With just a solitary win in six matches heading into the Club World Cup, Manchester City needed to breathe new life into their campaign with a massive performance at the tournament in Saudi Arabia. The Blues did just that, winning both matches played with a combined 7-0 victory to emerge world champions.
Surely, if the players needed a booster that will spur them towards success in the current campaign, this is as good as it gets. Having started the season with so much optimism, particularly as the team aims to make history by becoming the first club side to win four Premier League titles in a row, the players seemed to have lost their momentum in recent games.
The defence has been shipping in goals while the team as a whole has not been up to par. Letting a two-goal lead slip away against Crystal Palace last week was rather uncharacteristic of the team that has achieved so much under Pep Guardiola in the last several years.
But the performance in Saudi Arabia has helped breed new life and confidence into the team. It could turn out to be the catalyst that drives the players to achieve the incredible at the end of the campaign.
City completed five major trophies in a calendar year after lifting the Club World Cup. It’s a feat that only a few clubs have been able to achieve. In fact, it has only been surpassed by Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona in 2009, and Bayern Munich in 2020 which won six trophies in a calendar year.
Players like Mateo Kovacic and Matteus Nunes shone brightly during the competition to add much-needed strength to the team. Those two midfielders in particular, who were added to the team during the summer transfer window, are yet to prove they really belong at the Etihad Stadium.
The bar has been set so high over the years that new players must perform at exceptional levels to earn their stay at the club for the long term. That being said, several players have also shown in the past that adapting to Guardiola’s tactics and style can take some time.
The boys can now return with their heads held high and raring to go for the remainder of the campaign. With Liverpool and Arsenal gaining ground in the title race while the Blues have been away, it’s time to return home in high spirits and get back on track to complete the job.
By and large, the trip to the Middle East has been a fruitful one for the team on several fronts.