Breaking News: Man City face extra Premier League scrutiny on top of Arsenal threat

Next week, Manchester City will start their pre-season workouts, and several of their opponents have already taken precautions to avoid them.

Breaking News: Man City face extra Premier League scrutiny on top of Arsenal threat

Enzo Maresca didn’t mention City in his first interview as Chelsea boss

The club coached by Pep Guardiola’s former assistant appears to be the most equipped to fight Manchester City now that Jurgen Klopp is no longer in the picture.

Although Mikel Arteta plays and has his own flair, his management and tactical approaches are in line with what he seen directly from Guardiola at the Etihad. Arsenal has borrowed tactics from City’s playbook to get closer to them, including sacrificing individual players for the team’s style or to emphasise the team over any dressing room ego, creative motivational approaches prior to games, and the use of centre backs out wide before inverted full-backs.

Guardiola nearly always prevailed over Liverpool, but the team was a different animal under Klopp, and he was never able to fully subdue it in games over the 38-game league season. Though he has previously called watching City games the “ultimate joy in football,” Arne Slot will have his own opinions about the Anfield team. Aaron Briggs, the new elite development coach at Liverpool, was desired by Arteta at Arsenal after making an impression as a first team analyst at City.

United, who hired former academy director Jason Wilcox and COO Omar Berrada this year as the new Old Trafford investors try to bridge the gap between the two neighbours, can also claim to have inside knowledge of City operations. Having worked on the City system for years under Guardiola and Txiki Begiristain, there were rumours that Woodcock had a say in how United approached the FA Cup Final tactically.

Next up is Chelsea, who are emulating Arsenal by appointing a former assistant to Guardiola in an attempt to contend for championships once more. They now have even more experience of the Blues in addition to former head of academy recruitment Joe Shields and others who have made the trip. Enzo Maresca’s first interview with the club website remarkably managed not to mention the influence of the City boss or Maresca’s contribution to City winning the Treble.

Although Guardiola maintains that success cannot be replicated, Arsenal has moved up to the second-best club in England by acquiring significant parts of the City jigsaw. Given how the champions are now more visible on fans’ radars, City must realise that when the new Premier League season begins, their opponents are more prepared than ever to defeat them.

Guardiola knows that not only will Arsenal be a formidable test in the upcoming season, but all of the teams that have purposefully brought in experience with what City does and who they are will also be paying close attention. It should be more difficult to win a league title than any previous one.


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