One of the overriding stories throughout the course of the current season, obviously, has been the complete and utter dominance of Manchester City over in England. In the last decade or so, ever since they seemingly turned to the dark side following their takeover, they’ve had a few bursts of success here and there – but now, they’ve been able to sustain it in a way that very few other clubs have in English football.
This past season saw them win the Premier League, League Cup and FA Cup, with the latter being a 6-0 demolition of Watford in the final at Wembley. Along the way they were also knocked out of the UEFA Champions League by Tottenham Hotspur at the quarter final stage, but to be perfectly honest, it doesn’t seem like that is going to be the main story stemming from this campaign.
The next step
The question now, as you can imagine, is where do they go next? The obvious answer is that they’ll probably just attempt to replicate their overwhelming success, which isn’t exactly hard to imagine under the guidance of Pep Guardiola. In terms of giving the clubs around them hope, though, it’s hard not to be curious about how other teams are going to go about stopping them.
In terms of the transfer market there’s only so much buying and selling you can do, because all of the major clubs that compete with City on that front (Juventus, Barcelona, Real Madrid, PSG) are in other leagues. The ones in the Premier League have the funds, but just can’t quite piece it all together.
Hoping for injuries is one way of moving forward but it’s not exactly a morally strong way of behaving, and as such, the true answer may be a little bit more old school: just get physical with them. Again, it is perhaps a bit of a cliche, but intimidating City and really getting in their faces seems to be the right way to move forward here.
Can it be done?
Beyond that we’re going to reiterate what we said last season: treat both league games against them (and any cup/European encounters) like a cup final. They dropped points in six games in the Premier League last season, which serves as absolutely undeniable proof that they can be beaten and they can get points taken off of them.
In terms of a definitive answer to the question we’ve asked, the answer is absolutely yes – it’s just a case of teams stepping up and rising to the challenge. Liverpool seem like the most likely contenders to dethrone them, especially given that they’re one game away from becoming Champions of Europe for a sixth time, but Spurs are also one game away from that same title. The quality in the Premier League is there for all to see, and we actually think it’s going to be really difficult for City to make it three in a row.
The bookmakers may think otherwise, but at the end of the day, everyone can be beaten in this game.