City Seek History Again But An Even Greater Prize Could Lie Ahead

By Bluemoon Staff, Mon 19 February 2024 15:25

City Seek History Again But An Even Greater Prize Could Lie Ahead 

As everyone in the wider world of football knows, the 2023/24 campaign is a huge one for Pep Guardiola and his Manchester City side. History is again on the cards for us, and although we trail current league leaders Liverpool by two points, we more than have the opportunity of advantage given the game in hand that we hold over them.

There cannot be many in the fanbase that are not keenly aware that should we retake top spot and again lift this season's Premier League trophy, we will write ourselves into the history books as the first ever team to win four consecutive titles in the top flight of English football and the sports betting odds are suggesting we’re in a very strong position to do so.

The 2-0 recent victory over Sean Dyche's Everton side, keeps us well on the way to doing just that as we took perfect advantage of Liverpool's recent wobble to fully establish the game in hand potential bonus. Achieving four in a row would also fully put to bed some of the more ridiculous talk that has gone on since we achieved last season's treble, and the almost scripted comparisons to Sir Alex Ferguson's previous success at Manchester United all those many years ago.

A point admirably made recently by former Tottenham Hotspur defender, Stephen Kelly, who told BBC Radio 5 Live's Football Daily podcast.

"It's the fact that they equalled the treble last year and people are still talking about who got the better treble, who did it better, and the money side of things that Manchester City have. If they go four in a row, then there is no question. There can be no questions. It puts every debate to bed. I haven't seen a better team than this. They are just fascinating."

Whilst that particular achievement will be at the back of many fans' minds this year as we continue to look to the domestic fixture list that lies ahead of us now we are well into the second half of the current campaign, there is also the small matter of the Champions League to think about.

After last year's success, we obviously entered this season's competition as the current holders following our 1-0 victory over Inter Milan thanks to Rodri's goal over in Istanbul and our progress has been good again so far. We are into the last 16 stage once again and face a double header against Danish side FC Copenhagen, but with Europe regularly being the thorn in our side in more recent years, our gaffer would no doubt love to see us become the first side since Real Madrid, back in 2018, to actually retain the trophy at the second time of asking.

The history buffs that are amongst us would also know what this would mean for the club, in terms of success and recognition, as despite last season's trophy win, we are still yet to earn our UEFA badge of honour. Having won the competition for the first time since our inception, UEFA's rules on the badge of honour do not allow a club to wear it on their shirts purely on the back of lifting the trophy for the first time.

You can only stitch the prestigious badge onto kits if you have been lucky enough as a team to win the competition five times in total - or alternatively, a team can win the final and lift the trophy three times in a row.

From our perspective, we are a way off earning the accolade on the five times basis, but should we retain the trophy for a second consecutive year, it would immediately bring us ever closer to the kind of European success and reward we have long been battling for.

We would also, in turn, join a very small but prestigious number of clubs who can proudly wear the badge of honour with distinction, and those clubs are pretty much exactly who you would think they were given the history of the game - namely Ajax, AC Milan, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Liverpool, Real Madrid and Sevilla.

Many fans will feel that the new rules are simply a folly designed to reward favoured European clubs, as they only implemented the change at the start of the 2000/01 campaign, even though the European Cup was rebranded as the Champions League way back in 1992 - so there has always been a designed feel to it, and five in total, or three in a row, has always felt like it was more suitably angled to certain clubs directly, as opposed to actually an award of recognition for sides truly punching above their weight in the real spirit of the game.

Should we manage to get ourselves into that little exclusively formed club, it would probably taste even more sweeter given the long journey we have been on, and if we could do it more quickly via the three in a row route, well, we might have the added benefit of upsetting quite a few people in UEFA along the way.