Just over a month ago the English Premier League (EPL) made its long-awaited return to many men’s happiness and many women’s despair, leading to Carlberg’s sales figures’ increase after two slow months and Gary Lineker’s return as the most-watched man on television on Saturday evenings.
Despite the earliness of the season, Manchester City has already proven its serious potential as future title holder with its best ever start. If there were doubts over the summer, Pep Guardiola’s managing decisions have seen the team take a brand new turn that already paid off with eight wins in all competitions including five in EPL with no less than 15 goals scored. Having such an impact that early in the season shows how big Man City’s potential has gotten and how likely they are to remain within the top four of the table, if not on top.
The Citizens have especially received rave reviews after their smashing victories over their local rivals away at Old Trafford on Sept 10th and at home against Bournemouth last Saturday. Indeed, several of the key players were missing -injured or banned- yet 6 goals had been scored over those two games indicating that if the presence of David Silva, Sergio Aguero and Vincent Kompany on the pitch over the past two or three years has always succeeded in comforting supporters and threatening opponents, that doesn’t seem to be the case any longer.
On top of the demonstration of an organised, fast and effective team work -especially during the first half of the Manchester derby- some old and new wunderkinds have risen up. Kevin De Bruyne and Kerechi Iheanacho particularly have had an absolutely fantastic start of season and today seem unstoppable just like Raheem Sterling who’s back in the Citizens’ good graces after an average 2015/2016 season. Former Wolfsburg star De Bruyne especially shined facing Jose Mourinho’s squad, a work of art doubled as personal revenge against the Portuguese manager who never trusted him to start a game and only let him appear on the pitch 8 times during his entire Chelsea career.
But a team’s efficience can’t only be judged on its attack. If the goal statistics are indeed phenomenal, over the course of 5 EPL games two ended clean sheets and the other three saw Claudio Bravo only conceding one goal each time. The former FC Barcelona man but especially the new addition of John Stones and regained skills of Nicolas Otamendi have been lethal for any opponents.
Besides staying clear in the Premier League table, the Citizens demonstrate their strength by being well on track to be effective where they never had before: the dreaded Champions League. International competitions aren’t known for being the squad’s strong point but the opening game against Mönchengladbach ending in a 4-0 victory (including a fantastic Aguero’s hat-trick) leads us to believe that 2017 could be the Citizens’ year of glory. Or at least gives us hope for a better ending than the sore 1-0 defeat against the Real Madrid in semi-finals last year.
Of course, with over 30 weeks distancing Manchester City from any title, international or Premier League, this is miles from being a done deal but the Citizens are definitely off to a flying start and the rumours of Guardiola taking interest in Arsenal’s chilean striker Alexis Sanchez are just cherries on the cake.