Guardiola, Mourinho spend heavily to dethrone Chelsea

"The club was clever like that because we anticipated what we needed", he said.

Guardiola's side have been installed as title favourites but the former Barcelona boss said: "Last season we were favourites too and finished 15 points behind". His pace and power will be a hard proposition for any defender in the Premier League but he would need to work on his build-up play and first-touch, which was a matter of concern for the big Belgian in previous seasons.

That remains the plan, but Guardiola's first season was a sobering reminder of how far the club still have to go to be considered alongside the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich and even bitter rivals Manchester United. For that reason, the most important players for City will be defenders.

Guardiola has added five first-team players courtesy of an estimated £200million spending spree in the close-season, overhauling City's defence in particular.

Oh well, there will be myself and two little Griggos in bar on a foreign shore belting out 'We've got Knockaert, Anthony Knockout, I just don't think you understand...'. But the solution is not changing players every season. I think it will be a draw. Sooner or later it's going to finish. Perhaps we've got to ensure that all our players give their all and hope that City are off-colour, but it can happen that way.

Champions: Manchester City. Pep let me down last season but he has had a year to find his feet and made some serious (and seriously expensive) upgrades to his squad this summer. My first press conference we were favourites and that hasn't changed.

"The big fail now takes one week in football!"

Perhaps the bigger problem was his group of aging, rapidly declining full-backs, Gael Clichy, Bacary Sagna, Pablo Zabaleta and Aleksandar Kolarov.

Brighton and Hove Albion chairman Tony Bloom speaks to the press ahead of the new premier league season on 10 August 2017. I'm honest in my job. Marcus Suttner has arrived to play at left-back while young Chelsea loanee Izzy Brown looks a real talent, but perhaps the best piece of business could be the capture of Pascal Gross to play in the advanced midfield role of an expected 4-4-1-1 formation, or CAM as my Federation Internationale de Football Association brainwashed sons will tell me. We create always more than the opponent.

However, while Distin supports the signing of players with league familiarity, like Kyle Walker, he admits you never know how long it takes new arrivals to adapt to the Premier League style. We have to deal with that and handle that.

Few people know what to expect from Leicester City in 2017-18, but the additions of young Hull import Harry Maguire and Nigerian star Kelechi Iheanacho should make manager Craig Shakespeare's life a whole lot easier.

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