football is going to land as a business,” he added.
“City have won their case and that may put them in a position to go and chase after players that may have looked out of reach when this UEFA case was hanging over the club. But I don’t expect them to spend as emphatically to try and close the gap on Liverpool.
“The game has to settle back down a little bit before clubs can go on huge spending sprees and spend hundreds of millions of pounds. While City can afford to do that, we just don’t know how finances will work out amid this pandemic.
“Those who have the biggest financial resources, and clearly City are in that category, we just don’t know how much they need to improve to get back on top.
“Liverpool may have had a freak year when everything went in their favour. Maybe they won’t be able to keep that up. Manchester United look like they are ready to spend big on Jadon Sancho and they will get in the mix. We also don’t know how Chelsea are going to look when they get their signings in.”
By Matt Johnson
Virgin Media Sport will screen the Champions League and Europa League finals this weekend in Ireland, with Niall Quinn part of their star-studded panel of analysts.