Manchester City’s victory over Arsenal and the subsequent end to the season sent a clear signal to all of English football: this is the age of the Citizens, and any club that wants to wrest the championship trophy from the close embrace of Josep Guardiola will have to to deliver something extraordinary from a distance of 38 games.
Mikel Arteta’s team made a good attempt this season. They did their best to change the color of the ribbons on the coveted cup from blue to red. Without the Londoners, the 2022/2023 Premier League would have lost even nominal intrigue, but the past few weeks have become a harsh reality for the Gunners. This has been the case in the past and it will continue to be so if Guardiola stays at the club and City’s owners continue to invest heavily.
This time, Guardiola’s team was proclaimed champion thanks to the defeat of Arsenal:
City took Premier League gold while sitting in front of the TV! Video of the players in the first seconds of the championship! LIVE
Why is the city so dominant?
This should be a serious strain on the opposition, especially considering that Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool needed something close to a miracle to prevent Manchester City from winning the title for the only time in the last five years. Then the Merseysiders scored 99 points, and a year earlier, 97. Never in the history of the English top division has a team with so many points been ranked second.
After the loss to City, Arsenal still had a theoretical chance to score 90 points and equal the best team in the club’s history, the Invincibles. But even this, Arteta’s guys, most likely, would not have been enough to win the trophy: three rounds before the end, MS had 85 points, and their scoring dynamics allows us to confidently predict breaking the 90-point milestone.
City celebrate victory over Arsenal
Photo: Catherine Ivill/Getty Images
The bar has been raised a lot in recent years, thanks mainly to City’s crazy class. After a crushing 4-1 win over Arsenal and a display of class from Kevin De Bruyne and Erling Haaland, the natural question is: who or what can stop this team?
At a distance of several years, City are fresher than the rest
Saudi-owned Newcastle is likely to dream of one day becoming the City-owned hegemon, but that is unlikely to happen anytime soon. Manchester United will always have league ambitions, Arsenal could take inspiration from Liverpool’s league season when Liverpool reacted to an embarrassing second-place finish a year earlier.
Column by Gregory Telingater, who really admires City:
How did you get this “City”. Their championships are inhuman.
But these are just ambitions that are shattered by dry statistics. In the previous five seasons, City finished on average 27.8 points clear of Arsenal and 22.6 points clear of Manchester United; the numbers are staggering. Until this season, only Liverpool have managed to stay within 10 points of Guardiola’s side in all the title races between these teams.
When will the city collapse?
Under current conditions, there are only two scenarios that can prevent Manchester City from transforming English football dominance into something more meaningful.
The first option is for Guardiola to regain his sense of adventure and decide that his current contract with City, which runs until 2025, will be his last. Many assume that winning the Champions League or even repeating Manchester United’s treble in 1999 will allow Pep to exhale and feel satisfied. The Spaniard will close the last gestalt and will be able to think of a new challenge.
You should not bet one hundred percent on this outcome: in the seven years of Guardiola’s work at City, there was a lot of talk about the possible departure of the Spaniard, but each time everything ended with a contract renewal. He loves being at City and appreciates the opportunity to create not just a successful team, but a true dynasty.
This season’s title was the club’s third successive and Guardiola’s fifth, with Pep equaling Sir Matt Busby, who has won five league titles with Manchester United. Only two coaches in the post-war period took the trophy more often. One of them is Bob Paisley, who won six titles with Liverpool. The other is Sir Alex Ferguson with 13 Old Trafford wins.
Describes the Guardiola era. Many clubs spent money much worse!
From City, who was before Guardiola, only De Bruyne remained. The evolution of Pep’s team
The second scenario involves a long and complex investigation into possible financial irregularities. If the club is proven guilty, it could become the biggest scandal in English football since the formation of the Premier League. So far, no one is able to say exactly how this story will end. It is only known that the club will have to respond to many accusations.
City are suspected of over 100 violations between 2009 and 2018, including misrepresenting the club’s income and player salaries. Another complaint relates to the unwillingness to cooperate during the four-year investigation.
Manchester City could be kicked out of the Premier League. The club was presented with a list of 100 charges!
This story accompanied City throughout the season, and the championship will be the first for the club after official accusations, in the status of possible scammers. It may be years before a final verdict is reached in this case. In the meantime, this just creates an unpleasant subtext for any match where the players look great.
Arsenal were great, but they didn’t deserve the title
We have to be clear: Arsenal have been very good this season. Londoners surprised many. Maybe even themselves. No matter what may have been said and written about Arteta’s team in the days and weeks to come, they showed class and character throughout the season. Unfortunately for the team and the fans, this wasn’t enough, and Arteta and his players will have to fight the assumption that they were just scared.
It’s not hard to believe: in 17 days they conceded a two-goal lead against Liverpool, did the same against West Ham and miraculously pulled off a 3-3 draw at home against Southampton. The third opponent after a couple of days officially lost the chance to keep a residence permit in the Premier League.
Tactical observations of the battle between Guardiola and Arteta:
City turned out to be more dubious than Arsenal. It is strange that Arteta did not adapt to Guardiola
However, Arsenal must get their fair share: City’s defeat was the first for the team since February 15; then the gunners also lost, but in their own field. It’s hard to count on winning the league if you lose twice to your main competitor, especially if it’s Guardiola.
Arsenal have won against Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester United and Tottenham this season, while losing to City for the 12th time in a row. Arteta and his players simply cannot yet impose competition on Guardiola’s team, as Liverpool did when Klopp’s gang fought for the main English trophy.
Guardiola and Klopp
Photo: Michael Regan/Getty Images
After the away defeat to City, Arteta did his best to remind himself of Arsenal’s position at the top of the table, despite boisterous celebrations from the Etihad stands. Mikel pointed out that he has been in football long enough to know that many unforeseen events can happen in the games that remain until the end of the season.
Of course, he should have said this, but already at that time few believed in Arsenal’s chances for a trophy, and after the Spaniard’s speech, surprises happened rather in matches involving his guys: the team lost two matches. in a row, depriving MS of the pleasure of winning the title in your stadium and immediately celebrating the victory with the fans.
It’s a shame, but in a couple of weeks, Guardiola and City’s players will be preparing for a possible parade through the streets of Manchester: victory in the Premier League is already assured, now the FA Cup finals will follow and the Champions League. . As David Moyes once said at Everton, sometimes football is like a shootout where you show up with a knife. As long as Pep is at City and the club successfully clears up the cheating allegations, the league rivals will be in exactly that position.