Vincent Kompany believes this current Manchester City side will struggle to top the drama of the club’s 2012 Premier League title win, though a coronation against Manchester United in April may come close.
City moved 16 points clear at the summit following their victory at Stoke on Monday night. Now, with 30 games gone and 81 points already on the board, Pep Guardiola’s side will be crowned champions if they win their next two games.
A trip to Goodison Park follows the international break and three points there will give the runaway leaders the chance to secure the title by beating neighbours and nearest challengers United at the Etihad on 7 April.
Club captain Kompany is a veteran of City’s 2012 side and witnessed Sergio Aguero’s stoppage-time winner against Queens Park Rangers, one of English football’s most iconic moments.
While that triumph came on goal difference in the final seconds of the season, the club’s fifth top-flight league title will be won much more comfortably. Even so, the prospect of sealing it by beating their historic rivals is being relished by many supporters.
When asked whether April’s derby could best Aguero’s 2012 goal, Kompany was sceptical, but he hopes City produce the results that will allow him to make the comparison.
“I don’t know. Hopefully we can have that conversation after the game,” he said. “Right now nothing feels like it can top the Aguero moment.”
Despite the permutations and forward planning, the 31-year-old is ensuring not to get ahead of himself and, with City’s next engagement over a fortnight away, he is keen for the squad to stay focused.
“I’m very specific in saying [the title’s] not going to be handed to us. If anything that’ll be a harder achievement than anything else this season,” Kompany said.
“I cannot think of a team as big and with as much quality as first of all Everton and then United, just letting us have a perfect moment. Usually you want to spoil it with everything you’ve got. I know that’s what I’d be feeling if I was on the other side.
“We’ll use this 14 days to get ready mentally to keep the level up, like we’ve done every single game.”
Following the win at Stoke, City travelled to Abu Dhabi for a five-day warm weather training camp, and Kompany insisted that Guardiola will not allow his players to treat the excursion as a holiday.
“No, the manager said we’ve still got stuff to work on, but just having the sun feels like a holiday,” he said.
“It’s not going to be but you get what I mean: just a little bit of sun will do for us. It’ll probably rain when we’re there!
“It’s a great thing because it gives the lads the chance to clear everything mentally and physically and come back to be prepared to go for the last push.”