Man City plan to 'dominate English football', insists Kyle Walker

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Big ambition: Man City right-back Kyle Walker.

Kyle Walker has warned the Premier League that Manchester City are determined to “dominate English football” for years to come.

Pep Guardiola’s men won the Premier League at a canter during a record-breaking 2017-18 season, reaching 100 points and finishing 19 clear of their nearest rivals Manchester United.

City also claimed the Carabao Cup but securing silverware has not softened the team’s hunger for success as manager Guardiola works his players even harder.

Asked if Guardiola had been noticeably tougher, right-back Walker said: “Yeah, yeah, yeah! There’s been a big change.

“Obviously, he’s not striving for (just) one title and we’re not as well – we want more. I don’t want to sound big headed, but we want to dominate English football.

“I think we’ve got the players here, and we’ve definitely got the manager, to do that, so we need to keep listening.

“Every day is a learning day and you can always adjust to different tactics, adjust to different formations and that’s something we need to take on collectively as a group – that’s manager and players – to make sure that we can dominate the English game.”

It was quite the statement of intent from Walker after a first season to remember at City.

“I’ve not just signed here to pick up my first Premier League title and then say ‘OK, I’ll rest on that’,” the England international said, speaking at the world premiere of All or Nothing: Manchester City, available on Amazon Prime Video from Friday.

“I’m hungry for a lot more. There’s a lot of challengers, there are a lot of good teams in the Premier League.

“Even, you look at Everton now, who have spent a lot of money in the transfer window, they’re going to be tough competitors.

“We just see the Premier League is full of surprises. Leicester did it so why can’t anyone else do it? We’ll just have to see.”

Someone say we weren’t ready? #sharkteam🦈

A post shared by Kyle Walker (@kylewalker2) on

Walker spoke with confidence rather than cockiness about City’s chances – little wonder after his domestic campaign and helping England to the World Cup semi-finals.

Gareth Southgate’s trust in youth worked well in Russia and is sure to continue, with 18-year-old City academy graduate Phil Foden tipped to eventually star for club and country.

“There are a lot of experienced players in the dressing room who have won a lot of things here,” Walker said.

“Even for me coming here, OK, I played a lot of Premier League games, but I didn’t really win anything, so you have to show a little respect to the players who have gone and achieved what you want to achieve in your career.

“Obviously, Phil has been very fortunate in his first season around the squad to pick up a Premier League medal. Not many kids can say that they’ve done that.

“But he’s not rested on that. He could have come back from the summer, not really trained hard, gone and partied or whatever – which young kids do nowadays but he’s not done that.

“He’s been working hard – you can see he’s been working hard, he was even out in Russia so that’s how much he loves the game of football.

“I saw a few Instagram posts of him when he was with (Ryan) Sessegnon and I think that just shows his enthusiasm for the game and it’s great to see.”

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Mauricio Pochettino rallies Tottenham troops as he tackles 'toughest season'

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Mauricio Pochettino has vowed to lead from the front as he tackles his “toughest season” yet as Tottenham manager.

The Argentinian has delivered three successive top-three Premier League finishes, spending far less money than his rivals, but the 2018-19 campaign promises to be a challenge for a number of reasons.

Pochettino, despite calling on his club to be “brave and take risks” in the transfer market, was unable to make any summer signings, while nine of his players were involved in the World Cup for its entirety.

Futhermore, Spurs are currently enduring more disruption after plans to move into their new stadium were delayed, meaning they will now play at least three league games – and their Champions League group games – back at Wembley, starting with Fulham on Saturday.

That is not even factoring in the further strengthening of their rivals, with the majority of the other top-six clubs splashing the cash in the summer.

Pochettino had chances to walk away from the club this summer, with Real Madrid and Chelsea both interested in his services, but he instead chose to sign a five-year contract at Spurs.

“For everything, for me it will be the toughest season and I think if we want success we have to give more than our best,” he said.

“It’s not enough 100 per cent, it’s 200 per cent. We know from inside that it will be hard, the season, and because we are warriors we want to fight.

“We want to be proud at the end, we want success and we do not want to complain or make excuses. I am a winner and I love the challenge, so that is why I feel full energy. We want to go again.

“When you are in a difficult situation, this is the moment when you need to show that you are there.

“It is easy when everything is good to be there, but when the winter is coming it’s easy to run away. I want to be there in the frontline fighting and trying to with all the circumstances that, today, are in the club.

“I feel the responsibility to be there and that is why I am here.”

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James Milner insists there's more to come from Liverpool this season

David Cooper 16/08/2018
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Confident for season ahead: James Milner

James Milner has described Liverpool’s 4-0 mauling of West Ham as the “best possible” start to their Premier League campaign – but insists there is more to come from the Reds.

Liverpool, bolstered in the summer by the recruitment of Naby Keita, Alisson, Fabinho and Xherdan Shaqiri, hit top form last Sunday as they put the Hammers to the sword.

Mohamed Salah set Jurgen Klopp’s men on their way at Anfield before Sadio Mane netted a double and Daniel Sturridge added a late fourth seconds after coming on as a substitute.

It was the type of performance which suggested a threat to Manchester City’s title defence but Milner, said: “That’s for other people to talk about. You guys (media) are going to discuss it, we just want to start the season well and keep improving as a squad and see where that takes us.

“Obviously it is early days and the first game of the season you want to get off to a good start, it is very important.

“It is never easy coming out of pre-season when you have players returning at different times due to the World Cup but you just want to get off to a good start and get a win.”

Milner, at Celtic Park to publicise a charity match next month where he will organise a team to take on former Hoops midfielder Stiliyan Petrov’s side, added: “I thought it was a good performance and I am sure it will improve as the season goes on.

“It was a good starting point, plenty we can work on but the best possible start and hopefully we can kick on from there.

“We feel we can beat anyone on our day, we have proved that but it is about having that consistency and we will know how difficult it is to win a league title and have that consistency and do it over 38 games.

“For us, we will just let other people talk about the challenges, it is down to us to go out there and perform and get as many points as we can.”

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