Guardiola-'Only one team will 'fail' to win league'

"What they demand of us, they didn't demand of our friends - at all," he said.

Pep Guardiola
Image: Commons Wikimedia

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola believes his side is being judged by higher standards than any of their Premier League rivals.

City go to Luton looking to avoid a fifth game without a Premier League win for the first time since 2009. Guardiola has never experienced that throughout his illustrious managerial career.

Their form is so unusual, that it has almost generated a belief of a borderline crisis from onlookers, even though City have only lost one of those four winless games.

Also, the teams they have faced in their current run - Chelsea, Liverpool, Tottenham and Aston Villa - are all in the top half of the table and the latter three are in the top five.

Coming off the back of five titles in six years, a domestic treble and, last season, becoming only the second English side to win the authentic Treble, Guardiola feels the reaction is over the top.

"What they demand of us, they didn't demand of our friends - at all," he said.

"There is only one team that is going to 'fail' to win the Premier League, that is us. For the rest, [winning] it is a big success. Any team.

"In the end, if they don't win - Arsenal, Liverpool, Chelsea, everyone - it is normal because City should win. It is unfair. It is difficult to handle that every week, every three days, for years and years."

This season City have the opportunity to win the Premier League for a fourth straight year. Guardiola is acutely aware no club has ever won four English league titles in a row.

In his own words, dropping six points behind Arsenal ahead of the weekend games "is not a disaster" and with the Gunners losing at Villa Park on Saturday, City can close to within three with victory at Kenilworth Road and go four behind new leaders Liverpool.

It is less than a month since City led going into injury time at Chelsea and were about to go three points clear at the top of the table.

Compared to some of City's rivals, Guardiola does not feel the dip in form is extensive.

"Man City can have a bad period," he said. "Human beings change. Private lives can change. Bad moments are there.

"In football, in sport, in life, the most difficult thing is to win and win and win. We have done it. For many years, we were the main candidates to win everything, and we were there. When we were out in the semi-final of the Champions League (against Real Madrid in 2022), it was a big disaster. That was our level.

"In sport, you have seasons where [a bad period] can happen. Take a look at our rivals. Of course, we can lose games and competitions. But please don't say it is complacency. The team is not [made] in that way."