Kompany man targets title next

At the end of a tumultuous campaign, City finished third in the

table, nine points adrift of champions Manchester United, trailing

runners-up Chelsea on goal difference alone. It was good enough to

secure a path straight through to the group stages of the Champions

League, which added to the end of their 35-year trophy drought

completed an outstanding season for Roberto Mancini and his men.

But Kompany knows more is expected next term and before a parade

that started in Manchester city centre and ended with a massive

firework display at Eastlands, the Belgium defender spelled out the

way forward. “We had a good season but the reality is we didn’t

finish champions, so there is obviously a gap between first place

and second and third,” he said. “We will do everything we can to

bridge that gap. If the club decides to buy it will make sense but

hopefully this team will be stronger, regardless of that.” Kompany

certainly does not feel any sense of inferiority when he assesses

City’s strengths against those of their rivals. “There has been

very little in our games with United, Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal

and Tottenham,” he said. “We will do better next season than this

and the gap is going to get smaller.” Keeping Carlos Tevez would be

a start. Unlike Mario Balotelli, Tevez was on City’s open-top bus

on Monday night despite rumours that he had flown back to

Argentina. Whether that represents anything like a commitment for

next season is open to considerable debate, although on Monday

night at least, he was keen to stress his commitment to sealing a

fine year, which for him ended with a share of the Premier League’s

Golden Boot with Dimitar Berbatov. “In my mind, there was never a

question as to whether I would be there,” said Tevez. “It is a

great day for Sheikh Mansoor, who has given so much to the club,

and also the fans, who have waiting so long and so patiently as

well as the players who have given their all to make this possible.

“No one had to persuade me to be here. I simply wouldn’t have

missed this event.”