• Premier League

Vieira: City have leaders to finish first

ESPN staff
March 20, 2014
Galatasaray head coach Roberto Mancini believes his former side Manchester City are the favourites to win the Premier League this season.

Patrick Vieira is adamant Manchester City have the leaders in their ranks to inspire the club to the Premier League title this season.

Having captained Arsenal's 'Invincibles' to the 2004 league title and two FA Cups, Vieira also played a big part in France's 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000 triumphs.

City kept up their title challenge with a vital 2-0 victory at Hull after being forced to play 80 minutes with 10 men following an early red card for skipper Vincent Kompany.

But Vieira, who joined his former Inter Milan manager Roberto Mancini at City in 2010 and is now manager of the club's reserves, believes the performance and result proved City have leaders all over the pitch, not just their captain.

"If you want to win the title, you need your leaders to be at their best, on and off the field," said Vieira. "When you look at our first team, there are so many strong characters, and so many leaders.

"There are different ways of being a leader - some are leaders on the field, and some outside of it. But as a team, the way we performed at Hull was a strong message, because to get a red card after 10 minutes and still win showed we are really strong.

"It was not just about character but the way we dictated the game, controlled it, that was fantastic. That game showed a really strong message."

David Silva inspired the win at the KC Stadium with a first-half goal and an assist for Edin Dzeko's late strike, with Vieira labelling him one of the best players in the world.

"Since he [Silva] joined the football club, I don't think we have really said enough how good he is," said Vieira. "He is one of the best players in the world, no doubt about it. For me he is up there.

"When you talk about Messi and Ronaldo, yes they are fantastic, but David can be put in the same category of players who could play in any team around the world.

"His football brain, his ability to control the ball and play football, is unbelievable. I am a huge fan.

"When the team is struggling, that is when the leaders come out, and David showed he is a leader. He may be very quiet but when he is on the field, he takes the responsibility, and that is the kind of leader you need in your team.

"When I was at Arsenal, that is the person I was. I was a different captain to Tony Adams, who was more vocal than me, but it didn't stop me being a leader.

"If you have 11 of them on the field, it gives you a much better chance."

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