For City, who won the treble the previous season by attempting to exert control from wide areas, having Doku and Foden on the flanks is a different strategy. In the early part of this season, the chains have been removed.
“Most of the previous season, Jack played on the left and I on the right. We’re not quite as straightforward; we’re a little more reserved,” Bernardo added.
It offers you an advantage in one-on-one matches and counterattacks, but it also takes away part of your game control, so it’s not always a good thing. But as a whole, the team is performing incredibly well.
“The way the team positions itself also shifts when players do. However, we are performing incredibly well and should be able to get better. Jack has to return as well.
“When our injured players are back, I can also play on the right again – so yes there are a lot of options depending on the game and what the manager wants.”
When City was striving to catch up to Arsenal at the top of the Premier League and make their way through a challenging run to the Champions League in the later part of the previous season, Guardiola resorted to control.
With Arsenal leading the way once more and City trailing by one point, it appears that the title fight will be close once more. Jurgen Klopp’s team is hoping to get back to their best after losing badly the previous season.
As tempting as it is for neutrals, Bernardo anticipated a fresh challenge from Liverpool, who have brought City this close twice already. However, the Portuguese player is hoping to establish a lead this season rather than needing to make up ground later in the game.
“We anticipated [Liverpool’s return] following a challenging season.” It’s going to be difficult—not just against them but also Arsenal and Spurs—but we are prepared to battle, he said. We anticipated their enthusiasm would return.
“We like winning more, but when it’s close and filled with emotion, it’s good for the Premier League and the supporters. Right now, we have four teams that are extremely similar to one another.
It wasn’t great to be so far behind Arsenal the previous season, so we’re going to do all in our power to close the gap. We want to be at the top, so when February and March roll around, we’re back in the running to win the Premier League.”