Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has insisted that Arsenal have been the best club in the Premier League campaign so far this season.
During a news conference on Friday, October 7, 2022, The Cityzen manager, Guardiola said he’s happy with his team’s form and achievements so far since the league started but admitted they are still behind Premier League toppers, Arsenal.
Arsenal rose to stardom this season as they have been impressive since the Premier League season began. Arteta’s side have won seven matches out of eight games played so far this season, losing only one match to Ten Hag’s Manchester United.
Mikel Arteta’s Gunners now sit at the top of the Premier League table at the early stage of the season with 21 points, leading Manchester City with one point.
In their last outing, the Gunners beat hot rival Tottenham Hotspur 3-1, few months after Spurs defeated Arsenal to reach the top-four finish in the dying stage of last Premier League season, hence, denying Arteta’s team the chance to compete in the Champions League campaign this season.
However, Mikel Arteta never ceased to take his team soaring as Arsenal also strived to stay at the top of the Europa League group table with six points after winning their first two matches.
The Gunners have been able to register nineteen goals since the league started and conceded only seven goals, thanks to the wonderful goals and assists of former Manchester City forward Gabriel Jesus.
On the other hand, Manchester City’s start to the Premier League campaign has been over impressive. Guardiola’s team have remained unbeaten, winning six matches and drawing two.
Manchester City have intensified their prominence as favorites to defend their Premier League title this season with a series of sparkling displays, revealed in their last weekend’s dramatic 6-3 demolition of arch-rival Manchester United.
With 20 points and next in line after Arsenal, Manchester City are the only Premier League club that are yet to be defeated, having won six and drawn two of their eight games ahead of Saturday’s home clash with Southampton.
They are also the leading scorers with 29 goals in the Premier League campaign.
However, while Manchester City head coach Pep Guardiola reckons that his sides are competently doing well in holding up on last season’s success, the Spaniard has confessed that Arsenal have outperformed them.
In a Live interview with talkSPORT 2 on Friday, October 7, Guardiola said: “I tell the players offensively and defensively what is going to happen. Our attack has to play differently our defense has to play differently.
“The secret is that we have top players. I see us quite similar to last season. We have a guy up front who can unlock the game.
“Every few years we are a little bit better. In the Champions League we are in a dream position. We cannot forget that one team has been better than us. Arsenal have been better than us.”
The Spaniard believes the Manchester City of this season isn’t far off the team that won last season’s Premier League title but acknowledged there is a key difference in the team’s set-up following the arrival of summer signing, Erling Haaland.
The £51million former Dortmund striker has been blowing hot for his new side, netting 14 goals in 8 Premier League appearances, including a record-breaking three consecutive hat-tricks at Etihad Stadium, filling the gap left by former City goalscorer Kun Aguero.
The Norwegian striker’s other attainments also include being the first player to score in the first four away Premier League matches, as well as scoring three goals and providing two assists in the Manchester United 6-3 demolition; the most achieved by any player in a single match.
Nevertheless, Manchester City Manager Pep Guardiola insists even his goal-scoring machine needs to improve.
Pep said: “The connection with Kevin [De Bruyne], Phil [Foden], Riyad [Mahrez], Jack [Grealish]… Erling when he has the ball, he knows what passes I like.
“He can improve every part of his game. Everyone knows he can do better. We can all improve until we die. It will be good for Haaland to break the record but any record can be broken. Hopefully he can carry this on.”
Haaland’s amazing start to life in England football has caused many to equate him to the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner and one of the greatest goalscorers in football history Lionel Messi.
However, when asked what he thinks about the comparison of Haaland with the Argentina maestro, Guardiola asserts that the comparison isn’t sensible.
No doubt Guardiola still regards Messi as the best and the City’s boss’s love for his former Barcelona talisman showed in his reaction.
Guardiola said: “Nothing is comparable with Leo Messi.
“How many new Messi’s have there been? Ten or 15? But they all fail. All of the questions about Erling, but the guys here accept it perfectly.”
Meanwhile, despite Arsenal’s stunning start to the Premier League campaign this season, many football lovers, including former Sheffield United goalkeeper Kenny alleged that the Gunners can’t win the Premier League this season.
Kenny speculates that Guardiola’s City will eventually beat Arteta’s men to the title come May.
He said: “I’m convinced Man City will win it easily, I’m sorry to say. I do think Arsenal have progressed massively from last season. We can all see that but a top-four finish, for me, has to be the aim for them this season.”
The former Sheffield goalie believes Arsenal are more of a top-four contender than challenging for the title.
Kenny added: “Get back in the Champions League and go from there. It’s progress. I think they will, with the way things are going at the minute, they are top-four contenders.”
What’s Next Manchester City and Arsenal?
Manchester City had been fixed to play Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on October 19, 2022, but the match has been suspended to fit in Arsenal’s readjusted match with PSV in the Europa League a day later.
It remains uncertain when Arsenal will host Manchester City in their Premier League clash but the reverse fixture at the Etihad Stadium is set to take place in April next year.
While Manchester City will face Southampton today, October 8, 2022, Arsenal will play Jurgen Klopp’s sturdy team Liverpool this Sunday, October 9.