No complacency due to competition for places at City, insists Kompany

Ian WHITTELL
No complacency: Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany is eager to retain the Premier League title

Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany believes the champions are well placed to avoid past mistakes and become the first team in a decade to retain the Premier League title.

The Belgian, who is the only current City player to have been with the club through the decade that they have been under Abu Dhabi's free-spending ownership, has won the league three times at City.

But on the previous two occasions, City have failed to mount a serious title challenge in the following year, leaving Manchester United, in 2009, as the last champions to defend their title successfully.

Now, however, Kompany insists that under Pep Guardiola's management, City will not make the same errors as in years gone by.

"I can only say it's different from previous years we have won the league," he said.

"There's been so many warnings we have had and every single time we almost have to fight against ourselves and our nature, not to fall in the same trap as the other teams have done, my teams included, a few years ago."

Kompany returned to the City team for Sunday's 6-1 thrashing of Huddersfield as Guardiola left Nicolas Otamendi, Kyle Walker, Raheem Sterling, Leroy Sane and Riyad Mahrez on the bench.

And Kompany believes that competition for places means City won't let up after a record-breaking 100-point campaign last season.

"I can see that everyone is training hard. There's so much competition in the team that we have to anyway," he added.

"I'm not saying we are going to do as well as we did last year, but if it happens that the season is going to be different then it has to be because of the other teams being stronger, not us being weaker."

Kompany, who joined City in a bargain £6 million move from Hamburg in the summer of 2008, saw his new club taken over within a month of his arrival by billionaire owner Sheikh Mansour.

"It's been a special journey because the club has evolved in so many ways," said Kompany.

"The fans and the people who support this club are the same, but everything else has evolved and there's almost been three different stages.

"The first one where the new owners came in and the leadership of Mark Hughes and then the transition to (Roberto) Mancini, (Manuel) Pellegrini and Pep Guardiola.

"I feel like every single manager has brought a new stage, added something new to the club. There's so much to say right now in a few words. But I'm extremely proud to have been a part of it."