Arsenal have an edge over Manchester City in the Community Shield due to the treble winner’s hectic schedule over the closing stretch of the previous season, according to manager Pep Guardiola on Friday.
City had a busy season due to their successful campaigns in the Champions League and FA Cup, while Arsenal had a less hectic season and was pursuing Guardiola’s team for the Premier League crown.
City, who won their first Champions League championship in June, will start off their 2023–24 season on Sunday against runners-up Arsenal in the customary Premier League season opener.
“In our situation, we finished (last season) two weeks later than Arsenal and began (this season) two weeks later.” As a result, we are not in the ideal position,” the Spaniard told reporters.
“We struggle to restart every season, but it’s fine, and hopefully our mentality can help us be there and compete.”
Arsenal, managed by Mikel Arteta, is seeking to reduce the gap at the top of the league, and Guardiola feels the north London club has recruited players who can step right into the starting lineup.
Arsenal’s core has been bolstered with the additions of England midfielder Declan Rice from West Ham United, Kai Havertz from rival Chelsea, and defender Jurrien Timber from Ajax Amsterdam.
“Rice has decided to join Arsenal, and I wish him the best of luck.” He is an extremely lovely man who is crucial to the England squad. “Arsenal have acquired a very good player,” Guardiola stated.
“They didn’t buy players to bolster the squad; they bought starters.” I couldn’t have expected anything else.”
Guardiola has maintained his intention to keep England defender Kyle Walker, who has a year left on his City deal, despite interest from German powerhouse Bayern Munich.
Bernardo Silva is another of Guardiola’s important players who has been linked with a transfer away from the club, with LaLiga winners Barcelona being tipped as prospective bidders.
“What can I say to Kyle and Bernardo? They are really essential to us. We desire them and will go to any length to keep them. Guardiola stated, “We want Silva to stay because he wants to stay.”
“The situations of these two players are difficult; we have already lost two incredible players.” They scored goals in crucial games. It would be heartbreaking to lose Kyle and Bernardo. We will go to any length to retain them.”