Guardiola, Man City cement their spot in history
BRIGHTON -- “Do you remember that Manchester City team under Pep Guardiola? Wow.”
That will be a conversation in 2045. No doubt.
On the final day of the Premier League season Man City beat Brighton 4-1 to clinch back-to-back Premier League titles and rack up 98 points after they set a new record points tally of 100 last season. City are the first team in a decade to defend the title, showing just how tough it has become to sustain greatness.
They are unstoppable. Mesmeric. Awe-inspiring. They are true champions not only because of the style and attacking flair they play with, but because of their hunger to keep winning and improving. They could also be the first-ever English team to win a domestic treble if they beat Watford in the FA Cup final at Wembley next Saturday.
A run of 14-straight wins to end the season saw them overcome a stunning Liverpool side to win the title by one-point, as City rallied from being seven points back in early January to lifting the trophy aloft in the South Coast sun on May 12.
Pep laughed and smiled as he sat down in the press conference room after the lengthy celebrations on the pitch at the Amex Stadium.
Sat with his medal around his neck, he saw on the TV monitor off to his left that Noel Gallagher was celebrating with his players in the dressing room. A team full of smiling faces who had achieved greatness once again.
He beamed with pride. Usually so tense and tight in press conferences, Guardiola was at ease. He knows he has created one of the greatest teams the Premier League and England has ever seen, and that he can keep it going beyond this season.
Guardiola’s has now won eight league titles in his 10 seasons as a manager, but he said this is the “toughest” due to Liverpool pushing his City side all of the way and that made them even better.
Pro Soccer Talk asked him if his City team will be remembered as the best in English history.
“If in 10, 15, 20 years the people talk about this team it is because we were a really good team. It is like a book or a movie which sustains its place in time that after 25 years people watch the same movie or read the same book,” Guardiola said. “In maybe 25 years time people will say these guys earned a lot of points in one period but they played really well, that is because we deserved to be alongside the biggest Man United, the biggest Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal or whoever. Now is not the time...
“Now is not the time because after this we shower, we start to think about Watford (the FA Cup final). The big competitors are like this. They are never satisfied. They never have the feeling that it is enough. In tennis, basketball, golf, they want more and more. That is why the second title, going back-to-back, showed me this kind of thing. You know? It showed me that it was not enough to get 100 points (last season) and it could be enough. But it wasn’t. We did it. That is why we are champions.”
City have equalled their own top-flight record for most wins in a season, 32, and their incredible squad of players dug deep in the final months of the season despite the crushing blow of losing out to Tottenham in the Champions League to dash their hopes of an historic quadruple.
But this achievement is historic enough.
Guardiola knows this City team will go down in history as one of the best, and they deserve to.
He has fostered an environment for excellence and given the vast resources Man City have, the structure they have in place at the club and Guardiola leading every key soccer decision, they are set up to dominate for the next decade. The Brighton fans applauded them off the pitch on Sunday, and fans of every other club on the planet appreciate their greatness.
The best thing about this Man City side and Guardiola is that they are never satisfied. Despite all of this glory and success, they want more.
That is the sign of a true champion, and as much as their incredible attacking play is key, their insatiable hunger for success is why this Man City side will be remembered for decades to come.