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Manchester City season – the BEST EVER?

As Manchester City look to seal an historic treble, we look at whether this has been the best ever campaign for Pep Gaurdiola’s men.

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Throughout Pep Guardiola’s tenure at Manchester City, there has been a recurring pattern of the team embarking on unbeatable runs each season, much to the delight of everyone with Manchester City tickets. 

However, their distinctive form in the spring strikes fears into their competitors’ hearts. Following a frustrating draw against Nottingham Forest in February, City won 11 consecutive Premier League matches, propelling them from contenders to champions. During this remarkable streak, they scored three or more goals in seven games and only trailed for 10 minutes (at Anfield). It’s an overwhelming force that is difficult to cope with.

The Success Story – the positives

One of the keys to City’s success lies in Guardiola’s astute rotation policy, supported by an exceptional squad. A remarkable nine players have started between 20 and 25 league games this season, allowing the team to focus on competing for three trophies without declining performance. However, it’s essential to recognize Guardiola’s impressive overhaul of the defence within a single season.

In the previous campaign, Aymeric Laporte, Ruben Dias, Joao Cancelo, Kyle Walker, and Oleksandr Zinchenko were the most regular defensive starters. Fast forward to this season, and Nathan Ake and Manuel Akanji have become first-choice centre-backs; John Stones has embraced a new hybrid role that has transformed City’s fortunes, while Zinchenko and Cancelo have departed. 

Achieving such changes while pursuing an unprecedented treble demonstrates the club’s strength and adaptability.

And then there’s Erling Haaland. When Haaland arrived in England, several pundits questioned his ability and success. But anyone who watched the first few City games at the Etihad with Manchester City tickets knew from the first minute that this kid was special. 

The arrival of a physically dominant centre forward raised questions about how City would adjust their style of play. Admittedly, there were moments when the connection didn’t immediately click. 

However, having a goal-scoring phenomenon like Haaland is undeniably a massive advantage. Manchester City does not rely on a singular approach to the game; they possess multiple strategies, many of which culminate with Haaland’s trademark grin after mercilessly dismantling opposing defences.

For passionate football fans eager to witness Manchester City’s incredible performances firsthand, securing Manchester City tickets provides an opportunity to be part of the electrifying atmosphere at the Etihad Stadium as history was rewritten. 

What didn’t go to plan? 

Despite Manchester City’s dominant form, there are still areas where nitpicking is necessary. While there were more positives for the home fans, anyone on the gantry for an away game with Manchester City tickets could have had better days. One surprising aspect was their goal-scoring record in away league games, with 34 goals in 19 matches compared to the impressive 60 goals scored in 19 home games. 

There were instances where City struggled against teams employing a low defensive block, resulting in frustrations for Guardiola as he witnessed slow ball movement in midfield and a limited impact from Haaland.

It’s worth considering whether City benefited from Arsenal’s failure to mount a more substantial challenge for the title. City stumbled in four matches and drew three in their first 22 league games, and had they faced a formidable Liverpool side at their peak; the title race could have been much closer. 

However, as previously mentioned, Guardiola was in the process of reshaping the defensive structure, requiring players to adapt to new positions and understand the demands of their roles and teammates.

One must recognize the presence of the ongoing investigations and charges against Manchester City for breaking Premier League rules. While supporters may find dark humour in the situation, referring to “City’s going down with a billion in the bank,” there is no doubt that these charges will cast an asterisk next to every title the club has won, at least in the eyes of neutrals and rival fans. 

Until a verdict is reached, City will continue focusing on their pitch performance.

The High Point 

During Manchester City’s triumphant season, certain moments stood out as defining factors in their journey towards securing the title. Although not widely recognized as a turning point due to dropped points in the subsequent game, their victory over Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium in February carried significant weight. 

Following a series of disappointing results and a little over a week after the Premier League charges were announced, City’s 3-1 win against Arsenal showcased their ability to defend resolutely and launch rapid counterattacks upon regaining possession.

An honourable mention goes to the stunning 6-3 derby victory earlier in the season, a destruction that City fans relished. The hat-tricks by Haaland and Phil Foden against Manchester United made it a day to savour, underscoring City’s dominance over their rivals and a wonderful sight for those who purchased Manchester City tickets.

The Low Point 

While Pep Guardiola referred to the Carabao Cup defeat to Southampton in January as the “lowest game in seven years,” focusing solely on the Premier League would bring attention to the subsequent loss to United at Old Trafford. Despite an improved performance compared to their display at St Mary’s, City felt hard done by the equalizer, as Marcus Rashford was not ruled offside. After the match, the team held a dressing-room debrief to rectify their issues. 

A defeat in a derby always stings, especially during a struggle.

The Goal of the Season

Regarding the goal of the season, Ilkay Gundogan’s first goal against Everton earlier this month takes the spotlight. While City regularly scored various spectacular goals, this one was unique in its execution, with Gundogan’s control, pivot, and flicked finish displaying exquisite skill. Significantly, this goal proved pivotal on a day that essentially handed the club the title.

Looking ahead to the next season, it becomes challenging to identify a pressing issue for City to address, given their remarkable performances. As they aim to maintain their success, they should focus on sustaining their high standards and continually evolving.

The funniest moments

In terms of amusing moments, one incident stands out—Guardiola’s frustration boiling over during a match against Leeds United just after Christmas. In a moment of slapstick comedy, he kicked a water bottle, inadvertently sending it flying towards the Leeds bench. 

The subsequent apologetic walk, characterized by exaggerated gestures, including hands-on head and bent knees, resembled a scene reminiscent of Basil Fawlty or the popular funny walks seen on TikTok.

Next Season 

It would be hard to argue against predicting Manchester City to finish in first place again in the upcoming season. As the reigning champions with their strong squad, they are undoubtedly the favourites to clinch the title.

City has shown an impressive ability to fend off complacency throughout the years, becoming only the fifth team in English football history to secure the league title three years in a row. However, winning it for a fourth consecutive time would be unprecedented. 

But it will be something everyone with Manchester City tickets would not write off until the final week of the next season. 

Guardiola has already dismissed the notion that City will have an easy path to the title next season, acknowledging the quality of other teams in the league. Moreover, the challenge for City will also lie in their determination and hunger to compete, especially if they achieve a treble this season.

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