LONDON: Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City are being widely hailed as one of the best sides in Premier League history after they set a stunning new record of 15 straight wins.
In its 25-year history, the Premier League has boasted a series of outstanding sides including Manchester United’s treble-winners, Arsenal’s “Invincibles” and Jose Mourinho’s powerful Chelsea side in his first stint at the club.
But Guardiola’s team — even though they have not won any silverware yet — are smashing record after record as they sprint towards the Premier League title, leaving allcomers a distant speck in their rear-view mirror.
Wednesday’s 4-0 win at Swansea took them clear of Arsenal’s 14 consecutive victories under Arsene Wenger between February and August 2002.
Their 49 points from 17 games is the best-ever start to an English top-flight campaign, bettering the record of Tottenham’s great double-winning side of 1960-61 — when a win was worth just two points.
BBC commentator Jonathan Pearce believes the current City side is at the top of the tree.
“There have been great teams in the modern era but, in terms of fluent football and as an irresistible force, Manchester City are the best the Premier League has ever seen,” he said.
“I’ve never seen a team in all my years play like this.”
When asked whether City are one of the best sides we have ever seen, former England captain and TV pundit Alan Shearer agreed.
“I don’t think there is any doubt about that, and top players in that team, with hunger and desire to put in a performance week in, week out,” he said. “It has to has to be admired.”
Chastened Swansea manager Paul Clement described the pain of watching his side try to compete with Guardiola’s free-flowing team.
“At times it was horrible to be on the sideline watching that, seeing my side trying but suffering for long periods,” he said.
“They’re not the games that will decide our season but it was hard to watch at times because they were so dominant. For me, one of the best sides I’ve ever come across. So many good athletes, so many intelligent footballers and it’s really hard to pin them down.”
Guardiola, who managed a Barcelona side widely regarded as one of the finest club sides in history, is aware of his team’s place in the English game.
“In history there were amazing things like Liverpool in the 80s and Manchester United with Sir Alex Ferguson or Chelsea with Jose Mourinho,” he said. “There were some amazing teams.
“But we are the first ones to win 15 in a row. If we win the title it will just be a record and this record will be broken, but of course it will not be easy.”