Ander Herrera has controversially claimed that the Manchester City team of this season is the best the Premier League has seen since Arsenal’s ‘Invincibles’.
Pep Guardiola’s side would have been crowned champions earlier than any other side before them had they beaten Manchester United last weekend, only to surrender a 2-0 lead to lose their first game at the Ethiad this season.
They still have the opportunity to become the first Premier League side to reach the 100 points mark and claim a record for most wins in a single campaign.
And Herrera has opined that Guardiola’s team are the best he has seen since the Arsenal side that went 38 games unbeaten.
“In any other year we would have competed for the Premier League, but we cannot take anything away from what City have done,” he said.
“I do not remember a better team since Wenger’s Arsenal of the 2003-04 season, which did not lose any matches. If next season we are able to match or improve our record, we will be in the fight.”
That United can reach 89 points this season – the total they accumulated when they last won the league at a canter in 2013 – and still be miles behind City is a testament to how remarkable Guardiola’s men have been.
They’ve had a great season. But nothing more than that. They can never boast the supremacy of Arsenal back in 2004, nor the sheer scale of achievement that was United’s 1998/99 season, where they only lost four games in all competitions on route to an historic treble.
There is a case for arguing that Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea side of 2004/05 had a better core, losing just one game all season. The United side of 2008/09 had something City have yet to demonstrate: continuity in the Premier League over more than one season and pedigree in the Champions League.
Make no mistake: City are a fantastic team. But to suggest they are one of the best in Premier League history is just wrong.