Noel Gallagher has seen it all as a Manchester City fan, and is now able to impart some wisdom looking down from the top of the pile.
The legendary Oasis and High Flying Birds frontman made a trip to talkSPORT Towers to discuss all things Sky Blue.
Treble champions last season with their first-ever European title, City have reached the peak of football, and they don’t look like slowing down any time soon.
Top again in the Premier League this term, a point behind in third are last season’s runners-up, Arsenal.
The Gunners looked set for the title in 2022/23 before City steamrolled the league to end the campaign, but there was much hope they’d be back and better after a high-spending summer.
Declan Rice, Kai Havertz, Jurrien Timber and David Raya all arrived, but Gallagher thinks manager Mikel Arteta has overdone things.
Explaining who he believes will compete for the league, the Mancunian said: “I think it’s probably between City, Liverpool and Arsenal.
“I’d probably whittle that down to Liverpool towards the end because when Liverpool get towards the finish line they’ve always pushed us all the way until the last day.
“I think he’s [Arteta] made a rod for his own back with the goalkeepers, he shouldn’t have done that, the kid [Aaron Ramsdale] coming out today and getting his dad speaking for him is absolutely insane.
“But I think Arsenal have tinkered too much with that team. That team just needed Declan Rice and that was it, Havertz has got to be the only transfer in world football where no one would buy him, I think they’ve over-complicated it.”
One team Gallagher certainly doesn’t see competing is City’s biggest rivals, neighbours Manchester United.
Erik ten Hag’s side are currently sixth in the table and faltering in Europe, amid rumours the manager could be dismissed.
Dissecting what’s gone wrong, Gallagher explained: “It’s not a good team and it’s not a good vibe there, it comes from the top.
“The thing about City is, outside of the Sheikh and Khaldoon [Al Mubarak], the next level down are all football people, real, real top football people.
“They’re all in sync with where the club’s going and what the club needs. United always seems to be a bit fractured to me and their fanbase is quite influential and it all breeds United at best treading water.
“United need to get some people to lower the expectations in the short term and then get somebody like Thomas Frank to re-shape that club properly from the bottom up, otherwise there will always be this ‘we need to buy [Paul] Pogba, we need to buy [Alexis] Sanchez’ just to appease the fans for a couple of weeks.
“United from the outside, the owners don’t love the club, they don’t like it, they don’t respect what the fans have to say and they need real football people in there, real serious football people.
“The people at the top are not serious, City’s people are serious. United need to get serious and they’re not going to do that with the Glazers, because they’re in it for what they can get out of it.”
Next up for Gallagher’s City is perhaps their biggest test so far this season, Liverpool.
Jurgen Klopp’s side travel to the Etihad on November 25 after the international break, but will be doing so extra early with a 12:30pm kick-off.
Klopp has repeatedly complained about the slot, with his team landing it a huge 14 times directly after international since he arrived, eight more than any other side.
And Gallagher can understand why he’s so annoyed.
“It’s a nonsense that it’s at half 12, I’m with Klopp on this,” he said.
“The 12:30 kick off is set up to benefit people in other parts of the world, Liverpool have got a lot of fans in south east asia and I would imagine there’s someone sitting there thinking when Liverpool play half 12 the global ratings go through the roof.
“It’s one of the biggest fixtures in England and we’re not going to see the best of the two teams, lord knows who’s going to turn up injured.”