GUAV

News Sports

How Man City and Pep Guardiola are battling history to land an unprecedented quadruple

19 min read
Advertisement

Pep Guardiola attempting Manchester City quadruple

Advertisement

Will they win one, two, three… or all four? Manchester City are about to resume their bid for an unprecedented quadruple and one of the things on their side is that – unlike most other teams – they have been here before.

No club has ever landed the Premier League, Champions League, FA Cup and League Cup all in the same season, but this is City's fourth serious attempt at a clean sweep in the past seven years.

That experience of chasing multiple major trophies in the final few weeks of the season should help them this time, as much for what went wrong previously as what they got right – and one of the lessons learned should have been that slip-ups can happen anywhere.

Beware of banana skins

Содержание статьи:

Man City's route to winning each knockout competition in 2020-21
Competition QF SF Final
Carabao Cup Tottenham
FA Cup Chelsea Leicester/Southampton
Champions League Borussia Dortmund Bayern Munich/PSG Real Madrid/Liverpool/Porto/Chelsea

Right now, on paper, a potential Champions League semi-final showdown with Bayern Munich or Paris St-Germain probably looks like the biggest obstacle to what would be the greatest achievement in English club football's 133-year history.

City should beware of banana skins, however. They have previously appeared in some unlikely places – Wigan (twice) and Tottenham were the teams who stopped their charge on four fronts in 2014, 2018 and 2019.

The three times Man City have come closest to winning the quadruple (by date*)
Rank/Season Premier League FA Cup League Cup Champions League Bid over
1. 2018-19 Winners Winners Winners QF 17 Apr
2. 2013-14 Winners QF Winners L16 9 Mar
3. 2017-18 Winners 5R Winners QF 19 Feb

*Not including the delayed 2019-20 season

The best news for City is probably that they don't have to play Wigan again this time, but you can still see why Pep Guardiola, who was also in charge for both of those previous two campaigns, has been at pains recently to point out that his side have not won anything yet.

That in itself is an anomaly – the coronavirus pandemic is the only reason we are talking about a quadruple now, with City's trophy cabinet still not stocked up since the start of spring.

Manchester City celebrate winning the 2020 Carabao Cup - they have won the competition in each of the past three seasons and in four of the past five campaignsManchester City celebrate winning the 2020 Carabao Cup – they have won the competition in each of the past three seasons and in four of the past five campaigns

The Carabao Cup would usually be done and dusted already, of course, but this year's final was rescheduled from its traditional slot in February in the hope fans would be able to attend.

City will face Spurs – yes, them again – at Wembley at the end of this month instead, hoping to belatedly bag their first trophy.

What is the closest anyone else has come?

The three times other English clubs have come closest to winning the quadruple (by date)
Rank/season Team PL / Div 1 FA Cup League Cup CL / EC Bid over
1. 2006-07 Chelsea 2nd Winners Winners SF 1 May
2. 2008-09 Man Utd Winners SF Winners Final 19 April
3. 1960-61 Burnley 4th SF SF QF 15 Mar

PL = Premier League, CL = Champions League, EC = European Cup

Arriving at the start of April with your hopes alive in all four major competitions is no mean achievement, though, whatever the circumstances.

English teams have had the chance of a quadruple since the League Cup was established in 1960-61 but, from a total of 117 attempts from 15 different clubs over the past 60 years, there have only been four other occasions when teams have got this far, date-wise, before.

They were Chelsea in 2007, Manchester United in 2009 and City in 2019 and 2020, although last summer was a little different. Guardiola's side technically had hope until Liverpool wrapped up the Premier League title in late June once the season had resumed after the coronavirus outbreak halted it in March.

Chelsea's attempt, the best so far under any normal schedule, lasted until 1 May, and a defeat by Liverpool in the Champions League semi-finals. Two years later, United fell to Everton with a penalty shootout defeat in the FA Cup semi-finals on 19 April.

That United team got to within three wins of all four major trophies, also losing to Barcelona in the Champions League final, and had to settle for 'only' two in the end.

The 15 English teams who have tried for a quadruple – and how far they got*
rank/club Attempts Best attempt? Bid ended?
1. Chelsea 15 2006-07 1 May
2. Man Utd 23 2008-09 19 Apr
3. Man City* 11 2018-19 17 Apr
4. Burnley 1 1960-61 15 Mar
5. Arsenal 21 2010-11 27 Feb
6. Nott'm Forest 3 1978-79 26 Feb
7. Liverpool 23 1982-83 20 Feb
8. Tottenham 5 2018-19 24 Jan
9. Newcastle 3 1997-98 10 Dec
10. Leeds 4 1974-75 13 Nov
11. Aston Villa 2 1981-82 19 Jan
12. Blackburn 1 1995-96 29 Nov
13. Derby 2 1972-73 9 Oct
14. Leicester 1 2016-17 20 Sep
15. Everton 1 2005-06 24 Aug
*Does not include delayed 2019-20 season

When Burnley almost went the distance

Before the Premier League and Champions League era began in 1992, Burnley went closest, in 1960-61 – the very first season four trophies were up for grabs in England – when they got as far as 15 March before losing to Hamburg in the quarter-finals of the European Cup.

