Not many fans expected Man City to dominate the Premier League 2018-19 the way they did. Yes, many experts had high expectations from Pep Guardiola in his second season in England, but the sheer force with which they annexed the title was unprecedented. After all, Pep had failed to win any trophy in his first season in England. This had been a surprise to a lot of football followers. But Pep – being Pep – managed to turn it around rather quickly. The 2017-18 season has been a procession for Man City. No other team has come even remotely close. So, is there hope for the rest next season? Chances are slim – and here’s why:
1) Financial Unfair Play
When UEFA managed to roll out the details of Financial Fair Play (FFP), it was touted as a way to curb the influence of the so-called wealthy clubs. The intention was to provide the smaller clubs with a better chance to compete against teams who practically have unlimited resources. But FFP has failed, and how! The bigger clubs have found ways to bend the rules and made sure that spending reaches new heights. A prime example of this is Man City. They manage to spend quarter of a billion pounds each summer with no questions asked. And unfortunately for the Premier League, this trend is likely to continue. They will spend millions on above average players and strengthen their hold on this league.
2) Guardians Of Guardiola
While huge spending has been a key factor in his success, Pep Guardiola also deserves huge credit for building a top notch squad at City. His tactical acumen is beyond any doubt, but squad building has never been much talked about. He has done it very well at City. Yes, in his first season he failed to conquer Antonio Conte and his resilient Chelsea, but he has overtaken them by far this year. And one of the major factors in this has been the belief in the squad. Mediocre players like Sterling and Otamendi have improved by leaps and bounds this year. And they are only going to get better. So it seems that Guardiola’s guardians are here to stay. This looks like a well oiled machine!
3) Lack Of True Competition
For years and years, the Premier League has marketed itself as the best league in the world. To be honest, it has been justified in doing so too. However, the current state of affairs is mediocre to say the least. Manchester United seem to be more reliant on defending and playing longer balls, Chelsea have struggled for consistency and Arsenal, well, have been going downhill faster than Thierry Henry’s runs down the flank! For all the “praise” showered upon Tottenham and Liverpool, they have fallen well short in recent years. These two teams do not seem to have what it takes to be a serial winner. So the path seems to be clear for Man City (Unless one of the lesser teams outdoes Burnley 2017-18)!
To sum up, it appears that Pep Guardiola has all the ingredients to build a dynasty in England. The next season will only consolidate their dominance. The only question is when will he get bored of winning everything in England and walk away? Only time will tell. For now, it appears that you can’t fight City Hall!