Man City the greatest Premier League side ever? That’s an insult to Man United and Arsenal

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As Manchester City stylishly swept all before them earlier in the season, a debate sprung up that looked peculiar then and positively ridiculous now.

The greatest Premier League side ever, it was claimed in some quarters. Events from the past few days have made a mockery of that. nfl Pep Guardiola’s men will be worthy 2017-18 champions but the best the league has ever seen? That’s an insult to Manchester United and Arsenal sides of yore. It’s possible Chelsea fans will argue their 2004-05 team, with a record points tally and just one defeat all season compared to City’s two this time around, could be in the conversation as well.

Everyone has their own definition of what constitutes the “best” Premier League team in history but winning with style is only half the battle. This Manchester City side are aesthetically beautiful but the past few days have raised serious questions about their character and attitude when things do not go their way. They have a weakness about them that can be exploited. They wilted at Anfield in the Champions League — not even a shot on target — and collapsed at their own title party a few days later, caught in a whirlwind as Manchester United swarmed all over them, back from the dead when all hope had looked lost. They’ll likely end the season with the title and League Cup, just like they did in 2014, United in 2009 and Chelsea in 2005.

The greatest Premier League team in history is a straight fight between two sides, depending on your allegiance. Manchester United not only won it in 1999, they did so as part of an unprecedented Treble, maintaining a previously unseen quality at such a demanding level in the three competitions that matter most. Arsenal can quite rightly argue their 2004 vintage tops the list, going through an entire season without tasting defeat, all the while playing gorgeous football that was the envy of England. On what level can this Manchester City side compete with those achievements?

Guardiola’s men could end the season with 102 points, which would beat Chelsea’s 95 in 2004-05. They could end with the most wins and goals in Premier League history as well, which is why their advocates would place this side as the best the league has seen. Beyond the Premier League, though, they’ve been found wanting. Barring a miracle, they’ll limp out of the Champions League quarterfinals to go with an embarrassing exit to League One Wigan in the FA Cup. Their Premier League season deserves respect, but they remain a nfl jerseys cheap china work in progress — which is rather terrifying for their rivals. But United ’99 and Arsenal ’04 were the finished product. In any case, points tallies are not the hallmark of the best teams anyway. United’s best Premier League side accrued “just” 79 points in that Treble season.