Aguero with City for long haul

Sergio Aguero has vowed to stay with Manchester City until they win the Champions League.

City again look to be heading towards a premature exit from the competition after a dismal sequence of results.

Wednesday’s shock loss to CSKA Moscow left them bottom of their group with just two points from four games and facing failure to reach the knockout stages for a third time in four seasons.

This lack of progress at the elite European level has raised questions over whether some of their star players might seek to move for a shot at glory elsewhere.

But Aguero, one of their most prized assets, is determined to take City all the way.

The Argentinian, who signed a new five-year contract in the summer, said: “Not only will I stay the four (remaining) years to make it eight here in total, I’ll stay beyond that — until we win it.”

Aguero feels it is too easy to point the blame at manager Manuel Pellegrini for the club’s underwhelming performances in Europe this season.

City had hoped to build on the progress of last term, when they reached the last 16 for the first time, but they have struggled in a group that also includes Bayern Munich and Roma.

With the side also failing to hit their stride in the Barclays Premier League, Pellegrini has attracted criticism, particularly for his apparent refusal to vary tactics.

But Aguero, speaking at the launch of his autobiography ‘Born to Rise — My Story’, says everyone must take responsibility.

The 26-year-old said: “It’s easy for everyone to suddenly decide it’s the man at the helm who is to blame, but I would say in situations like this, when we haven’t played well as a group, we are all in it together.

“It is not just the manager, and not just the players — we are all to blame as a group and we need to work our way out of this situation as a group.”

City’s troubles are in contrast to Aguero’s own personal form. The former Atletico Madrid forward has scored 12 goals in all competitions this season, including four in an impressive demolition of Tottenham last month.

Pellegrini has tipped him to win the Ballon d’Or as world player of the year in the future but Aguero does not see himself in the same class as international team-mate Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo.

He said: “Every player wants to win an award and they don’t come much bigger as individual awards than the Ballon d’Or. It’s great to be mentioned in the same breath as those players.”

Meanwhile, Pellegrini has dismissed any suggestions Yaya Toure could be sold.

Toure has performed below his usual high standards for much of the current season. He was sent off for an act of petulance in the midweek Champions League loss to CSKA Moscow and there have been reports that City are now willing to consider offloading him.

Paris St Germain have been linked with the Ivory Coast international but Pellegrini is adamant the 31-year-old will be staying.

Pellegrini said: “Yaya is a very important player. He played very well in the first half (against CSKA) — he scored a goal. In the second half he made a mistake and he was sent off but I am sure nobody at the club is talking about selling Yaya.

“Maybe that news comes from other teams (who want) to see our team weaker.”


Lifestyle

My sister Gabriella always says that during sibling whispers all I ever wanted was to be on stage.This Much I Know: Man of many talents Mike Hanrahan

Columnist and trained counsellor Fiona Caine offers guidance to a woman whose husband is controlling and belittling her.Ask a counsellor: ‘My husband is so controlling – what do I do?’

Peter Dowdall branches out to take a look at the mountain ash or rowan.Rowan berries show us how nature is stocking its larder for winter

Friends and Young Offenders actors Shane Casey and Dominic MacHale speak to Pat Fitzpatrick about struggling to make it but why they are not seeking out fame.‘I was down to a euro’ - Watch The Young Offenders actors tell of struggle to make it in acting

More From The Irish Examiner