Is Man City boss playing a dangerous game ahead of Arsenal opener?

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola is refusing to recall his players back early in preparation for the Premier League opener with Arsenal, with some players due to return only six days before the trip to the Emirates.

Key players such as John Stones, Raheem Sterling, Kyle Walker and Kevin De Bruyne were all playing in the semi-finals of the World Cup after a long yet impressive season with Man City, and it would be reasonable to expect them all to be in need of a break.

The fixture list will not have helped the situation, with the Community Shield against Chelsea coming on August the 5, shortly followed by a tough trip to Arsenal the following week, but Pep seems happy to allow his players to make their own decisions as per their fitness and mental readiness as he looks to defend his first Premier League title.

“We will start the season and the players are still playing for last season,” he said.

“I lived it in Barcelona, it happened in Munich as well. We have to adapt and control.

“Physically it’s not a problem but mentally they must be ready, how they come back and handle the situation, day by day.

“I’d have preferred more time, one month or one month and a half. So many games – but they have to adapt.”

The Spaniard has previously expressed his angst with the enduring English fixture list, but he is trying to downplay any issues with the news.

“It is what it is, we know because we spoke – they have to come back ready,” he said.

“If the days before they are tired and they want to fight for the Community Shield, play at Arsenal, or stay on holidays.

“We cannot forget what we’ve done but we start again, and if they are ready they’ll help us.

“We are here (in Chicago) with 16 or 17 from the academy. it was a pleasure to work with them, to do what we’ve done in the last two seasons, it was like the first day we came.

“We will try to make a good performance, learn from this game, and prepare for the season.

“I’d prefer this situation but it’s what it is. They got a lot of experience and they’ll benefit us in the future so it’s good for English football and for us.”

Arsenal will be in a great position to kickstart our campaign with many other sides having seen key players go deep in the World Cup, while the majority of our stars have been resting properly, and are now in pre-season.

I don’t expect the Premier League champions to win the Community Shield or their opening game of the season, and it would be a huge boost to our campaign to beat any City side in the opening PL weekend.

Will the City stars choose to come back early? Is Pep right not to try and force his players to return too early?

Pat J

Tags Arsenal Man City Pep Guardiola Premier League


  1. Me says:

    I do not believe Pep views us a contender.
    He can go out and spend 300 million on players if he wanted to.
    Arsenal in comparison are financially struggling to compete…

    1. Amitosh says:

      Do we see ourselves as contender? No UCL, less player pulling power, less cash at hand, and a squad full of unusable players from the past. If we get into top 5, I will be really happy!!!

      1. Ken1945 says:

        Amitosh, could you please list the squad full of unusable players from the past?
        It would be interesting to know how your list compares to Emery’s, considering the players he has offered new contracts too.
        By the way, didn’t we sign Abu, Myk and Lacs despite playing in the Europa league at the time?
        Anyway, looking forward to seeing the list of players.

        1. jon fox says:

          I’ll happily provide my list Ken. In no special order, these are all players I would sell as soon as practicable or when fully replaced : Mustafi, Xhaka, Bellerin, Iwobi, Elneny, Cech, Ospina, Welbeck.

          1. Me says:

            I think the players Jon listed deserve another season – remember Emery is bringing in a whole new philosophy into the club and they may well shine under him.
            A lot of players at Arsenal became stale under Wenger who by his own admission has stated that he should have left much sooner.
            I do think it is over for Cech, Ospina and Welbeck though – through age and competency but who knows, as I said they might flourish under Emery

      2. David Rusa says:

        There you go Again! Will you never tire of denigrating the Arsenal team?

        1. David Rusa says:

          My comment is directed at Amitosh not Ken.

        2. Ken1945 says:

          Jon, I make that eight players, hardly the squad full that Amitosh is describing is it?
          Looking closer, all but Ospina are in the squad recently named for our upcoming tour.
          So I guess that Emery has a different view to you on the players.
          Don’t know how you view that, especially as two of them have just signed new contracts offered by the club?
          As you can see Jon, still waiting for the original request made to Amitosh…. the squad full of unusable players from the past.
          Let’s see what he comes up with and how big a ‘squad’ it really is. I guess you’ve given him a start anyway!!

