Those were the words of Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany as he reflected upon a hard fought away victory over Newcastle United on Sunday.
The Belgium International Tweeted the following:
Don’t let the “big four” fool you, Newcastle are comfortably amongst the best in the league. No leaving St. James’ without bruises. #Fact.
Coming from a player like Kompany, this is quite the endorsement for our lads. City’s influential captain has been a standout performer in the Premier League this season, picking up weekly praise from pundits and making the PFA team of the year. His centre half partner in the all star team – as voted for by fellow top flight professionals – was our own captain, Fabricio Coloccini.
That in itself says a lot. The big four and the top four seem to be two entirely different things nowadays, at least in the minds of the players and fans. Whether or not this mindset will spread to the papers and pundits is yet to be seen – we’ll see how seriously we’re taken as top four contenders in the media at the start of next season.
Mind you, certain ‘experts’ have – somewhat begrudgingly perhaps – changed their tune recently (cough Hanson cough Lawrenson) after insisting for weeks on end that the Toon’s bubble would burst. That said, we can’t really give them too much grief for that, seeing as many of us were of the same opinion. Yet here we are, with one game to go and a shout of finishing 3rd.
The bookies now have us at around 5/1 for a top four finish. If I didn’t already have us on at 16/1, I’d fancy a cheeky tenner on that. My eyes will be glued to three games next Sunday – Newcastle away at Everton (obviously), Spurs hosting London rivals Fulham, and fellow cockneys Arsenal away at West Brom.
Newcastle, Tottenham and Arsenal are all favourites going into those games – is it so inconceivable that one will end in an upset? Hopefully it won’t be ours.
Newcastle United have rocked the very foundations of the Premier League this season, and we’re not finished just yet!