Pep Guardiola is a tough man to please.
Manchester City comfortably beat Arsenal 2-0 on Sunday, as the reigning Premier League champions opened up their title defense with a win.
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With fine goals from Raheem Sterling and Bernardo Silva in each half, Guardiola had the likes of Kevin De Bruyne, Leroy Sane, Gabriel Jesus, Vincent Kompany and Nicolas Otamendi on the bench, while David Silva wasn’t in the squad.
As his players trickle back from a busy summer at the World Cup
“Of course our average level is high, we cannot deny that. I’ve said many times I have the feeling we can improve. Still we are not good enough to know exactly what we have to do, but in general I cannot be more satisfied from what I saw against Chelsea and Arsenal,” Guardiola said. “I can’t ask the players: ‘Are you still hungry?’ They are going to say: ‘Yes boss, we are still hungry.’ But I won’t know. How do they show me they are hungry? Here. On the green colour [pitch]. What I saw in the training sessions, and in the Chelsea and Arsenal game, we are still there.”
So, where can Man City improve?
Pep is perhaps talking about the defensive side of their game and knowing when to press and take chances. As he mentioned, Chelsea pressed high against City last week in the Community Shield, while Arsenal sat back a little more and looked to play the ball in-behind City’s defense when they could.
Neither style really caused City problems in both of their victories, but Guardiola did point to Benjamin Mendy‘s cavalier display at left back as a slight issue as he wants him to pick and choose his moments to get forward.
At this point Pep is just splitting hairs though, isn’t he?