Manchester City defender John Stones has lauded the Premier League as the toughest division in the world.
The English top flight has long been viewed as one of the world’s most competitive and unpredictable leagues, while Italy’s Serie A and Spain’s La Liga are also shaping up to be exciting competitions this season.
However, Stones picked out one specific example to prove his point. Speaking to Sky Sports ahead of their 1-0 win over Tottenham on Monday night, Stones recalled West Brom beating Manchester United to help hand the Sky Blues the league title during the 2017/18 season.
He said: “I believe it’s the strongest league in the world, by far. Every team in the Premier League is so strong, no matter where they are in the table.
“You’ve seen last season where West Brom were having troubles, a new manager [Darren Moore] came in, they went to Old Trafford, beat United and we won the league off of that. I think that shows that any team can beat anyone and not only the top five, top six is strong.
“At any given moment or time, anything can happen in football, but the depth in the league is good. I think it’s good because no one ever takes their foot off the gas, especially against the top teams.”
Pep Guardiola’s side broke some notable records en route to the crown earlier this year, but Stones reckons they could possibly set a higher bar for themselves by the end of the current season.
“We’re in a privileged position to be able to wear the gold [sleeve] badge,” he added. “We’ve got to wear it with pride and know what kind of blood, sweat and tears went into that shirt to get what we all dreamed of and worked nine months of out the year to get.
“I suppose those little reminders of what we are and who we are give us that belief and confidence to go out, play at the highest level and try to keep reproducing it.
“That’s the hardest thing, to be consistent as a player and as a team. Going back to the 100 points, that’s never been done before and hopefully we can strive to beat it again this season.”