Arsenal have been the biggest shock of the season so far. The players alongside their manager Mikel Arteta have surprised even themselves with their performance this season. But that is not the biggest challenge Manchester City face in their quest to retain the title.
The team made a strong start to the season as Erling Haaland hit the ground running scoring goals for fun for the Cityzens. Yet the Norwegian’s goal-scoring prowess has not put the team in prime position as far as the title race is concerned.
Despite scoring less goals than City in the league so far, the Gunners are currently five points clear at the top the table and still have a game in hand ahead of City. The form exhibited by Arteta's team so far shows City face an uphill task to overtake Arsenal come season’s end.
City’s form before and after the World Cup has hardly been inspiring. Having lost 2-1 to Brentford on the eve of the tournament, the team has also dropped points against struggling Everton and lost to Manchester United recently. That led to Arsenal increasing their lead at the top of the table to eight points.
Concerned City are in danger of losing out in the title race, Guardiola issued a rallying cry to his players calling for a change of attitude. He later explained the importance of staying hungry and fighting harder to the media.
“I won four Ligas in Spain when I was a football player and the fifth and the sixth I was not the same. I was not starving enough, thinking about how good I was,” Guardiola stated.
“Madrid beat me the fifth and the sixth. I understand them but I am there to do it. I want to be here but if I lose the team or lose something I cannot be here. Here, people don’t wait.”
So far the team has responded well to the manager’s charge. A thorough performance against Wolves at the Etihad Stadium secured a 3-0 win with Haaland grabbing his fourth hat-trick of the season.
But with Arsenal showing no signs of slowing down any time soon, City will need to raise their game. Staying hungry and giving the title race their best shot remains the biggest challenge faced by the players having won so much in the last few years.