Manchester City have now won five of the last six Premier League titles and are just two games away from the treble.
With three games to go, they won the Premier League for the third straight season and lifted the trophy last weekend after the last home game of the season.
After Sunday’s season finale in Brentford, Pep Guardiola’s side will face Manchester United in the FA Cup final at Wembley the following Saturday (3 June) before playing in the Champions League final in Turkey a week later City of Istanbul versus Inter Milan. No English club has achieved the feat since Manchester United achieved the treble of titles, FA Cup and Champions League in 1999 – and neighbors City would be only the second English team to win the three major trophies in one season .
Not that winning the treble is the be-all and end-all of the City season. They have established themselves as a dominant force in the Premier League over the last decade and their 4-0 win over holders Real Madrid in the second leg of a Champions League semi-final just over a week ago is likely to add to one of their most devastating performances the last time.
Despite their excellent performances on the pitch, they were “referred to an independent commission” by the Premier League in February after being accused of 115 alleged breaches of the rules of the domestic top flight between 2009 and 2018.
This has led to the question of whether there needs to be a caveat in the history books when it comes to City’s achievements in recent years.
the athlete polled Premier League fans and:
- A majority felt City’s most recent title win should be marked with an asterisk
- Most cited City’s purchasing power as the reason they are champions again
- Just over half of those surveyed say they understand what the city is being accused of
- But four-fifths believe Guardiola is the best manager in the Premier League.
Among those 115 allegations, City are accused of failing to provide accurate financial information – “particularly in relation to its earnings (including sponsorship earnings)” – and breaching the Premier League’s profit and sustainability rules in 2015-16 and 2016-17 to have and 2017-18.
The now three-time Premier League champions said he was “surprised” by the allegations and distanced himself from claims that he had failed to take part in the investigation.
Almost 60 percent of Premier League fans surveyed said so the athlete It takes an asterisk to cap off City’s recent title win. In other words, when people look back at this season’s finals table, there should be an explanation of the charges underlying them.
But 27 percent said it would only hurt if the allegations were proven, while almost 16 percent decided the allegations were historic and therefore unrelated to the current success.
More than 52 percent said the most important factor in City’s title win was their purchasing power. More than 35 per cent attributed this mainly to Guardiola’s coaching, while just three per cent believed it was mainly due to other clubs failing to rise to a major challenge.
When asked if they understood exactly what City was accused of, more than 52 percent said they understood, and over 43 percent said they had some understanding of the situation rather than full details.
From respondents from the athleteMore than 42 per cent believe financial fair play is in place to prevent clubs from buying success, while almost 31 per cent believe it was put in place to protect historically successful teams from new challengers. Almost 27 percent said it was about preventing clubs from going bust.
Opinions may have differed over the forthcoming legal battle between City and the Premier League, but when fans were asked about Guardiola’s abilities, there were no such issues.
Just under 80 per cent of the thousands who took part in the poll said the Catalan is the best manager in the Premier League and almost 70 per cent said he has changed English football for the better since arriving at City in 2016.
And just 30 per cent of those who answered thought City’s dominance will continue when the 52-year-old finally leaves the club.
And on an equally positive note, over 54 per cent called City the best Premier League side they have ever seen, surpassing Arsenal’s 2003-04 Invincibles team who went through a whole league season without losing a game and many trophies won squad put together by Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United.
With that in mind, it should come as no surprise that almost three-quarters (74 per cent) of fans polled believe City will also win the FA Cup and Champions League this season.
Interestingly, just over 14 per cent believe United have what it takes to beat them at Wembley but City will still be crowned European champions for the first time. Less than one in ten expect to make the domestic double but lose the second Champions League final in three years and just four per cent believe they will concede defeat to both United and Inter.
When asked who was the most effective player in City’s squad, the overwhelming majority – perhaps understandably – went for Kevin De Bruyne.
The Belgian, now 31, has established himself as one of the best midfielders of all time in the Premier League since joining City in the summer of 2015 and often plays football at a different level to his teammates. For this reason, over 63 percent of fans voted him the most important cog in City’s machine.
Despite scoring 52 goals in all competitions in his debut year at City and breaking a long-standing Premier League record for most goals in a single season (36), Erling Haaland garnered just under 17 per cent of the vote, narrowly beating midfielder Rodri.
Amusingly, Sheikh Mansour, the club’s owner, received less than a percent of the vote when it came to the most crucial part of City’s triumph.
As for next season, everyone agrees that City will dominate again. And when asked who his most likely title opponents would be, Arsenal, who were eight points clear of Guardiola’s side in January, came out on top.
More than 35 per cent expected Mikel Arteta’s side to put up the biggest fight of the 2023/24 season, with over a third of those polled opting for Liverpool. Erik ten Hag’s Manchester United received less than 15 per cent of the vote and Newcastle, who will play in the Champions League for the first time in 21 years, came in at just over 10 per cent.
Although the majority of fans voted Arsenal the strongest for City at this time next year, Liverpool emerged victorious when fans were asked to name the next club (other than City) to win the Premier League.
They had 29 percent of the vote there, while Arsenal had 24 percent.
(Photos: Getty Images)