ZAB: WE CAN THRILL OUR WAY TO TITLE
PABLO ZABALETA believes Manchester City can win back the Premier League title by becoming English football’s great entertainers under new manager Manuel Pellegrini.
The Blues firmly laid down a marker with a comprehensive 4-0 hammering of Newcastle in Pellegrini’s first competitive game in charge.
Last season’s title defence was limp, but the Etihad is once again full of optimism after their impressive opening to the campaign.
They employed a high pressing system, with new man Jesus Navas providing the width in a dynamic midfield that contained another new face in Fernandinho.
Edin Dzeko appeared revitalised and David Silva, Yaya Toure and Sergio Aguero were also outstanding against Alan Pardew’s side.
Pellegrini insists City will only improve on their fine performance against Newcastle.
But Argentina fullback Zabaleta, 28, who signed a new four-year deal on Monday, is far from surprised at the impact being made by the former Malaga boss since he replaced Roberto Mancini over the summer.
He said: “This is the way we want to play.
“If you saw Pellegrini’s teams before he came to City, they always played this way.
“They were aggressive, always trying to kill the ball, get into spaces and, above all, play to win.
“He produces aggressive, attacking teams who play with a good tempo and a high intensity. We have been working really well in pre-season.
“His communication with the players has been good and he has made his ideas very clear. We know the way we want to play.
“The battle for the title will be interesting, though. We want the trophy back and we will try to get it back this season with attractive football.”
Left-back Gael Clichy was delighted with the start made by Fernandinho, a £30m capture from Shakhtar Donetsk in the summer.
Alvaro Negredo came off the bench for a late cameo, while Stevan Jovetic was kept out with a minor niggle.
But Clichy feels the new quartet can take City to another level.
He said: “We had a great team last year and the new signings are going to bring some more and hopefully we can keep going.”
Zabaleta is delighted with City’s slick start