“What makes it really hard for us, is that every team we play, sees us as the big favourite for the title. We are now a hot item in England only because our club have spent such a lot of money on new players. I am not saying they hate us in every stadium, but I do feel there is a tremendous amount of jealousy.
“I really think we must compete with Chelsea and Manchester United this season. Two years ago a new owner arrived here. Last year we laid the foundation, this year we have to fire from all cylinders. We must go and win trophies."
This might rile some opposition fans, but it's not as if de Jong was a neutral's favourite before he came out with this. And there is something fun about having a play so unpopular with other fans - just remember Joey Barton. Later in the same interview, though, de Jong makes a strange diversion into 'telling it like it isn't':
“Vincent Kompany and I are the only two players who have been with this club before the sheik arrived,” he said. “So I think I am a player with a lot of experience at the club.’’
This is just flat out wrong. De Jong signed for City on 21 January 2009. We were bought by Sheikh Mansour on 1 September 2008. There's nothing else to say. (I'm not sure what Shaun Wright-Phillips, Pablo Zabaleta, Micah Richards, Joe Hart, Michael Johnson and of course Jô make of it either.) Ultimately I suppose it's rooted in de Jong's admirable but slightly silly desire to paint himself as a life-long blue, who cried when we were relegated under Alan Ball, who was held on his father's shoulders to see us beat Gillingham and who invaded the pitch at Ewood Park in May 2000.