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The Premier League: Manchester City’s Struggles and New Challengers in 2023

The Premier has been painted ‘light blue’ for five years. Manchester City has won five of the last six English Leagues, breaking records. However, Pep Guardiola’s team has once again crossed paths with two of its ‘classic’ enemies, experts in making them uncomfortable in recent campaigns.

Jürgen Klopp’s Liverpool took them to the limit with two endless fights in 2019 and 2022 and snatched the title from them in 2020. The duels between City and “the most difficult rival”, as he himself has described it, which he has faced Guardiola are already a Premier League classic. And last year, the Arsenal of ‘disciple’ Mikel Arteta was close to checking the ‘cityzen’ king. Pep’s former assistant took the Gunners to “another dimension, to be competitors”, as his ‘teacher’ emphasized at the Etihad. They were leaders in 30 of 38 games, although in the end they couldn’t keep up and gave up first place to the ‘sky blues’.

No team in the history of the Premier has won four leagues in a row, but in my experience this is a very, very long road.

Pep Guardiola, Manchester City coach

However, this season, Arsenal and Liverpool, Arteta and Klopp, have returned to the fray, overtaking City on the right after having consumed the first third of the season. “No team in the history of the Premier has won four leagues in a row.. My experience tells me that this road is very, very long,” Guardiola warned after losing (1-0) at the Emirates. A slip that has not been an exception this season. His three consecutive draws (Chelsea (4-4), Liverpool (1-1) and Tottenham (3-3) in the last three games have ‘dropped’ them to third place, three points behind the leader Arsenal and one of the ‘reds’ (second). And from behind they tighten the Aston Villa de Emeryaway to Tottenham…

Problems in the areas

Guardiola: “Sometimes I lose my mind, but I don’t like to comment here. We didn’t draw because of that”

The Premier is more open than ever with Arsenal and Liverpool smelling blood and taking advantage of City’s weaknesses. “We don’t have that much consistency, but we must insist. I don’t know how far we will go, but we are not going to change,” confessed Pep, questioned about his defensive fragility after the 3-3 against Tottenham. The current champion has conceded 16 goals in 14 games, eight of them in the last three. Problems at the back that his offensive power cannot fix (36 goals scored). Haaland (‘top scorer’ in the Premier with 14 goals) can’t do it all… and his scoring output has decreased significantly compared to last year (44 goals accumulated at this point in 2022-23 and 36 now).

Critical failures in an almost perfect machine that has made them slow down (they have five points less (35 to 30 now) than a year ago) that their pursuers are squeezing. “This team is different. It is part of the evolution, of the transition. We want to continue being competitive and winning games,” said Arteta, who knows that his Gunners already have the ‘candidate’ sign. Arsenal went from being out of the Champions League in 2021-22 to fighting for the Premier League in 2022-23. And in 2023-24 they are in the lead after adding Rice, Havertz, Raya and the injured Timber this summer to a squad in which Saka, Martinelli, Odegaard, Saliba, Gabriel Jesus already shined…

The evolution of Arsenal and Liverpool

A cocktail with a good flavor that rules the Premier League with numbers similar to last season. A year ago, they were second with 34 points. They are now leaders with 33 after win (2-1) at Wolverhampton. “We can only control what we do. I have learned that in this League making assumptions is never positive. We are hungry to continue playing,” Arteta said. A wish that he shares with Klopp who has put Liverpool back in the fight.

We can only control what we do. I have learned that in this League making assumptions is never positive. We are hungry to continue playing

Mikel Arteta, Arsenal coach

“In December nothing is decided and no trophies are awarded, but there are so many games that can leave you in a good position for the rest of the season. For now, the team is responding well to the challenges it is facing,” declared the German coach. In his ninth year at Anfield, the former Dortmund player has given another turn to the Reds. A total metamorphosis that is working. In 2022-23, after 14 games, the ‘Pool’ was ninth with 20 points, 15! of the leadership that City had. Now, with 31 points, they are second, two behind Arsenal’s first place.

In December nothing is decided and no trophies are awarded, but there are so many games that can leave you in a good position for the rest of the season

Jürgen Klopp, Liverpool manager

His signings in the midfield (Szoboszlai, Mac Allister, Gravenberch and Endo) have revitalized to a group that had already begun its reforms some time ago (only Salah ‘survives’ from the historic ‘MSF’). All to recover the rhythm that took them “at full throttle” to the top of England and Europe.

“We have recharged ourselves and it is exciting. Everyone was asking for changes (and rightly so) after a long time together. “It’s a new opportunity for everyone,” Klopp said.. And Liverpool are taking advantage of it by recovering their ‘classics’. The last victory (4-3) against Fulham was the best example. Back and forth, intensity, high tension… and goals. It is his best recipe to make City bitter again, as Arteta’s Arsenal has been doing for two seasons. Guardiola, who has almost always emerged champion, has many fronts open. Too many.

2023-12-04 11:22:25
#Arteta #Klopp #Guardiolas #classic #enemies #bitter

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