Manchester City’s 21-game winning run has already broken records in the English game. But that will count for little if the Blues do not lift trophies at the end of the season.
Fortunately the team is already in the League Cup final and will face an opponent that is not an insurmountable obstacle. Although Tottenham denied City a chance to win the Champions League in 2019, the Cityzens are huge favorites to emerge victorious against the Lillywhites come April.
However, even if victory is secured at Wembley, the trophy will pale into significance when compared to the Premier League title. The team is getting closer by the day to wrapping up a third league triumph in four years.
But after watching Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool bulldoze their way to the treasure land last term, wrestling back the trophy from their grip will put Guardiola among a special class.
It is a class consisting of only three managers in Premier League history.
Sir Alex Ferguson is widely regarded as special for a good reason. The Scot achieved incredible success at Old Trafford during his 26-year reign. He won back the title six times after other managers had toppled him during his time at the Theatre of Dreams.
His achievements remain untouchable in English football but two other managers tasted victory for a second time across one spell at the same club after being bested by other managers. Only Arsene Wenger and Jose Mourinho were able to accomplish the feat.
Guardiola is on the verge of joining that elite class once City secure another league title this term. The Catalan boss is happy to join this special group. But, as can be expected, he insists that he has never been interested in breaking records or achieving remarkable landmarks as a manager.
“I don’t know when I sign to make history. Just to win one game. Then the second one,” Guardiola said when intimated about following in Ferguson’s footsteps ahead of the derby match on Sunday.
“If we are able to play the team like we want to play. This is the only target. Titles are a consequence for something much deeper.
“When I arrived it was scary, I have doubts if we were able to do it. I know what we wanted to do but didn’t know if we were able.
“I’m not a guy who imagines what happens. The reality is our team face a good team and when we achieve it, ask me the question how it feels and I will answer.”
Now 14 points ahead of the chasing pack with 11 games to play, the title appears headed for the Etihad Stadium. Even a loss to Manchester United will not change that. But Guardiola would definitely not want to take any chances.
As it stands, the team only needs to rack up 20 points out of a possible 33 to be crowned champions regardless of second-placed United’s results. That is a maximum of seven victories from the remaining 11 games assuming United win all their remaining fixtures.
Apparently, the odds are stacked in City’s favour. Having masterminded the feat, Guardiola will be well deserving of his inclusion into a special class of managers in the division, come season’s end.