Pep Guardiola’s arrival sparked a revival at Manchester City and brought renewed success in the second half of the 2010s. Under his guidance, City achieved Premier League history in breaking the 100 point barrier in 2018, on their way to a second league title under the Spaniard. Looking at a City team that is currently coasting to Premier League glory once again, it’s clear that this is a squad built to compete against the best for years to come.
City have been major players in every competition this year. They sit 4/5 favorites in the latest FA Cup odds to repeat their success from the 2018 final, where they put six goals past a shellshocked Watford team at Wembley. Elsewhere they also have a League Cup final to look forward to against Tottenham. Spurs have disappointed this season under Jose Mourinho, but the ‘Special One’ has a track record of underdog victories going back to his famous 2004 Champions League victory with FC Porto. City, meanwhile, have won five of the last seven League Cups, an astounding record that they have a chance to improve further on April 25.
Perhaps the most frightening aspect of this modern City squad is its strength in depth. There is quality in all areas of the field and Guardiola seems to be always able to call on a game-changing option. Indeed, there is space in this team to succeed for players willing to be part of the rotation, in which no player can be guaranteed to play week in and week out. That system allegedly no longer works for club legend Sergio Aguero, however, who will leave the club at the end of the season.
Regardless of Aguero’s successor as City’s main source of goals, Guardiola’s men have shown that they can still score with freedom and ease thanks to their depth in midfield. This season they have torn defences apart at will, and ripped off a midseason 28-game unbeaten streak as they solidified their hold on first place in the league. The ‘false 9’ formation that brought Guardiola such success at Barcelona was a seamless transition to the Etihad Stadium, where players like Raheem Sterling and Riyad Mahrez have found success floating into space when other attacking players make forward runs. Gabriel Jesus will also surely remain a part of Guardiola’s plans – the Brazilian has a great chance to finally become City’s number one option upfront.
Most importantly, the churning machine of success at City shows no signs of slowing down in the coming years. Academy graduate Phil Foden has broken through the ranks to become a replacement for the departed David Silva, while Guardiola signed a new contract that will keep him at the club until at least 2023. The keystone of his attack-minded midfield, Kevin de Bruyne, is also on board with a lengthy extension, which keeps the core of a title-winning City juggernaut intact for several more years at least.
Given how well they’ve played this campaign, that’s a prospect that should scare City’s rivals.