          As David Rusa says,is this really supporting the club, new manager and players?
          The only thing that he says that makes any sense is the less cash at hand statement and that I think most supporters would agree with and wonder why that is the case!

          1. jon fox says:

            Ken , I never said it was a squad full . HE used those words , NOT I. I merely provided my OWN shorter list, as I am fully entitled to do. Or do you disagree? The day we stop giving our opinions is the day this and other sites die!

  2. Fab says:

    The same scenario of being the G.O.A.T without wining the WC Vs wining the WC with zero shot on target, zero goal, zero tak.e on, zero dribbling.Haaaaa

    Reply ↓

    1. Ausgooner says:

      WTF are you talking about.

      1. Hackinubee says:

        Ronaldo and Messi have never won the World Cup vs Giroud won it without a shot on target…

  3. Stan says:

    Pep is well aware of what is required of his players on their return and for the most part the players are experienced enough to know what is expected of them. A draw for City at Arsenal will be a very valuable point. It matters not to Pep, the City board or the majority of City fans if Chelski win the Community Shield – it is the league title being retained and the champions league which are the targets by which Pep will be judged. Also the small matter of keeping Scousers and Rags in their respective boxes.

    1. CiTyBlUe says:

      Bang on!

  4. Counsel says:

    Ozil,Elneny,and Welbeck do not deserve time to rest it’s time for them to get fitness as the club look out for buyers,they are not easy to sell though

    1. Drew says:

      Didn’t Welbeck have enough rest on the BENCH?

  5. CiTyBlUe says:

    You’re reading to much in to it because you haven’t got a clue what you’re talking about, you don’t understand City like we do. Peps talking about the fact our senior players can turn up in the US whenever they feel like it but, as soon as Manchester city and Pep return to England our senior players should be arriving from their holidays at the same time.

  6. Counsel says:

    Pep will not beat Klopp for the title next season Liverpool now is by far the best team in EPL ,their let down last season was a bad defense otherwise they would have won even the CL .As for arsenal we need to get to the top four first then spend around 200m for 2 genuinely world class players who can strain for the team a winger and a cazorla replacement

    1. kev says:

      One thing about Klopp is that though not being that good tactically he’s able to motivate his players very well.That can even make an average or unready player better than their actually quality.
      He seems to have some kind of energy that the players reflect.With the kind of players he’s signing they’re going to be very dangerous due to his style of play and the kind of mentality his team possesses.

      1. Thomas Bolton says:

        The true power of a manager is motivation – get this right and even LC can win the title

    2. mm says:

      How many points did Liverpool finish behind City last season? That will be a monumental effort to finish in front of City next year considering last season was the first you could actually say City was a Guardiola team. They should be better again this season.

      1. Me says:

        That was last season.
        Everything is always up in the air every season.
        Just because they won it last season by a margin means nothing…

  7. Phelyx says:

    Richarlison for £50m can we really get Coman for 44m

  8. pls Emery, sign Douglas Costa, now dat Cristiano has join juventus.

  9. Victoria Concordia Crescit says:

    OT:To all Arsenal raving about Alison Becker, and already moaning about Liverpool doing better deals than us , do not forget that :

    JUST 2 SEASONS AGO (2016/2017) Alison was being benched for a whole season , guess which keeper was ahead of him ….? FORMER ARSENAL SMOKER
    Wojciech Szczęsny

    Liverpool smashed 7 past Alison just last season too.

    1. kev says:

      This being said I hope people don’t lambast and destroy Leno all season when he makes silly mistakes.We knew what we were buying so no need to blame him for it.The least we can do is to give the man chances but our defence is our weakness.

      1. Ausgooner says:

        I agree Kev. I hope he is given more of a chance than Ospina, who imo is far better then the Chelsea reject. Any player with limited game time will need time to get to his best especially a keeper. You can’t pull one out of the cupboard for cup games and expect him to be a world beater.

