City's ex-manager and striker lauds the in-form Argentine ace and believes that the upcoming Mancunian derby will determine the identity of this year's Premier League championsEXCLUSIVE
By Rob Stewart
Former Manchester City manager Joe Royle believes that the Premier League title race between his old club and Manchester United is “wide open” again thanks to the resurgence of Carlos Tevez.
With the Manchester derby at the Etihad Stadium looming, Royle has seen City keep alive their hopes for a first ever Premier League crown, and believes that the controversial Argentine has been key to their upturn in fortunes.
City were written off by many pundits following their defeat at Arsenal that allowed United to open up an eight-point lead at the top of the table, but Tevez has sparked a revival with four goals in two games to close the gap to five points.
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“Carlos Tevez is for me still City’s best striker,” Royle told Goal.com. “He works for the team. He is a team player. He is the sort of player who can score individual goals but his mobility up front puts pressure on teams all the time.
“I have noticed him racing around and pressing again. He is the all-round striker, and I know he has had his problems and doesn’t tend to stay anywhere too long, but we will take him for what he is and for me he is a world-class striker.
“There have been very promising signs again. It looks like they are enjoying their football again. Silva is looking close to his best again, Micah Richards is looking powerful and so they are only Yaya Toure short of their best side at the moment but there is certainly enough talent there.”
With just four games left this season, City must rely on defending champions United to slip up again - and that is why Royle still backing Sir Alex Ferguson’s team to hold on to their Premier League crown.
“I still think that Manchester United are the favourites even though they had that slip-up at Wigan, although they were beaten by a side that played very, very well,” he added.
“It makes the game at Eastlands [on April 30] even bigger now. It was obvious after City lost at Arsenal that they had to get back to winning ways so their fans would not lose faith, and they did that.
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“The derby could be the game that either puts Manchester City right back in it or it could even be a game that actually wins Manchester United the title. The way it is going at the moment it is to-ing and fro-ing. The title race is wide open again.
“And that is great for the Premier League that it is like this in terms of the excitement, because it looked a week or so ago that it was a foregone conclusion, but no any more.
“City had to rediscover their early-season away form again that they showed at Tottenham and Manchester United because that had been a distant memory until the Norwich game.”