City victims of their own success says Pep
Pep Guardiola feels Manchester City have become victims of their own success this season as they sit way off the pace in the race for the Premier League title.
The City boss believes that in accruing a remarkable 198 points and winning five trophies over the past two years, the Premier League champions have set new standards in English football.
The problem for them this term is that, inadvertently, City have also driven up standards at Liverpool as they try to compete.
After pushing City all the way last season, the Reds have been well placed to take advantage of the slight dip in intensity that Guardiola’s side have, perhaps not unexpectedly, experienced this year.
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“When we arrived here (in 2016) the standard was 85 points to win (the title). Now you have to reach almost 100 points to win the Premier League,” Guardiola said.
“That is why we helped Liverpool to make this step, (to) buy incredible top players and now it is the level you have to reach. All the teams that are behind Liverpool know we have to make 100 points.”
City are facing a tough task to overhaul Liverpool this term. The Reds now have a 17-point advantage over the champions after beating Watford on Saturday.
City will need to win at Arsenal on Sunday just to trim it back to the 14 it was after last week’s games. Guardiola realises catching them may prove beyond them but he expects this reality check to benefit his team.
He said: “The situation we are in is going to help us in the future. I would have preferred to be closer to Liverpool but it is going to help us, all the club, the organisation.”
Guardiola has hinted that his players may also not have the same kind of hunger as their Liverpool counterparts, having won the title for the last two seasons, while the Reds are looking to end a 26-year drought.