Pep Guardiola says Manchester City are victims of their own success
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Last Updated: 15/12/19 4:46pm
Pep Guardiola believes Manchester City have become victims of their own success in the Premier League this season.
City have won the Premier League back-to-back over the past two years, accumulating 198 points in the process, to set the new benchmark in English football.
But after edging Liverpool to the league title by one point last season, Guardiola's side are 17 points behind Jurgen Klopp's league leaders, ahead of a trip to face Arsenal on Sunday, live on Sky Sports.
"When we arrived here (in 2016) the standard was 85 points to win [the title]," Guardiola said. "Now you have to reach almost 100 points to win the Premier League.
"That is why we helped Liverpool to make this step, [to] buy incredible top players and now it is the level you have to reach.
"All the teams that are behind Liverpool know we have to make 100 points.
"In 11 years no one won back-to-back [Premier Leagues] and then we did it by winning 14 games in a row.
"That is why when people say we are not good [now], I cannot forget what this team has done.
"But sometimes in a process, in the NBA or with incredible tennis players, there are problems or periods in the season when you struggle a little bit. I would say that is normal."
Guardiola concedes catching Liverpool, who beat Watford on Saturday to extend their unbeaten Premier League run to 34 games, may prove beyond them but he expects this challenging campaign to benefit his team.
"The situation we are in is going to help us in the future," he said. "I would have preferred to be closer to Liverpool but it is going to help us, all the club, the organisation.
"Maybe we think after four titles in one season we believe something we are not and the reality of sport is to make you live it again and again.
"In the position we are in, we have to overcome that situation, tomorrow and the next games, and prove how we are as a team."
Liverpool are targeting their first league title in 30 years and Guardiola admits the hunger within his squad is not to the same standards as when he first took charge of the club.
"Klopp has maintained last season's standards for this season," Guardiola said.
"This is their second season at this level and it helps they didn't win a [league] trophy since a long time ago. You smell it. I felt that in the first season when we took 78 points.
"There were just two or three players in the locker room who had won the Premier League. The rest hadn't won it. We wanted to feel this experience and lift the trophy.
"To stay at that level for three, four or five years is so difficult. We are struggling a little bit to try to challenge and lift this situation."