The Blues are undoubtedly the most successful PLS side of the last 10+ years, and even Leicester’s improbable win in 2016 was just a blip in a sea of sky-blue titles. But even though our trophy cabinet has grown massively, the CL title has consistently eluded us. The notorious CL curse probably isn’t real, but consistent cracks in the structure have shown year after year, resulting in many punters looking for betting options via Nongamstopbetsites.com guide to wager against this curse.
Although we’ve had our fair share of success in domestic Cups, it’s been evident that going for the big double is almost impossible. So, in today’s article, we’ll examine whether we should keep focusing on both or just switch our playstyle and everything for the CL. As you might have expected, things aren’t as straightforward as they seem. That’s why we’ll dissect the factors impacting our EPL and CL campaigns and see what’s happening.
Man City: The EPL favourite every season
Remember that catastrophic 8-1 loss to Middlesbrough in 2007/08? We’ve certainly come a long way since then. The Emirati takeover has certainly been controversial, but one can’t deny the effect rejuvenated Citizens' effect on the community and English football. Pep Guardiola is undoubtedly at the centre of all this success, as countless players have come and gone. With 6 Prem trophies, soon to be 7, no club can come close to us in terms of domestic success.
Everyone knows it’s a 38-game grind, as evidenced by our recent win over Arsenal. Even though the Gunners have been flying since game one, the Manchester Blues’ experience prevailed as they breezed to take the lead position on the EPL table. Much of this concerns depth, as even Arsenal had issues with injured key players.
It’s no secret that City has, without a doubt, the best midfield in the league. Opponents are buried by De Bruyne and Gundogan passes, while Rodrigo and, recently, Stones provide the much-needed sturdiness. Jack Grealish has been reliable when called upon, too. We can’t forget about Phil Foden, either.
And honestly, who has a better frontline than the tremendous trio of Erling Haaland, Riyad Mahrez and Julian Alvarez? Each player brings something different to the table, which amounts to a constant stream of goals. People thought the sky would fall when Aguero departed, but Pep and his team prevailed. That’s a track record even 2000s Arsenal or Manchester United would be proud of.
But in recent years, the whole thing has become vapid. Some call this the PSG symptom, as the French giants are also complacent internationally. We should always cherish the titles and make no mistakes, but what about the CL?
Champions League trophy misses from City’s titles case
City’s CL this season is a textbook indicator, as they might win it finally. However, the entire fanbase is sceptical after countless disappointments. You’d think that a team which once inhabited the old Second Division would still result in fans being appreciative, but success is indeed addictive. Nevertheless, the losses don’t stop thinking, leaving us permanently stuck between numbness and emotional distress.
The infamous CL curse reared its ugly head even before Pep arrived. Everyone still dreads the 2011/12 season, where we were booted despite 3 wins and 10 points in the group stage. Tevez also had a fallout with Mancini, further exacerbating the locker room's fragile atmosphere.
Things only got worse, featuring a finish at the bottom of the group and two round-of-16 defeats to Barcelona. The MSN era Barca was an all-time great time, but the fans were still disappointed. And just as we all had hopes up, Real Madrid embarrassed us in the semifinals in 2016.
Pep’s arrival was supposed to be a CL-winning guarantee, but even the Catalan maestro has failed to break the curse. He first lost to Monaco and then bowed out in the quarterfinals to Liverpool and Tottenham, respectively. And we all know how damaging the now-overturned 2020 CL ban was to us. Even then, City failed to beat Lyon of all teams, which summed up our relationship with Europe perfectly.
2021 saw us closer to the silverware than ever before, but Kai Havertz won the Final for Chelsea and prolonged City’s CL woes. Don’t even get us started about the 2022 embarrassment. In 2023, however, the addition of Haaland and depth additions made us a force to be reckoned with. And after dispatching Bayern in the quarters, we get to face our old Spanish nemesis. Still, if we fail yet, specific questions must be asked.
Should Man City pick between EPL and UCL conquests?
From a surface point of view, there must be something wrong with the club as a whole. This might seem like a spoiled statement to older fans and fans of other clubs. But I’d disagree, mainly because there’s nothing wrong with raising your standards. After all, we could never even dream of European nights, let alone competing for actual silverware.
Nevertheless, we shouldn’t have to pick between the EPL and the UCL. Both are grinds, but the CL is more about mentality and experience. Real Madrid has been in 11 of the last 13 semis, which means they know all the tricks in the book. We’ve had our fair share of defeats, so does it mean it’s our time?
However, we all know how Guardiola likes to experiment. As quoted by Sky Sports, the Spaniard thinks his history of CL failures with City is down to defensive lapses. Although this can be interpreted as a hard truth and as throwing the lads under the bus, he should still consider himself a prominent factor.
We all know he likes to overthink and then refuse to adjust when we’re getting destroyed on the flanks. Who knows, maybe Pep’s infatuation with bringing the ball from the back that’s been our Achilles heel?
Obviously, we should go for the CL as hard as we can. But the key is to diagnose the club’s mistakes (and the individuals behind them) and still remain grounded and thankful. Remember, 6 EPL titles in a decade is a rare occasion.