Football Comment: Wins keep wolves from City and Spurs door

Trevor Steven
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WINS are vital to the top clubs and when you go a couple of games without a victory then it’s a crisis so Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini and Tottenham counterpart Mauricio Pochettino will have slept more easily last night having bagged the points as the pressure can mount.

Who wants to get the pressure, who wants their job threatened? Manuel Pellegrini has said he does not feel the pressure but he has to. Money is not an issue for these people, it is about personal pride and career development and those results yesterday have just nipped any criticism or any threat to their jobs in the bud.

They were absolutely crucial victories for both clubs because had the results gone the other way, there would have been more and more negative issues being raised about those two managers. In equal measure, they have beaten the wolves from the door.

One player I would like to raise from the weekend is Alexis Sanchez, who once again played a leading role for the Gunners. He came to Arsenal from Barcelona for big money and with a great reputation. There is certainly some mileage in the comparison with Luis Suarez in my mind as this guy can single-handedly make the difference and literally be the key player, the player who week in, week out is pulling out wonderful performances.

Suarez managed to keep it going throughout the whole of last season, the challenge for Alexis is to keep his current level of performance. The difficulty is there are no secrets in the Premier League, every game and move is covered, teams are well-versed in your strengths and weaknesses.

But the really good players have pace and fire in their belly and a determination to stand out and make a difference and so far he has proven he has all those ingredients. However, we will all spot when he has a dip in form because the results will tell, that’s how important he is to Arsenal.

Crystal Palace’s fixture with Sunderland tonight is a must-win game. I know it is early to be saying such things but when Sunderland are in the kind of form they are, now is the time to be playing them.

Neil Warnock is someone who knows how to fight his corner when the threat of relegation is whispered and Palace need to be accumulating points prior to Christmas.

Any takeovers that might happen would certainly be more likely with Crystal Palace a fairly certain bet for Premier League football next season. It would also be important for the value of the club. A win is crucial.

Trevor Steven is a former England international footballer who played at two World Cups. He now works as a media commnetator