Collymore’s scathing assessment of Arsenal and Man United as he tips title winners by “nine to 12 points”

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Manchester City have already begun their 2023/24 Premier League campaign, and Stan Collymore has had his say on where he thinks the reigning champions will end up, along with providing a scathing assessment of Arsenal and Man United’s chances.

Collymore is an acquired taste for many but forthright in his opinions and steadfast in his beliefs. That may not please everyone but it’s rare in this day and age, and should be respected.

“I think Arsenal will start the season very well and I think that the feel good factor around Arsenal obviously is tangible, but I don’t think they’re a title threat,” he said in his exclusive CaughtOffside column.

“They may feel because of the strengthening and getting the likes of Havertz and Declan Rice that they’re more capable, but they need goals from a centre forward position, and I think that’s a problem area for them. They should be going out and looking for a proper centre-forward, maybe could have, even should have gone for Hojlund and been in a race with Manchester United.”

Man United are another side that have bought well this summer, but even they are likely to be in the slipstream of their city rivals.

“How will the likes of Onana do, and Mason Mount? I think they’re good solid signings, but I don’t see them clawing back huge amounts of points on City, who are going to have players looking themselves in the mirror and saying ‘we’ve won a treble can we dare do it again?’ Can we match the great Chicago Bulls teams, the great Liverpool teams of the 80s, the great Manchester United teams in the 90s, can we keep pushing the boundaries and make this five, six, seven, eight Premier Leagues? That for me will be telling,” Collymore continued, noting that even City have some way to go to be considered as true greats.

“Manchester City are a great team, yes. Best team in the world? Yes. But I still don’t think you can talk of them in the same bracket as the great Liverpool team of the 80s and the great Man United team of the 90s. They were at the top for a decade and I don’t really think City are quite there yet.” 

Injuries permitting, and seeing Kevin De Bruyne off in the first half of the first match doesn’t bode well, Collymore believes that Pep Guardiola’s side will win the English top-flight again at a canter.

“As far as the title race goes, Manchester City will know by Christmas. No World Cup this year, two or three internationals… yes, the Champions League is back and you’ll see how City cope with that,” he added.

“You’ll see what the numbers from their big stars like Grealish, Kevin De Bruyne and Haaland are looking like, and if they’re as consistent as they were last year, then yeah, I’d call it nine to 12 points ahead at the end, if not more.”

It’s hard to disagree with Collymore’s perspective. City’s rivals have all had reasonable windows, but none of them are close to the level of the reigning title-holders.

Furthermore, many are a work in progress whereas City are the finished article and just continue to polish in certain areas where the club may feel improvements are necessary.

It looks like it could be a long, hard season for the chasing pack.

More Stories Declan Rice Erik ten Hag Kai Havertz Mikel Arteta Pep Guardiola Stan Collymore

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