Sergio Aguero: Impact of the World Cup, the Premier League title race
Sergio Aguero - November 9, 2022
Each month Stake.com’s Global Football Ambassador Sergio Agüero sits down and speaks about all the hot topics across the game worldwide. This month he speaks about the impact of the World Cup, the Premier League title race and the fortunes of his two former clubs in Spain – Barcelona & Atletico Madrid.
The domestic leagues across Europe are finishing up for the break. You said at the start of the season this is a year like no other, because of Qatar2022 in the middle, but when you look at the Premier League, how do you assess what has happened so far?
I think that until now it has been the same as ever.
The games are played with a lot of intensity and all the teams are very competitive.
And that even with the prospect of a World Cup so close.
I don't see that the players have saved anything.
They have been delivered properly even at the risk of injury.
Besides, thinking about it can be counterproductive.
There have been injuries and others who have been touched and I hope they can get to be in their respective teams.
For the rest, Arsenal have had a great performance in this stretch and City, despite the setback against Liverpool, remains close.
We'll see what happens after the World Cup.
You cannot win a league in the first few months, but they say you can lose it. Are Liverpool already too far behind to have any realistic chance of winning the title?
If there is something that the Premier League has shown over the last few years, it is that nothing should be taken for granted.
And less with a team like Liverpool, who had the misfortune of having many injured in this part of the season.
I always give the title that we won with City in 2012 as an example.
We were 8 points behind United, there were few games left, we managed to come back and win the title in the last minute on goal difference.
That's what makes it such an exciting competition.
Arsenal have been the surprise package - but do they have a squad deep enough to sustaina challenge at the top until the end of the season? Do they need to strengthen in January?
I think it is a deep team. More than anything because they know what style they want to play and it shows that they are hungry for triumphs.
There is also the possibility of incorporating in the winter market and if Arteta sees that he needs some reinforcement - as other teams will too - then he will ask for them.
But since you're asking me about Arsenal, look at what happened a few days ago when Saka was injured.
Reiss Nelson entered, a player that no one had in their plans - it is clear that Arteta did - and he was the star of the match.
So I don't think Arsenal have a short squad.
In England, Lisandro Martinez was written off for being too small, yet he has quickly adaptedand is playing really well for Manchester United - in Argentina, what are they saying aboutMartinez and how he has proved English critics wrong?
Licha already at Ajax had shown that he is a strong and brave player and that size does not have as much influence.
He was a figure in that team and for a reason Ten Haag took him to United.
I understand that some in England might have doubts, they did not know him.
But he only needed a couple of games to show his quality and today not only is he not questioned, but it is said that he is vital in the defensive structure of his team.
I'm happy for him because he deserves it.
Barcelona dropped out of the Champions League but are still up there in La Liga. Do you feel that exit in Europe will leave them free to concentrate on the domestic league? And will it help them? Should they write off the Europa League and concentrate on La Liga?
A club like Barcelona always has to compete to win the most titles.
It happens every year to all the big teams. It has not been able to continue in the Champions League but the Europa League is also important.
I have no doubt that they will seek to win it.
They have a great squad and can keep up with both competitions.
They are doing very well in the league and they will surely come out with everything in the Europa League.
Things have not been good for Atletico Madrid - has Diego Simeone got all he can out of the club? Is it time he looks elsewhere - and if so, where should that be?
It is true that Atleti have not done well at the start of the season.
It is hard to be left out of the European competitions.
If you see the positive side, you can put everything into La Liga.
I think they have been too critical of Simeone, a coach who has given them a lot of satisfaction.
I can understand that there is frustration on the part of the fans but you can't always be at your best.
I think Cholo is capable of reversing this moment. He himself has said it.
Then this is football and anything can happen. But for me Simeone has earned the right to continue until he considers it.