Treble in sight, BUT: Have Manchester City tainted football?

Are Manchester City becoming the Bayern Munich of the Premier League? Why does their title triumph feel incomplete?

As most players from different teams are holidaying and enjoying their time off, Manchester City will remain in competitive mode. They still have a UEFA Champions League final against Inter Milan and an FA Cup Final against Manchester United to contend with. After beating Real Madrid with relative ease, they are in this position, which begs some serious questions.

The current Champions League semi-finals were by far the most boring compared to the last many years. The Milan Derby was a drab affair, as it tends to suggest the rut the Italian teams have been in for quite some time.

The Manchester City-Real Madrid two-legged affair carried heavy expectations, with many still thinking about the drama it produced last year. While the first leg lived up to its billing, the second was a show of absolute dominance from Pep Guardiola’s side.

From how this season has panned out, Arsenal gave Manchester City a run for their money to a certain point before dovetailing in the title race. From the Gunners’ perspective, these Real Madrid games were supposed to put City under tremendous pressure and aid the north Londoners in the title challenge.

Instead, it was a game where Guardiola’s team toyed with the greatest European champions and current holders to the point that it became an embarrassment. Liverpool’s run to the Champions League final in 2018 and then winning it in 2019 had a different effect on many fan bases; even the domestic rivals were watching and cheering intently.

Nobody is sure that is the case with Manchester City. A simple poll on Twitter or elsewhere will certainly bring an overwhelming response opposing City lifting the Champions League trophy. Guardiola’s side are steadily heading into a territory where fans have content about the team and don’t care if they win anything. This Manchester City fanbase cannot even banter.

But credit where it’s due, as Guardiola has created a monster with a set of players capable of churning out results in all possible conditions. Be it at the Emirates or the Bernabeu, this team has its teeth deep into everyone’s throat, and for the time being, they seem unstoppable.

While they can finish this season with an unprecedented ‘treble’, there is something fishy about Manchester City that do not convince them as pure winners. Is it the impending 115 charges levied by the Premier League? or did their past help them create a base with the power of the money they probably didn’t deserve to have, legally?

Why doesn’t this potential ‘treble’ feel monumental?

Arsenal went without losing a whole campaign and have the ‘Golden’ Premier League to show for their cause. Whether any team intends to chase that title down or not, everyone tries to go unbeaten every season. Yet nobody has succeeded in matching the feat, and there’s a feeling it will never happen again.

While the Gunners have their historic tag, Manchester United have theirs as the only ‘treble’ winner in England. Celtic have done so being a Scottish side back in 1966-67 if we are to count British teams. However, only seven teams have achieved the feat, with Bayern Munich and Barcelona the only sides with two such feats.

As for Manchester United, they have thoroughly clung to it like a prize they believe nobody else in England could achieve. How in 12 years, their dreams and a record they have held for 24 years could shatter in pieces.

Undoubtedly, everyone will assume Manchester City will beat Manchester United in the FA Cup final. Meanwhile, Inter Milan are already treated as minnows compared to Man City as the Champions League Final approaches. Yet, Guardiola’s side winning the treble does not seem monumental for many, and there’s a reason for it.

Man City have not been favourites to win the treble when the season started but the quadruple. It shows that this team, in everyone’s mind, are already a winner; whether they think through merit or not is a different question. However, the perception remains, and it sucks the joy out of football to a large extent.

Manchester United did not win the ‘Treble’ being favourites. They were the ‘Inter Milan’ during their Champions League Final against Bayern Munich, while Arsenal were tough challengers for the Premier League title over in England.

Manchester United won those three trophies by sheer will and undoubtedly rather cleanly, as some might suggest. If this subject goes to a debate, the Red Devils should win this overwhelmingly, with Man City’s possible ‘treble’ coming in a distant second.

115 charges and counting; Man City’s reputation has taken a massive hit

Man City are so good on the pitch, and to do that consistently over many years takes plenty of sacrifices. There’s not a shadow of a doubt about the talent of these players and how the club operates.

On paper, this is by far the most expensively assembled squad in World football. Yet, their recent books show how astute management of transfers has played a part, as Man City are way down the list of net spenders. Yet, there are those 115 charges handing over their head, and everyone is expecting a ruling against the club. A potential list of punishment are in circulation on social media.

It’s very simple this football logic; get the best manager, best players and bring the very best in each position. With such a team, no English or European giant can even think about dominating Man City for years to come. They might lose a player like Bernardo Silva or Ilkay Gundogan; Guardiola will only send out a text with the names of the desired replacements.

Of course, any player would want to come to a club like Man City. They are a winning team that would guarantee the said star trophies and a huge pay package. For instance, Phil Foden won his fourth Premier League title on Sunday; he’s 22, which shows how utterly dominant Man City have been in the last six years.

On to the charges, what are they? Nobody can question any sum of money Man City might receive from potential sponsors because, with their trophy-laden seasons. They have earned the right in the current scenario. However, how did they get here is what has come under scrutiny.

The big question is whether Manchester City disguised sponsorship money by inflating their value when they weren’t as valuable. The process has allegedly let them pump in funds from its owners and build a team strong enough to challenge all honours. It’s more like accelerating their ambitions, with PSG being the other example.

The one above is just a tiny part of those charges, and the 115 allegations will continue to loom large over their head. Hence, there’s a general feeling Manchester City has tainted football to some extent, and hence, there’s no excitement about their success in the present, for everyone thinks they bought their success rather than earning it.

Credit where it’s due?

Bureaucracy aside, in pure footballing terms, this is the best team, tactically, since Guardiola’s and Luis Enrique’s Barcelona sides. Man City have a stylistic approach and tactical superiority over any other European side.

What this team is set out to achieve is a result of their hard work and that of probably the best football manager in the world. The players have earned the right to win this treble by all means, and their performances warrant those three pieces of silver.

They still have to beat Inter Milan and Manchester United before they can ink their names among the greatest teams ever. Yet, those charges feel slightly abrasive in handing them the title straightforwardly. It’s safe to assume this Man City side will dominate European and English football for years.

So credit where it’s due, as Manchester City are the English champions by merit. What happens to those 115 pending charges remains the question, but for now, they can bask in the glory of Premier League triumph and possibly as European champions come June 11th.

Leave Comment


Welcome Back!

Login to your account below

Retrieve your password

Please enter your username or email address to reset your password.