According to BleacherReport, the five best teams in Premier League history go as follows:
5.) 1998-99′ Manchester United
4.) 2011-12′ Manchester City
3.) 2004-05′ Chelsea
2.) 2003-04′ Arsenal
1.) 2007-08′ Manchester United
Thing is, none of those sides stack up to Pep Guardiola’s current Manchester City side.
The two pillars that exemplify domination in football are points and goal differential. City’s current place blow each of those teams out of the water:
While City’s current projections may seem a little inflated, given that they’ve dropped a measly 2 points in their first 18 matches, a deeper analysis tells us that they’re are perfectly reasonable.
The Citizens have only three more matches against top-4 sides, and only one away from the Etihad. And even as the frequency of matches piles up for City as the calendar turns to March and April, Guardiola’s dominating style of football means that fitness likely won’t be a major factor, as it for most other top sides.
City dominate possession and the flow of the game, meaning that even top opposition find themselves chasing shadows as the game progresses. We’ve never seen anything like it in the Premier League.
The BPL didn’t begin keeping track of possession stats until the 2006-07′ season, so we can’t compare City’s attacking prowess to the likes of 1998-99′ United or 2003-04′ Arsenal, but we can compare them to every Premier League-winning side since 2006-07′.
Next level stuff.
After a disappointing first year in charge at the Etihad, Pep’s City are beginning to look like peak Barcelona. While they may not have Messi, City are right up there with 2011 Barcelona in terms of tactics, which are the same regardless of the opposition. That can’t be said about most other teams.
The buildup always starts with the goalkeeper, Ederson. Much like the Barcelona keepers of old, he specializes in pinging perfectly weighted passes directly from goal to the feet of attackers. This usually results in 2-3 chances for City per match.
Once played out of the back, City control games by keeping a European-best 65.5% of possession. They’re the experts of probing around the opposition’s penalty area until they can pick out a killer series of passes to break down their opponents. It’s all possible because they have the two most creative, and maybe the two best, midfielders in the league: POTY frontrunner Kevin De Bruyne and the ageless David Silva.
And for as dominant as they are in possession, City are also lethal on the counter. Speedster Leroy Sané–the joint-top assist man in the league, tied with De Bruyne and Silva–, Raheem Sterling–3rd leading goalscorer in the league–, and Sergio Agüero–4th leading goalscorer–, lead the line that has scored the most counter-attacking goals in England. And when Agüero finds himself injured (as he frequently does), City have Gabriel Jesus, the 8th leading goalscorer in England.
City may or may not be the greatest team in Premier League history. A lot of that depends on how many points they finish with, and how well they perform in the Champions League. But I think it’s safe to say that this City side is the best in the history of the Premier League.