Arsenal have led the way this campaign and simply haven&apost looked back. Mikel Arteta has got his side playing what many would call City-esque football, with Pep Guardiola&aposs protg finally seeing his long-term vision at the North London club bear fruit.
The Blues have had an uncharacteristically inconsistent league campaign and ended 2022 with a lacklustre 1-1 draw against Everton – a side who have scored eight goals fewer than Erling Haaland has managed individually.
The Norwegian found the back of the net once again against the Toffees to open the scoring, yet a wonder-strike from Demarai Gray in the second-half saw Frank Lampard&aposs side snatch a point. The result left many City fans concerned- with just one point taken from a possible six against Brentford and Everton in their last two Premier League games at home.
However, the Catalan manager has noticed that it was not just the home supporters who were showing signs of disappointment.
“We have to play with 11 – we cannot play with 13 – and every time it is difficult to choose for me because always top players are not playing,” said Guardiola after the draw. “Mainly lately – perhaps as I am older – I look at the body language in the training sessions and everything.
“You cannot play good when the body language is not correct. Sometimes I pick them for the body language, for how happy they look and how they are there. This is one of my main decisions when I choose the line-up.
“With the skills I know how good they are, and they know what we want to do. But the body language depends on them and sometimes they are not good.”
When City are playing well, there is an air of arrogance about them. That swagger has been missing at times this season and Guardiola knows it.
Arsenal have been playing with a level of confidence that has not been seen at the Emirates Stadium for nearly a decade and it is proving instrumental in their title charge. The loss of Gabriel Jesus seems to have been taken in stride by the Gunners, as they refuse to let such a big injury ruin their collective belief that they are in the midst of something special this term.
Having won the league in four of the last five seasons – Guardiola knows exactly what it takes to be successful after all 38 games have been played – it&aposs time for his players to listen to him.
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