It’s difficult to envision how Manchester City could produce a more dominant season than they did throughout the 2018-19 campaign.
Sure, they could repeat the Arsenal Invincibles’ achievement of 2003-04, but Pep Guardiola isn’t a manager who looks kindly upon failing to win.
Last term City became the first side in English football to rack up 100 points while registering a record-breaking 106 goals and 32 victories.
Guardiola got his side playing truly brilliant football for much of the season, though it didn’t translate to success on the European stage.
City bowed out of the Champions League quarter-finals to Liverpool against the odds, but there’s a growing sense they mean business this time around.
It’s not just the Etihad faithful who believing the hype Guardiola has brought with him - one of his former players is convinced it’s only a matter of time until are a match for anyone.
Xavi - who played under the Spaniard throughout his four years at the Nou Camp - said, per the Mirror: “Pep will only improve Manchester City.
“People were impressed at how they won the title last season - but there will be more.
“He’s always looking to improve, always looking to better the team. The next target will be the Champions League and under him I think they will do it.
“He built something at Barcelona that will always be remembered in football history - he can do the same in Manchester.”
CITY CAN BE THE NEW BARCA
Under Guardiola, Barca had a significant psychological advantage over any opponent because of the way they dominated matches - something Xavi believes City can emulate.
“In football, it’s not just what you achieve but how you achieve it,” he added.
“Manchester City are playing great football - and I can guarantee that the players will be enjoying training sessions as well as the games.
“They will be getting more touches on the ball than they did before Pep - and that’s not just the attacking players but all of the team - he likes the whole team to play football.”
GUARDIOLA AND YOUTH
While City are more likely to purchase ready-made superstars than develop them from scratch in-house, Xavi insists it’s important for the likes of Raheem Sterling, Leroy Sane and Gabriel Jesus to treat their manager as a mentor.
“My advice to the young players there is to just listen to Pep,” he said.
“He knows what he’s talking about. Sterling is the perfect example of that. He’s a player who has always had talent - but under Pep he has becomes so much more clinical.”
He’s not wrong - the England international scored the same number of goals in his second season (23) under Guardiola than he did during his entire spell at Liverpool.
Do you think Guardiola and City have what it takes to win the Champions League this season? Let us know what you think by leaving a comment.