EXCLUSIVE: Ex-Man City star Joleon Lescott admits his shock at his former side’s surprise


Former Manchester City star Joleon Lescott hopes the club’s surprise slump in form gives them a welcome ‘kick up the backside’ to get their season back on track.

Two-time Premier League winner Lescott has been shocked to see last season’s Treble-winners lose three of their last four games.

Defeat to Newcastle United in the EFL Cup, an unexpected loss to Wolves and then a disappointing defeat to title-rivals Arsenal sees Pep Guardiola’s side third in the Premier League and two points off the pace.

‘I hope it [their recent results] gives them a boot up the backside,’ said Lescott.

‘I think they were aware that Arsenal would be a team that challenges them this year.

Ex-Man City star Joleon Lescott has admitted his shock at his side's recent slump in form

Ex-Man City star Joleon Lescott has admitted his shock at his side’s recent slump in form

But the former defender hoped that their poor run of results will be the 'kick up the backside' they need to return to flying form

But the former defender hoped that their poor run of results will be the ‘kick up the backside’ they need to return to flying form

Pep Guardiola's side have now uncharacteristically lost three of their last four outings in all competitions

Pep Guardiola’s side have now uncharacteristically lost three of their last four outings in all competitions 

‘The Wolves one was difficult. Wolves have always been difficult, they’ve always been a half bogey team for City. It was a surprise, but it happens.

‘But the Arsenal defeat has hopefully added motivation for them.

‘You’ve got to be aware of the impact that City had on Arsenal last year. Their whole recruitment was based around the team games they played around City.

‘Going into the game the appetite to win and the understanding of the need to win was probably bigger for Arsenal.’

But despite a worrying blip in form, legendary Blues centre-back Lescott – who won four pieces of silverware during a glittering run at the Ethiad Stadium – has backed his former club to come up trumps again this season.

‘City have hit a level of consistency that has been unmatched over the past six or seven years,’ added Lescott. ‘That means they are able to catch teams.

‘If you know you want to win the league and finish above Man City, you know you have to beat Man City. I think that was a factor as well.

‘But at the end of the day no teams are perfect. It’s strange because it hasn’t happened that often under Pep and this group of players.

‘The Treble takes a lot out of you, I can imagine; mentally and physically.

‘I think if you compare the points tally, because people look at the form in a ten-day period rather than looking at it from the start of the season and I think it’s better than last season.

‘It’s always going to be blown out of proportion, which is harsh in my opinion, but it’s part of the game.’

The most notable of those was their 1-0 defeat by title rivals Arsenal at the Emirates

The most notable of those was their 1-0 defeat by title rivals Arsenal at the Emirates 

Prior to that, City clinched a 3-1 victory against RB Leipzig in the Champions League, but suffered two losses on the bounce to Newcastle in the EFL Cup and Wolves in the league

Prior to that, City clinched a 3-1 victory against RB Leipzig in the Champions League, but suffered two losses on the bounce to Newcastle in the EFL Cup and Wolves in the league 

Despite their slump, City still sit third in the Premier League standings, just two points shy of Arsenal and Tottenham at the top of the table

Despite their slump, City still sit third in the Premier League standings, just two points shy of Arsenal and Tottenham at the top of the table

After three defeats on the road, City return to action at home to high-flying Brighton next Saturday.

And with a cluttered schedule to also contest with, including important Champions League games against Young Boys – home and away in the next few weeks – Lescott knows the importance of the club rediscovering their winning form.

‘You have try and maintain those levels,’ stressed Lescott. ‘It’s not necessarily trying to do something else, it’s trying to replicate that and do the same.

‘I think people are obsessed with improving and think improving is doing more and better things. But improving can be maintaining the level that you’ve set for a period of time.

‘If you’ve set that standard for five years, can you do it for six? Because that’s an improvement.

‘But you can’t get carried away. It’s like people are questioning whether [Erling] Haaland can get 60 goals now or 70.

‘If he was to score a similar amount of goals to last season it would still be impressive.

‘He’s got seven in nine, so he’s not doing too badly. I just think people are obsessed with something more. The same can be enough.

‘If Man City don’t play any better than they did last season they can still win the treble, whereas every other team has to improve.’

And Lescott, 41, who has recently worked with England Under-21s and has ambitions to be a club sporting director in the future, believes it was inevitable City were always going to experience a hangover from their Treble-winning success.

‘I think it’s going to take years to be recognised, which is a shame, but that’s football,’ said Lescott, who enjoyed 14 seasons in the Premier League with various clubs including City, Wolves, Everton, Sunderland, Aston Villa and West Brom during a distinguished career.

Lescott, who won two Premier League titles with City, also admitted that it would take some time for City to be recognised for their Treble winning season

Lescott, who won two Premier League titles with City, also admitted that it would take some time for City to be recognised for their Treble winning season

He also lumped praise on Erling Haaland, adding that 'If he was to score a similar amount of goals to last season it would still be impressive'

He also lumped praise on Erling Haaland, adding that ‘If he was to score a similar amount of goals to last season it would still be impressive’

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‘In regards to the appreciation to what they achieved, I don’t think it’s been swept under the carpet, but it’s been taken for granted a bit because they are favourites for competitions that they enter.

‘The expectation is for them to do it and then you have people asking ‘can they do it again?’.

‘Is it that easy to just accept that as standard and think Manchester City are going to win the treble every year?

‘It’s unfair to put that level of burden on them and not glamorise what they achieved last season.

‘That’s the biggest thing for me. The treble hasn’t been glamorised as much as it should have been. I think only five teams have ever done it in history.

‘That’s the only thing I’m disappointed with. The treble is quickly forgotten and we’re now onto the next season, but for me the treble is still the treble. It’s an amazing achievement.’



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