Even more so than his old foe Jose Mourinho across town at Manchester United, if Guardiola can not at the very least orchestrate a sustained title challenge, his gilded reputation will take a sizeable hit.
It may be recalled here that United have already bolstered their squad with the addition of Romelu Lukaku, Nemanja Matic and Victor Lindelof. Of course, Ibrahimovic has been replaced as the main striker at Old Trafford by Romelu Lukaku but when like on Tuesday night when the Belgian striker is not firing in front of goal who is there on the bench as an alternative centre forward?
"But we have players and if we cannot strengthen the team in these areas, we have people that we can trust and we go for it".
But Manchester United is also +325 to take home its record 14th EPL championship, and the team will begin play on Sunday by taking on West Ham United, which is +25000 to win its first.
His impact could be crucial as Arsenal attempts to return to the Champions League after missing out on qualification for the first time in 20 years.
Last season there were players in his squad that did not have the required ability to play the Pep style, including those that have now departed the club such as Gaël Clichy, Bacary Sagna, Fernando and Jesus Navas. "If that is going to mean better results and the title, I don't know".
The players, they know you.
I'm naturally a pessimistic person, so I head into this season with reservations about how the team will do.
The Portuguese boss admitted he could resign the 35-year-old Swede in time to play in the second half of the season and he's been working hard with his social posts which showcase his rehabilitation going to plan. Former Everton striker, now with Manchester United finished second on 25 goals while Arsenal's Alexis Sanchez scored 24 to hold the third position. But we are involved in four competitions.
Mourinho still speaks of free agent Ibrahimovic as part of the group, saying he is injured for the start of the season along with other "important players" like Luke Shaw, Ashley Young and Marcos Rojo. Like with any eventual champion, we'll need some luck with injuries to key players, and maybe an unexpected meltdown or two at some of the other challengers (E.g., Conte trying to fight one of his players during a game, Guardiola getting busted for systematic blood do-.nevermind). Every game is a battle, especially with the teams who arrive in the first four, five or six games - they are so complicated, especially away.
Manchester City have spent big this summer to sure up the full-back spots, bringing in Kyle Walker from Tottenham (£50m) and Benjamin Mendy from Monaco (£50m), as well as Danilo from Real Madrid (£26.5m).