From the Etihad Stadium – Liverpool have been denied a famous quadruple by the best team in England.
It is as simple as that, Man City are the best.
Even before claiming the title in spectacular fashion on the final day against Aston Villa, City were being recognised as the best in class 2022.
Kevin De Bruyne was named Player of the Year and Phil Foden the Young Player of the Year honour – this is a clear vindication of just how good City have been.
But will City get the credit they deserve from football fans? Unlikely.
Why? Well It is probably not too hard to work out: Man City aren’t exactly the most popular club in the world.
There is no getting away from the fact that City – due to their financial might coming from the Abu Dhabi state – are seen as what’s wrong with football right now. State-owned clubs are a growing trend, and they have one big thing in common: neutral fans actively route against them.
Paris Saint Germain and City are among the best in the world, while Newcastle are likely to soon be rubbing shoulders with them in the coming years.
Popularity is certainly an advantage Liverpool have over City. They have the general public on their side and arguably the most popular manager in world football in Jurgen Klopp.
What City have on their side is the best manager in world football: Pep Guardiola.
Guardiola claimed his fourth title with City on Sunday – the most he’s ever won at a single club. Normally at this point in his tenure Guardiola would be ready to move on, but for the first time ever the ex-Barcelona and Bayern manager seems contented. Ready to win more at City. Ready to continue his rivalry with Liverpool and Klopp at the top of the Premier League table.
Klopp has just signed a contract extension and the Citizens are hoping Guardiola will do the same very soon. There are plenty of reasons for him to sign up for another few years, the main one being the UEFA Champions League title which has remarkably eluded City in recent years.
Yes, Pep has won Europe’s top prize at Barca, but that was with a team that he coached rather than built. The teams that Guardiola has built – Bayern Munich and Man City – have, thus far, failed to win the Champions League. That will undoubtedly irritate Guardiola.
Despite that, it’s hard to argue that there’s any team better than Man City right now. On Sunday they proved their brilliance, and if Guardiola opts to stay for another few years that Champions League triumph seems destined to come eventually.