Pep Guardiola doesn’t want to hear it. He will shut down any talk of Manchester City winning the treble, at least for now. He dismissed the idea in a recent interview when a journalist asked a question regarding such a possibility. The Catalan manager has his reasons for that.
But at this stage in the season and with the club now just a few matches away from capturing the Premier League, Champions League and FA Cup, the treble is suddenly a realistic possibility.
That’s not to say the team will win the treble in the end, yet the possibility is there.
For the FA Cup, only Manchester United stand in the way. But City go into the encounter as the favourites. Serial winners Real Madrid are the main obstacle in the Champions League. But the Blues have demonstrated in recent seasons that the Spanish giants are beatable. Playing the second leg at the Etihad Stadium will definitely help in that regard.
The Premier League title is the first of the trophies that can be secured. As things stand, only a catastrophic capitulation can deny City the crown. The blockbuster encounter at the Etihad Stadium provides an opportunity for City to land the knockout punch to Arsenal. Win the game and the title race could be over. That would set the stage for a grandstand finish to the campaign if City also progress to the final in Europe.
The club has a unique opportunity to make history this season. Winning the Champions League would not only be a dream come true, it would also bring things full circle for the club; from the executive level to the fanbase. It’s a rare feat that has only been achieved by a few clubs. Only crosstown rivals Manchester United have managed such in England. City now have a chance to write their name in the history books.
But accomplishing the task will be very difficult. The team faces strong opposition in the likes of Madrid and United. These are not only big clubs with a big history but they are very experienced sides in the Cup competitions. To start with, the Spanish side knocked the Blues out of Europe last season in dramatic fashion.
The lack of experience on City’s side largely accounted for that. But that could work in City’s favour this time around. The approach to Bayern Munich shows the team has learnt much from such failures. Another good outing at the Santiago Bernabeu could lay a strong foundation for progression. Avoiding defeat is very important in that regard. The team can then finish the job in front of the home crowd.
Man United on the other hand present a different proposition. The Red Devils are not the team they used to be. But they can never be underrated. They particularly know how to get the better of the Blues even when they are in poor form. Since the balance of power after the takeover in 2008, it’s been a ding-dong affair. City were on a three-game winning run recently only to be brought back down to earth with a shocking defeat at Old Trafford.
The last time both sides met in the FA Cup United won 3-2. United also secured victory in the League Cup in 2016. But the Blues returned the favour knocking the Red Devils out of the League Cup in 2020 and 2021.
However, having already secured that trophy this term, United will head back to Wembley on a high. Beating Eric Ten Hag’s rejuvenated side at the venue on June 3 will not be an easy task. But with a unique opportunity to achieve an incredible feat, the Blues can get the job done.
History can then be made against either of the Milan sides in Istanbul, Turkey on June 10 if Madrid falls along the way.