This article is part of Football FanCast’s Opinion series, which provides analysis, insight and opinion on any issue within the beautiful game, from Paul Pogba’s haircuts to League Two relegation battles…
As the saying goes, it’s a marathon not a sprint. And for Manchester City, that’s exactly the mantra that should be running through their heads day-in and day-out. Liverpool’s flawless start to the current Premier League campaign has been nothing short of outstanding, considering they have played Arsenal and Chelsea already in their first eight games.
Pep Guardiola’s side meanwhile, appearing to be doing their best impression of Jekyll and Hyde. Able to smash Watford 8-0, and then fall 2-0 to a struggling Wolves. Chalk and cheese really. It all means the Citizens already find themselves eight points adrift of Liverpool in the race for the title, and after seeing how neck-and-neck things were last year, it doesn’t bode too well for a comeback.
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But whilst the signs appear to be against them, City do have one thing the Reds do not. Experience. The know-how of grinding your way for the full 38 games, and digging out victories in the most difficult of times. Whilst Jurgen Klopp ended his own personal trophy hoodoo at Anfield by clinching the Champions League last season, their best efforts at winning their first league title in more than a couple of decades has fallen short.
Despite the departure of Vincent Kompany, City boast a squall full of talent who have played major roles in their back-to-back Premier League triumphs. Whether it’s players in the first-team like Kevin De Bruyne and Sergio Aguero, or less high-profile players like Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko, the Etihad side are brimming with title-winning experience.
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It’s an intangible aspect of football that cannot be understated or overlooked. They have been around the proverbial block, and seen everything there is to see. Make no mistake about it, the pressure is truly on Liverpool, not City. Klopp’s men will have to contend with the idea of knowing this is their best shot at ending their Premier League drought, and that could prove to be a major burden on their shoulders.
Football is just as much about the mental aspect of the game, as it is to do with the feet. And City’s recent experiences gives them the upper hand over their rivals. In that age-old fable between the hare and the tortoise, it was the latter that came out on top. Slow and steady wins the race, and Guardiola’s side know that better than anyone else.