Manchester City starts the new Premier League season on Friday at Burnley. They want to be the first team to win four straight English top-flight titles, but manager Pep Guardiola said that his team won’t be able to reach the dizzying heights of last season’s treble-winning season.
Arsenal seems to be in the best position to take advantage if City loses its hold on English soccer, and they hope to get off to a good start at home against Nottingham Forest on Saturday.
City is still on a high from the end of last season, when they won the Premier League, the FA Cup, and their first Champions League. They are only the second English team, after Manchester United, to win the treble.
Even though City is the favorite to win every game it will play in this season, Guardiola was not too optimistic about the team’s chances.
Guardiola told reporters before Friday’s trip to Turf Moor that they would never be able to do what they did last season.
“We climbed the highest mountain last season, but in the last two days we came down from it, and now we have to start all over again,” said the Spaniard, whose team lost to Arsenal in the Community Shield opener last weekend.
“Everyone has the same goal, and it will be hard to get as high as possible on the mountain. How the season goes will depend on how well we play, how good we are, and how we think.
Guardiola has had some problems this summer. His leader, Ilkay Gundogan, went to Barcelona, and Riyad Mahrez went to Saudi Arabia because the money was too good to pass up.
On Friday, Guardiola’s counterpart in the other bench, Vincent Kompany, already has a statue outside the Etihad from his playing days, but he has quickly become one of the best coaches on the continent.
In his first season at Turf Moor, the former Belgian captain turned around a club in trouble and got Burnley back into the Premier League with seven games to spare.
The Clarets are a very different team from the one that played above its weight to stay in the top flight for six years under Sean Dyche, from 2016 to 2022.
Kompany took ideas from Guardiola and turned Burnley into a team that controls the ball.
“I would play against a team like Man City every week, every month, every year. “That’s the best way to get better,” Kompany said.
Burnley, on the other hand, lost 6-0 to City in the FA Cup semifinals last year after letting them score first.
Guardiola also spoke highly of the former City player.
“He has completely changed the way Sean Dyche and Burnley played, and he has ruined the Championship.” He has done a great job, but the game will be very hard, said Guardiola.
Guardiola also said that one of City’s two new players, Josko Gvardiol, who was bought from Bundesliga club RB Leipzig last week for €90 million ($99.15 million), could make his start against Burnley. Gvardiol was bought for €90 million from RB Leipzig.
“He’s all set. He has made himself at home. “Nathan Ake is also ready,” said Guardiola.