It has been more than a decade since Sheikh Mansour and his billions flooded the Etihad Stadium, and brought with it the talent only his money could buy. But one thing had always held Manchester City back from becoming a Premier League dynasty in the same manner as their local rivals, defending the crown.
With every title-clinching campaign that brought silverware to the Etihad, the following year saw Roberto Mancini first, and then Manuel Pellegrini, fail to repeat their success, as they could only bring the ship home after the Red Devils or Chelsea had already romped to the top.
It was a theme that could have blighted Pep Guardiola’s stint at the helm, but the Spaniard did what his predecessors could not, and maintained the Citizens at the peak of the summit, even when Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool did all they could to push the Sky Blues to their limit.
The Etihad natives found the edge which had been missing, but Guardiola must have his men ready to go again when the new campaign rolls around. As while he may now have two Premier League crowns sitting proudly next to three La Liga’s, three Bundesliga’s and two Champions League titles, you are only ever as good as your last result, which is similar to how you'd have a lucky 63 bet explained, and the Anfield natives will be hoping theirs can push them on to further accolades.
Klopp’s Reds were nearly there in 2018/19, and will strengthen over the summer to eliminate the weaker elements of the German’s squad, which meant they could not win the prize which has alluded them for the last thirty years come May.
Guardiola will need to strengthen his ranks, too, as while he has built a dominating force that conquered all that laid before them in England, the likes of Fernandinho are showing the cracks of age, and the rock who epitomised the side Vincent Kompany has left for pastures new.
Benjamin Mendy can never be relied on over a full campaign either, and the one moment of euphoria that has not been conquered may grow into an ever-darker cloud in Manchester; the Champions League is the Holy Grail now.
Yet if any side are to dominate the English landscape as the decade draws to a close, there is no side worth backing more so than Guardiola’s City. The monkey of defending the crown is off their backs, and a domestic dynasty lies in wait.