Manchester City: Is Pep Guardiola’s side really that good?

Special things are happening in the blue side of Manchester.

All of the other sides in the Premier League have been left behind eating Manchester City’s dust, with the closest side in second, city rivals Manchester United, 11 points behind. City have achieved a record-breaking 16 match winning run in the Premier League and are unbeaten this season, with the halfway mark of the season very near.

The question must be asked… just how good is Pep Guardiola’s side?

When football fans discuss the best ever Premier League side, many will mention the Arsenal side of the 2003/4 season, dubbed ‘the invincibles’, the side which was unbeaten all season and went on a 49-match unbeaten run.

This City team is somewhat similar to that Arsenal side and brings back memories for Gunners fans of the days when Thierry Henry and co would rip teams to shreds at devastating speed, leaving defenders with no answers.

However, the Sky Blues are not as well balanced as the Invincibles were. Although City have a vast number of top-quality attacking players going forward, they do not have the spine in their team that the Gunners had with Patrick Vieira in midfield and Sol Campbell at the back.

Nevertheless, in today’s era in the current 2017/18 Premier League season, none of City’s rivals have rose to the occasion, and City are far superior to any of the other sides and are running away at the top and playing breathtaking football in the process.

Manchester United have invested heavily, yet in their recent 2-1 derby loss to the Sky Blues at Old Trafford, they were so spiritless, lacked bite, and for a club of such stature, seem to rely on Paul Pogba just a bit too much.

Chelsea’s summer arrivals have not improved the Blues from their title-winning side last season and Antonio Conte’s side do not have the quality to compete with City. It seems that if you stop Eden Hazard from playing, then you have nullified Chelsea’s threat in the final third.

However with City, if you stop one of Sergio Aguero, Gabriel Jesus, David Silva, Kevin De Bruyne, Raheem Sterling or Leroy Sane, you still have all of the other aforementioned players to worry about.

Liverpool are inconsistent with serious ongoing defensive issues and when they came up against City at the Etihad, they got thumped 5-0.

It goes without saying that the current Arsenal side is a million miles away from the Invincibles days.

With an extremely strong defence and a deadly trio consisting of Christian Eriksen, Dele Alli and Harry Kane, not to mention an energetic midfield ready for battle, Spurs were theoretically the toughest test for City and the most equipped to beat them. However they just became another side that City demolished with ease, with City thrashing them 4-1 at the Etihad and stretching their record-winning run to 16 consecutive victories.

They have also shown that they are capable of wearing teams down and bagging a late winner when the opposition is set on keeping them at bay, such as in the games against Huddersfield Town, Southampton and West Ham United.

This is a sign of champions, but also a sign that the more the season progresses, the tougher it may become because teams may figure out how the Sky Blues play and may adopt ways to stop them. However, the key word in this sentence which was repetitively used was ‘may’.

Actually, stopping the City is much easier said than done.

Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand has been full of praise for City, saying: “For me, Manchester City right now are the best team in Europe. I would put them as favourites, they’re going to win the Premier League.”

He went on further to say that City are his favourites for the Champions League and then stated: “I think regardless of whether they have the best player in the world, they haven’t in Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo and the Neymars of this world, but tactically they are on a different planet to any team around at the moment.”

This is a massive compliment coming from a former long-serving player of their city rivals.

This City team is undoubtedly very special and if not the most exciting, one of the most exciting teams going forward to grace the Premier League, however it would be extremely rash and naive to already name them as the best ever team in the league above the likes of the invincibles of the 2003/4 season.

They must nevertheless, in the current scope of the Premier League today, there does not seem to be a team that can stop them.


Written by Sina Latif

Follow Sina on Twitter @_sina93

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