Saturday, September 15, 2007

Eriksson: Extra cash means more quality for City

Manchester City manager Sven-Goran Eriksson believes the Premier League is the strongest in the world thanks to fast-improving teams like his own. The Swede, who served as England manager until the World Cup last summer, has worked in Italy and Portugal as well as his native Sweden and sees the English top flight as the most competitive he has come across. Eriksson told his club's official website: 'Suddenly we have rich men from different parts of the world coming to buy clubs and of course that makes the money big in football.

'If the money is bigger then the football will be better.

It's tighter this season and I think it's good for the league. It means it's getting better and better.' City are back in action on Sunday against an Aston Villa side that shocked Chelsea a fortnight ago. Villa goalkeeper Scott Carson has urged his team-mates to ensure that superb win over was not a one-off result. The on-loan Liverpool keeper said: 'I think we took another step in the right direction against Chelsea but you've got to carry it on. We've got to continue things on against the teams around us in the table. 'I think the lads have got to look at Europe. There is no point in settling for 10th, 11th or whatever. We've got to look to the next step like Blackburn did last season.' Meanwhile, Newcastle manager Sam Allardyce is determined to keep defender Steven Taylor on Tyneside despite his decision to reject a new contract offer.

The 21-year-old was away on international duty with England's Under-21s last week, captaining his side to European Championship qualifier victories in Montenegro and Bulgaria. However, in his absence, his father Alf, who represents the Greenwich-born player, revealed he had turned down the Magpies' offer and voiced his disappointment at the financial package. Taylor's current deal does not expire until the summer of 2009, but news of the stalled talks has not gone unnoticed by a series of potential suitors. 'Steven Taylor is a key member of our squad. We want him to stay, apparently it sounds like he wants to stay, so hopefully we can resolve the problems,' he said.

'At the moment, we seem to be some way off, but we won't get sucked into paying somebody that we think is asking for too much.'