Shaun Goater believes Jurgen Klopp deserved to be named Manager of the Year, even if City boss Pep Guardiola complete a cup treble in the final weeks of this season.
Liverpool’s dominant Premier League title win has seen the plaudits flowing for Klopp and his team. But a mini-collapse since the title was secured has seen hopes of a record-breaking season tumble.
City could even finish the season with even more glory if they add the Champions League and FA Cup to the League Cup they won in March.
Even if the silverware starts flowing for City, Goater believes Klopp should be hailed as the top manager. Klopp will get his hands on the Premier League trophy for the first time next Wednesday.
“Jurgen Klopp deserves to be manager of the season, whatever happens from this point forward,” Goater told TEAMtalk at a BT Sport event.
“You should be judged over the 38 games of a Premier League season. On that score, Klopp deserves all the plaudits this season.
“Cup wins are different and a club like Man City have a squad that are built to succeed in cup competition. Other clubs rest their top players for the early rounds of cup competitions. Guardiola doesn’t do that. It may be one of the reasons why he has won so many cups since he has been at City.
“He doesn’t care whether it is a competition that brings you £1000 in prize money or £100m. He wants to win everything he is in. It’s that winning mentality that is part of what makes him great. He could end up winning three cups again this season. But the Premier League is the one that defines the best manager to each season.”
Goater talks FA Cup semi-final
Goater believes City will beat Arsenal in Saturday’s FA Cup semi-final live on BT Sport. But he does not expect a comfortable afternoon for the current cup holders at Wembley.
The Gunners have lost their last seven matches against City with an aggregate score of 20-2 in their favour. But Goater is backing Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta to come up a gameplan to halt City in their tracks.
“I think it will be close and the reason I think it will be close is Arteta will look at that last game a few weeks back when he lost 3-0 and he will learn from that,” he added.
“He will alter his tactics from that game and he will come up with a plan to approach this semi-final to give himself a chance to get the right result.
“If Kevin De Bruyne is playing, he will come up with a way to try and stop him. Whether that is putting a man marker on him or just denying him space to work because Arteta will know that he can really hurt Arsenal if he is given a chance to do so.
“I like what I am seeing from Arteta as he learns his way in management. He will have taken so much from his experience working with Guardiola at City and it will be fascinating seeing him have another go at trying to beat his old boss ion this semi-final.
“There are a number of things he could do to make his side competitive. It is not often that these semi-finals are once sided so I am picking a 2-1 win for City.”
Watch Arsenal v Manchester City in the Emirates FA Cup on Saturday from 19:00 on BT Sport 1