  10. Victoria Concordia Crescit says:

    I can also confirm to you that Roma wanted to make Wojciech Szczęsny move permanent , but he opted to move to Juventus .

    the coaches in Roma believed Wojciech Szczęsny was better than Allison . so what’s the fuss about that we got Leno instead of Alison ? just because he was sold for 65 makes him a better Gk ?

    1. kev says:

      Allison at that time wasn’t given many chances to prove himself.When he was given many chances look what happened.Allison at that time was just seen as a young keeper coming through.They wanted to make Szczesny a permanent move not because at that time they needed a ready made 1st team keeper.Allison at that time was all potential.
      You’re judging Allison wrongly.But he is nowhere worth that £66m though.

      1. Victoria Concordia Crescit says:

        Lol. Don’t forget Alison was 23 then , not like he was 19. why couldn’t he prove himself in training ? the fact that Sczesny proved himself made him a starter.

        1. kev says:

          At that time he was only seen as a talent.Its not necessarily about age.Its just like different players are ready at different ages.I think he was being benched by a keeper named De Scantis who at a point had an injury so they needed someone who was a bit ready and further in their development.That was why Szczesny was signed.Alisson was not yet ready and when he was given his chance he’s finally fulfilled his talent.Hes not worth £66m but should everything go well he’s gonna be Liverpool keeper for a long long time.

          1. Victoria Concordia Crescit says:

            Lol and you think Sczesny was ready when he was loaned to As Roma ? don’t forget majority wanted Sczesny out of the club that season , a crap Sczesny was better than Alison

          2. kev says:

            A crap Szczesny was better than Alisson?Keep telling yourself that.

        2. kev says:

          At that time he was only seen as a talent.Its not necessarily about age.Its just like different players are ready at different ages.I think he was being benched by a keeper named De Scantis who at a point had an injury and I think his performances weren’t up to scratch and so they needed someone who was a bit ready and further in their development.That was why Szczesny was signed.Alisson was not yet ready and when he was given his chance he’s finally fulfilled his talent.Hes not worth £66m but should everything go well he’s gonna be Liverpool keeper for a long long time.

        3. AY75 says:

          I still don’t understand why Szczesny was sold…… I’d have preferred him to any of the keepers we have now….. I think his experience through d years would have made him better now.

          1. jon fox says:


      2. Phil says:

        This is my take on the Leno purchase for what it’s worth.We had a limited transfer budget and the THREE most important positions to concentrate on was GK CB. and DFM.Knowing our restrictions we have spent £20m on Leno who was not even in the German World Cup squad.So while that may seem to suggest he is not of the quality of Cech or Ospina the HOLY TRINITY would not have paid that amount for a player they felt was not of the standard required.We could bought Jack Butland for around that amount so there is no doubt the player has quality.And again if he had been playing behind a defence such as ours last season then it’s indetstandable the goals he conceded.My trust is in Sven Raul and Huss but will hope they have this right

  11. jon fox says:

    I think we have a useful , but maybe not a huge advantage, in playing both City and Chelsea early on , when many of their players will be still tired from the WC. It will be an advantage to us for certain but remains to be seen how much.

  12. Nigel Hill says:

    Arsenal have bought very wisely this season the players we bought we could certainly today even turn around and make a profit on them. One of the biggest problems with Arsenal/Wenger is we did not have any idea of the value of players, we would sell for a % of their value and pay over top prices. The big clubs all pay over top prices. Arsenal won’t lose out on this window all our purchases will prove their worth and keep their value. Leno will make mistakes all keepers do but he will continue to grow and develop and I’m sure will be our number 1 for next few years.

  13. JW says:

    Watched the Man City team mostly consisting of youngsters play Dortmund in Chicago tonight. I think if don’t quickly get their regulars returning from world cup play plus Sane, they will get off to a slow start.

  14. Innit says:

    City will by far have the best attack in the PL

    Mahrez….De Bruyne… Silva….Sterling/Sane

    Aubameyang/Lacazette > Aguero/Jesus

    De Bruyne and Silva > Ozil and Mkhitaryan

    Sterling/Sane/Mahrez > Iwobi/Welbeck/Perez

    But with Aubameyang, Lacazette and Ozil/Mkhitaryan we will certainly score plenty of GOALS

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