MAN CITY: HOW REALISTIC IS THE QUADRUPLE FOR PEP GUARDIOLA'S SIDE?
For a club who have faced plenty of criticism for lacking history, Manchester City could prove all their doubters wrong and win the quadruple this season.
The elusive quadruple consists of the Champions League, Premier League, League Cup and FA Cup. This is something that has never been achieved by an English club before, though plenty have come close.
Although four trophies in a season would be a massive achievement, is it realistic? Can it be done? Let’s examine Manchester City as a whole to see if they could achieve it.
Squad depth is something that City have in abundance. Both their starting XI and their substitute bench is stacked with talent. The depth that their squad possesses allows for excellent rotation, both for the sake of injuries and accounting for players tiredness. All the players that they possess have the capability of playing in the system that Pep Guardiola has implemented throughout his tenure at the Blues. This means that no matter what injury crisis they may be experiencing or what players need a rest, the style of football is consistent and effective.
With the Premier League almost certainly in their hands, now is the time for their squad depth to be utilised. They can begin to prioritise Champions League football. In the domestic cup competition’s they can choose their starting XI’s on a fixture by fixture basis, resting players who need it.
Manchester City are renowned for their fluid playing style. They play an attractive style of football and buy players that fit their system. They have a good core that they build off, with a strong defensive partnership between John Stones and Ruben Dias, an excellent goalkeeper in Ederson and one of the best midfielders in the world in Kevin De Bruyne. Having a strong spine is crucial to City’s playing style and is one of the reasons they adapt so well no matter who is starting.
Their fluid style of play has proved to be difficult to play against, one of the reasons they are top of the Premier League. Their quick passing, tiki-taka style of football is part of Guardiola’s identity as a manager. Guardiola has managed two of Europe’s biggest clubs before he managed Manchester City: Barcelona and Bayern Munich. He implemented the same playing style there and was successful. This definitively proves that City can be successful in Europe with this playing style.
This Manchester City team is not new to success. Most of the squad experiencing winning their last few trophies with them. They are driven by a winning mentality, Guardiola demands excellence. He is determined to be successful. However, none of them will have won a Champions League trophy with the blues. This should drive them and make them hungry to win the clubs first UEFA Champions League. Some players individually will be more driven to be successful for City, like youngster and lifelong fan: Phil Foden. Foden is young and hungry for success, particularly for his boyhood club. That sort of determination cannot be bought.
Many players would rank the Champions League as the pinnacle of football and it’s almost a guarantee that if Manchester City were to win their first ever Champions League, their team to win it would become cult heroes.
Everything considered, Manchester City should be able to win the quadruple. They have the depth, strength in mentality and an attractive style of football that has proved effective both domestically and in Europe. There is no doubt that, on paper, City should be able to accomplish such a feat. The only thing that could possibly stop them is more dynamic opposition.