Manchester City still on for four trophies

Gabriel Jesus, Manchester City (Photo by Martin Rickett/PA Images via Getty Images)
Gabriel Jesus, Manchester City (Photo by Martin Rickett/PA Images via Getty Images) /

This past week has been a significant one as the race for end-of-season honours hot’s up. Manchester City put down a marker thrashing Chelsea in the Premier League and easing past Newport in the FA Cup.

So can Manchester City really win four trophies this season? It does seem unlikely given that no English club has ever done that before.

Indeed the nearest anyone has come was City’s neighbours United, who won a unique treble twenty years ago.  But City do look perhaps the best-equipped side we’ve yet seen to manage what would be a remarkable achievement.

It’s been done north of the border, perhaps most memorably by Jock Stein’s immortal Celtic team, the ‘Lisbon Lions’, in the 1966-67 season. In fact that team won five trophies in total, every competition they entered during that amazing season.

But back to today and the modern game. Very few sides have come anywhere close to emulating Manchester United’s incredible season in 1998-99, let alone Celtic’s.

Manchester City’s priority will be the Premier League and Champions League. But Pep Guardiola’s team does seem to be better equipped than last season  to make a bid for both the domestic cups too.

In the title race, City looked as though they might have fatally lost ground to rivals Liverpool a few weeks ago. But they have responded well and the 6-0 dismantling of Chelsea at the Etihad, underlined their determination to do all they can to retain the Premier League crown.

However having said that they lead the league table only on goal-difference. And it seems that City cannot really afford to lose another match if they want to achieve back-to-back titles in May.

In some ways Liverpool still look to be in the box seat where the league title is concerned. They have fewer fixtures to negotiate as their only competing in the Premier and Champions League’s.

And although their recent form has been a bit patchy, Liverpool’s focus is very much on winning the league and ending the Merseyside club’s near 29-year title drought.

In Europe both English sides have good prospects of going all the way and making the final. If they do well and are kept apart there might even be the chance of an all-Premier League final between them.

It’s in the domestic cups where City seem more determined than last time to try to win both competitions. Last season although they won the League Cup, they were undone at Wigan in the FA Cup fifth round.

There was a sense a year ago that City were still potentially vulnerable to a very determined, physical and well organised lower league side. Bristol City ran them close in the League Cup semi last season too.

The Etihad team now seem stronger defensively and they have a bigger squad even than last season. There is a more ruthless attitude to so-called lesser teams, look at the demolition of Burton in this campaign’s League Cup.

In addition the continued development of young home-grown players like Phil Foden mean that City can now afford to rest certain established stars without really weakening the team they put out.

Finally the way this season’s FA Cup has worked out, most of the other top Premier League sides are already out.

Next. Chelsea not sure of Higuain future. dark

But of course no one can know whether City will have the focus, determination and luck to win all four prizes, we can only wait and see.