Unai Emery has named five captains to lead Arsenal into the season, which begins at home to Manchester City, the champions, tomorrow. While Thibaut Courtios-less Chelsea fresh from their Community Shield loss against City impressed new boss Maurizio Sarri with a 3-0 victory away at Huddersfield with Italian mid-fielder scoring from the spot on his premier league debut.
Guardiola insists City would be foolish to think they will ease to the title by such a significant margin once again and believes Arsenal will be part of a strong chasing pack over the course of the season. In this first matchday, fans will be treated to the league's first titanic clash of the year as Arsenal hosts Manchester City from the Emirates.
City have great depth, though, and the Gunners could be in for a hard afternoon as they try to welcome their new era in with a win on Sunday.
"Now, when I say something to them, they know exactly what we have to do".
Because of what we did last season now we are going to win?
Maitland-Niles isn't a natural left-back, although was deployed there on various occasions last season, and his right-footedness might help if Guardiola deploys Riyad Mahrez on the right flank, as the Algerian is always attempting to drift inside onto his left.
"They show me in two seasons, especially the last one, we can trust them", Guardiola said.
'It is not comfortable but if you want to compete in four competitions we cannot compete with just two good central defenders. I work a lot and I am good on that. It's excellent. They are excellent human beings.
Pre-season training has included intense double sessions and players can brace themselves for the hairdryer treatment if they do not reach the high standards set by the former Paris Saint-Germain and Sevilla manager. People spoke to me when I arrived saying it's like this or like that, but I discovered many things during the process, watching what happens.
Guardiola has no doubt Arsenal, who are at the start of a new era under Unai Emery, can prove to be one of the challengers.