A Double Treble for Man City would be the apex of English football

Manchester City made history last season. By lifting the Premier League, Champions League and FA Cup, Pep Guardiola’s team became the first English side since Sir Alex Ferguson’s legendary Manchester United to win a Treble. This season, City could repeat the achievement to set an even higher standard.

A Double Treble would make Manchester City the best team in English football history. It would highlight how they have become the dominant force in the domestic and continental game and reinforce the gulf that now exists between them and the chasing pack. A Double Treble would put City ahead of everyone.

It’s debatable whether Manchester City are stronger than last season. Jeremy Doku has given them a different dimension on the wing while John Stones – who plays a hybrid central defender-central midfielder roles – continues to grow as Guardiola’s most adaptable player. In other areas, though, City look more vulnerable.

City have conceded more fast break goals in the Premier League than any other team besides one this season. Opposition sides have been able to get in behind the Etihad Stadium outfit with Manuel Akanji and Nathan Ake both suffering a drop-off in their individual form this season. New addition Josko Gvardiol has also struggled to get to grips with Guardiola’s demands.

Julian Alvarez excelled in the absence of Kevin de Bruyne and Erling Haaland due to injury, but the Argentine is now being asked to play a role that requires him to drop in alongside Rodri out of possession. This was the position that Ilkay Gundogan, who left for Barcelona last summer, performed last season. Alvarez, however, isn’t as well-suited to it.

Nonetheless, Manchester City are a more rounded team than at any other point of Guardiola’s tenure. Haaland’s signing gave them a degree of verticality they previously didn’t have. City are more willing to go direct and that has made them a less predictable team to play against. It’s no longer possible to sit deep against Guardiola’s side and hope for the best.

Arsenal might be leading the way at the top of the Premier League table, but Manchester City are just one point behind. City will host Mikel Arteta’s title challengers in the first match after the March international break – the outcome of the fixture will have a big bearing on the destination of the Premier League trophy.

In the Champions League, Manchester City have a quarter-final against Real Madrid to look forward nearly one year after the Spanish giants were swept aside by the same opponents. Real Madrid have quality and will pose a threat, mainly through Jude Bellingham, but City are firm favourites to make the semi-finals. They’re firm favourites to win the whole thing again.

In the FA Cup, Manchester City will face Chelsea in the semi-finals. Should they win, a Manchester derby against Manchester United likely awaits in the final after Erik ten Hag’s team saw off Liverpool in the quarter-finals. If City play as well as they can, they will go the distance in the FA Cup for a second successive season.

English football has produced great teams in the past. Liverpool dominated European football through the 1970s and into the 1980s while Manchester United won a Treble in 1999. After that there was Arsene Wenger’s ‘Invincibles’ and Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea team that became a force in the mid-2000s. Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool also deserve a mention.

This Manchester City team, though, are on the brink of achieving something that would be unmatched in the English football history books. No team has ever pulled off a Double Treble before. It would be a symbol of the brilliance that is now regularly witnessed at the Etihad Stadium.

Author: Mark Hayes