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Lescott: 'All players are equally important to Man City's success'

Lescott: 'All players are equally important to Man City's success'
© Reuters
No City players were included on the shortlist for FIFA's Best Men's Player award.

Former Manchester City defender Joleon Lescott believes a lack of individual recognition for the club's players is a reflection of their collective strength.

Pep Guardiola made his frustration clear ahead of last weekend's Community Shield after no City player made the shortlist for FIFA's Best Men's Player award despite the club winning the domestic treble.

Three Liverpool players – Mohamed Salah, Virgil Van Dijk and Sadio Mane – were nominated along with Tottenham's Harry Kane and former Chelsea star Eden Hazard.

Pep Guardiola was unhappy none of his players were nominated for the FIFA award
Pep Guardiola was unhappy none of his players were nominated for the FIFA award (Martin Rickett/PA)

City players have also been overlooked for the PFA Player of the Year even though they have dominated the Premier League, winning the title in four of the last eight seasons.

Guardiola said with a heavy dose of sarcasm: "Maybe we have to win five or six (trophies) or get 250 points to be considered next season."

But Lescott, who made more than 100 appearances for the club between 2009 and 2014, sees their lack of a standout star as arguably their biggest asset.

He told PA: "There's players that obviously have performed at a very consistently high level so they should be recognised but there's no individual that they rely on or miss.

"You see them doing so well last season with Kevin De Bruyne being out for the majority of the year after his previous year – it proves that Pep's way and the structure is key to Manchester City.

"All the individuals are equally as important as everyone else. He's right in what he's saying because they are doing things that are unseen and unheard of before but I'm sure they're happy that they're winning titles."

Lescott was speaking from the final of the Bet Regret Cup, part of the UK's
largest safer gambling campaign. Teams from across the UK battled it out
throughout the summer, culminating in the national final at Powerleague
Shoreditch on August 4.

He expects the Premier League title race this season to again come down to a battle between City and Liverpool, who could only be separated on penalties in Sunday's Community Shield.

Joleon Lescott made more than 100 appearances in a Manchester City shirt
Joleon Lescott made more than 100 appearances in a Manchester City shirt (Martin Rickett/PA)

"It's very close between those two teams," said Lescott. "I think any team that finishes above them wins the league. Liverpool had a points gap last season and people assumed it was over so with those two teams you can never say never until it's over."

Lescott, who works with City's on-loan players, will also be watching with interest to see how his former England team-mate Frank Lampard fares as manager of Chelsea.

The 41-year-old was appointed as Maurizio Sarri's successor a year after beginning his managerial career with Derby.

Chelsea are under a transfer ban for two windows and suffered the loss this summer of Hazard to Real Madrid.

Frank Lampard is the new face in the Chelsea dugout
Frank Lampard is the new face in the Chelsea dugout (David Davies/PA)

Lescott said: "I hope it goes well. I think the timing of it for all parties concerned was perfect. Chelsea were looking for a bit more stability and I think, if the ban hadn't come, there probably would have been other candidates and they possibly wouldn't have looked at Frank.

"But the fact they can't make transfers, they've lost their most influential player and they want to bring through the youth – Callum Hudson-Odoi, the timing of his progression has been perfect and there's no one that knows him better probably than Jody Morris – so I think the combination of all those factors has made it perfect.

"A lack of patience sometimes come from fans and expectations but I'm sure if anyone's going to be given time by the chairman and fans, it's going to be Frank Lampard."

:: Joleon Lescott was speaking at the finals of the #BetRegret Cup, part of the nation's largest safer gambling campaign, Bet Regret. For more info, visit https://www.begambleaware.org/betregret/

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Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
ChinaChina21131246
JapanJapan175830
United StatesUnited States16171346
Olympics flagOlympic Athletes from Russia11151137
AustraliaAustralia1031427
Great BritainGreat Britain891128
Today's Olympic highlights header

Sunday's key events


GOLF
· The men's golf reaches its conclusion, with plenty of players still in medal contention. Home favourite Hideki Matsuyama is one shot off Xander Schauffele's lead, while Great Britain's Paul Casey is another shot further back and Tommy Fleetwood is also in the mix (11.30pm-8am)

CYCLING - BMX
· Great Britain have already made history in the BMX events in Tokyo, something Charlotte Worthington and Declan Brooks will be looking to add to in the women's (2.10am) and men's (3.10am) freestyle finals

SWIMMING
· The final day of swimming action begins with the men's 50m freestyle final. Ben Proud could add to a medal-laden Games in the pool for Team GB so far, although he is up against USA's Caeleb Dressel, who is going for his fourth gold in Tokyo (2.30am)
· From sprint to endurance, Great Britain's second medal hope of the day comes through Daniel Jervis in the men's 1500m freestyle final (2.44am)
· Team GB will again be among the heavy favourites for gold in the last swimming event of the Games - the men's 4x100m medley relay final - having won the mixed event in a world record time on Saturday (3.36am)

BOXING
· Already guaranteed at least a bronze, Pat McCormack takes part in the men's welterweight semi-final against Ireland's Aidan Walsh with a spot in the gold medal final at stake (4.03am)
· Ben Whittaker is also in the semi-finals of the men's light heavyweight and will be looking to continue Team GB's success in the ring (4.51am)

TENNIS
· There will be a surprise on the top of the men's tennis podium after Novak Djokovic missed out on a medal altogether. Alexander Zverev takes on Karen Khachanov in the second match on Centre Court at the Ariake Tennis Park (7am-2pm)

SAILING
· Alison Young will be going for gold in the women's laser radial medal race (7.33am)

ARTISTIC GYMNASTICS
· Team GB's Max Whitlock will look to defend his 2016 Olympic title in the men's pommel horse final (10.41am)

ATHLETICS
· The men's high jump final includes GB's Tom Gale, although his chances of a medal look bleak (11.10am)
· So often the blue-riband event of the Olympics, the men's 100m final takes place as the world's fastest bid to be crowned Usain Bolt's successor. Three Brits have made it into the semi-finals (11.15am-11.32am), and the final looks wide open after an underwhelming display by favourite Trayvon Bromell on Saturday (1.50pm)

HOCKEY
· Great Britain face India in the men's quarter-final (1pm)

> Today's schedule in full
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Belarusian Premier League
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Brasileiro
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