Manchester City have been in imperious form under Pep Guardiola this season. Arsenal’s invincibles, United’s treble-winning side and the Chelsea team who broke a number of records under Mourinho have all been mentioned alongside this City squad when the question is posed – are they the best Premier League side ever?
It’s completely fair to mention them in such company. They’re on track to break a lot of Premier League records, have built a team that plays stunning football and possess a winning mentality that shows the required ruthlessness to achieve such greatness.
Back-to-back 3-0 victories over Arsenal and a victory against the current champions in the past week sums up their season… they’ve been unstoppable… And lead the rest of the pack by 16 points at present.
🗳 Best Premier League side ever?
— FourFourTweet (@FourFourTweet) March 1, 2018
Are City really that great? Are they the best side to ever grace the Premier League? Let’s take a look.
Records Broken / Potentially Breakable
When Man City beat Man Utd 2-1, they broke Chelsea’s record of 13 consecutive wins in a Premier League season, and then the following week they beat Swansea to break Arsenal’s 14 game winning streak within a calendar year…and following that (breathe), they went on to win another four to set a Premier League record of 18 wins in a row – incredible.
Top 5 points in a Premier League season:
TBC: Man City (17/18) – 78 points / +63 GD*
- Arsenal (03/04) – 90 points / +47 Goal Difference (GD)
- Chelsea (05/06) – 91 points / +50 GD
- Man Utd (99/00) – 91 points / +52 GD
- Chelsea (16/17) – 93 points / +52 GD
- Chelsea (04/05) – 95 points +57 GD
“They have the possibility [of reaching 100 points] because they’re showing to be the best in the league.”
- Antonio Conte
City will finish their current season on 105 points if they win their remaining nine league fixtures, which would eclipse Chelsea’s 04/05 season by a staggering 10 points. Although they still have to play Man Utd and Spurs at home, you wouldn’t bet against them winning all nine!
They currently have a goal difference of +63, which is six better than the previous record. Chelsea finished the 2010 season with 103 goals – City have scored 83 with nine games remaining. Although we’re speaking speculatively these stats show just how impressive City have been this season and the current team is etching their names in the history books.
The Football Is Stunning
Pep Guardiola needed a year to imprint his philosophy on his Manchester City side. And it’s worked – they’re playing sublime football at times. They dominate possession, but it’s not as patient as his Barcelona ideology. The team Is filled with visionaries and lightning pace, which delivers fast-paced football and epic spectacles – when they’re in full flow it’s a joy to watch,
Squad depth has been vital in allowing City to fight on four fronts but in the Premier League, Pep has always picked his strongest team available and they have been imperious. The stats speak for themselves…
Sergio Aguero: 21 Goals & 6 Assists
Raheem Sterling: 15 Goals & 6 Assists
Kevin De Bruyne: 7 Goals & 14 Assists
Leroy Sane: 8 Goals & 11 Assists
David Silva: 6 Goals & 9 Assists
“They are playing some of the best football ever played in the history of the Premier League.”
- Garth Crooks
But it’s not just up top they’re potent – the likes of Ederson and Fernandinho are key to the City mechanism, and the energy shown by the team when they lose the ball in order to retain possession is brilliant.
They’ve finally signed a ‘keeper who wins them 12+ points a season in Ederson. He’s conceded the least goals in the league this season, and kept 13 clean sheets. Furthermore, he’s saved more penalties than any other keeper. The most interesting stats about Ederson is that his distribution rate has been 87% this term – that’s 9% higher than any other shot stopper in the league!
“The energy levels of these players must be off the scale as it was at the Nou Camp in Guardiola’s time there.
“Lose the ball and three players are hounding you down to get it back.
“Opponents are so exhausted by the time they win possession that they don’t have a second to think about what to do with it.”
– Alan Shearer
The footballing philosophy drilled into his players has bred success on the pitch. Success breeds success and one of the players to benefit most under the Spaniard is Raheem Sterling. The video below shows the Englishman taking what he’s learned on the training pitch onto the field of play vs. Feyenoord.
How They Compare to Last year’s Champions
Chelsea amassed an impressive points tally under Antonio Cont last season – they really were the dominant force in the Premier League…and yet, they were dismantled easily by City on Sunday. The 1-0 scoreline didn’t reflect both sides’ performances and the contrast in playing style and ability was like chalk and cheese.
What’s more, Chelsea were brilliant in the Premier League but weren’t competing in Europe. City have looked superior to most in the Champions League and are many people’s favourites to lift the trophy this season. A record-breaking Premier League season and the Champions League would somewhat eclipse the achievements of Conte the previous season – that is for sure.
Not only that, but for us, they are already the best Premier League side there has been. The football. They goals. The ruthlessness. The never-say-die attitude. There was a time near the back-end of November when City won three games by a single goal in the final 10 minutes – that really showed their character and they may have been playing a diluted level of football at the time, but they won, and that’s what champions do.
The quadruple was a step too far, for Guardiola’s men, but we wouldn’t be surprised to see them lift the remaining two trophies on offer this season.