The Liverpool legend, and former Blues striker, believes a squad pieced together by Pep Guardiola may be the finest in Premier League history.
He told The Mirror, amid accusations of the Blues’ title rivals showing signs of nerves: “This Manchester City squad is quite possibly the best I’ve ever seen in English football in terms of depth of quality.
“Better than Manchester United in ’99, better than the Arsenal squad of 2003-04? Definitely there is a case to be made. They could be the best of all time. After the 100 points of last season, they could still get 98 points this time.
“Yet Liverpool have matched them stride for stride. They tore Bournemouth apart [on Saturday], knowing victory would put them back on top of the table.
“To me, that’s not bottling, that’s showing immense quality and courage to take the fight to an unbelievable side and keeping it going for so long.
“Same with Spurs, too. I can’t even begin to quantify the amount of credit they deserve.
“In a season where their opponents just don’t lose, they have lost six… and yet after each defeat showed the character to bounce back and stay in the race. I don’t care what anyone says, that is bottle.
“City won the title at a canter last season, because no other team was anywhere near good enough to be spoken of in the same breath.
“At least we have a race this time, a three-way race for the first time in years and a proper fight. So, next time you want to call a side bottlers, just think about what you’re saying. And here’s a couple of stats to help.
“In 2003-04, the invincible Arsenal team drew 12 matches, or dropped 24 points. That wouldn’t win them the title this season. In 1998-99, United’s treble-winning side drew 13 in the Premier League and lost three for 79 points… which may not even be enough for the top four this time.
“Things have changed. The gap between the top six and the rest has widened, meaning you have to win more matches.
“That is the level these sides are at – and we should all rejoice in it – not succumb to the insanity which is making football a scary place to be with a tide of racism and abuse around the game.”