Back then, quadruple opportunities were far more limited – the European Cup was restricted to just the league champions or holders and, for eight out of 10 seasons between 1961 and 1971, the clubs who qualified did not enter the League Cup.

There was no chance of completing it between 1985 and 1991 either, as English clubs were barred from Europe for five years, and league champions Liverpool served an extra year's suspension in 1990-91.

Burnley were the first team to try to win the quadrupleBurnley, shown here with their trophy after winning the 1960 league title, were the first team to try to win the quadruple in 1960-61, and no other side got closer for 46 years

Some teams still had several early chances, though – notably the Liverpool side of the late 1970s and early 1980s, who had nine successive seasons in the European Cup between 1976-77 and 1984-85.

Their best effort at a clean sweep saw them complete a treble of the league title, European Cup and League Cup in 1983-84, but they went out of the FA Cup to second-tier Brighton on 29 January.

Out of a total of 23 attempts – the joint-most with Manchester United, who were denied a try in 1999-2000 when they did not take part in the FA Cup the furthest the Merseysiders have come in terms of the date their quadruple bid ended was 1982-83, when they got as far as 20 February.

The three times Liverpool came closest to the quadruple (by date)
Rank/season Div 1 FA Cup League Cup European Cup Bid over
1.1982-83 Winners 5R Winners QF 20 Feb
2.1981-82 Winners 5R Winners QF 13 Feb
3.1983-84 Winners 4R Winners Winners 29 Jan

Other great teams of the modern era also fell short. United's famous Treble of 1998-99 included the FA Cup, not League Cup – they went out of that competition to Tottenham in the quarter-finals, on 2 December.

Arsenal's legendary 'Invincibles' went the entire league campaign undefeated in 2003-04, but that was the only silverware they secured that season and their quadruple hopes were ended on 3 February by Middlesbrough, who beat them 3-1 on aggregate in the League Cup semi-finals.

Manchester United's Treble-winning side celebrate their Champions League triumph in 1998-99Three English teams – Liverpool, Manchester United and Manchester City – have done different trebles that involve winning the league title – but United's capture of the Champions League, Premier League and FA Cup in 1999 is widely regarded as the greatest yet

City's own 'Centurions' – the Guardiola side that broke the 100-point mark and set an all-time English top-flight record for most points in a single campaign in 2017-18 – had their bid ended by Wigan Athletic, of League One, in the FA Cup on 19 February.

A year later, in 2019, City became the first English men's team to do a domestic treble, but lost to Spurs in Europe on 17 April – date-wise, in a regular season, the third-best effort yet.

There have also been teams that ended up completely empty-handed – a fate that could still befall City this year, however unlikely it seems.

The Chelsea side of 2007-08 are probably the best example of that. They finished runners-up in the league by two points, lost in the final of the Champions League and League Cup, and were knocked out of the FA Cup in the sixth round.

What City need to do – and what's different this time?

Snapshot of the top of the Premier League: 1st Man City, 2nd Man Utd, 3rd Leicester, 4th Chelsea, 5th West Ham & 6th TottenhamFive more wins from their final nine games will give Manchester City their third Premier League title in the past four years, regardless of what their rivals do

Realistically, no-one is still wondering whether City will win anything this season – the only question is how many trophies they will collect.

When they last got to April with their hopes of the quadruple alive, in 2019, their midfielder Kevin de Bruyne described winning all four as "nearly impossible".

But that was because City were in the midst of a title tussle with Liverpool that went to the final day and was mentally and physically draining every week – they had to win their last 14 league games of the season to hold off the Reds.

This time, Guardiola's side have breathing space at the top of the Premier League, thanks to a run of 17 wins from 18 league games. In that respect, some of the pressure is off.

While City have been relentless, their rivals have continued to drop points. If United or Leicester merely maintain their current points-per-game ratio, the most they will gather is 75 points – so two wins would deliver the title to City, not five.

The knockout cup competitions, by definition, will be far more difficult to negotiate. City are the bookmakers' favourites to win each one, including in Europe but, as Guardiola will surely remind his players, that has hardly helped them there much in the past.

Despite his two previous successes with Barcelona, Guardiola has a personal point to prove in the Champions League too – he has never gone beyond the quarter-finals in four attempts with City, has not won it since 2011, and one of the few ways to criticise his stellar managerial career is that he has not got his hands on that particular trophy without having Lionel Messi in his team to help.

This year seems a particularly good opportunity to put all of that right but Guardiola's mantra is to take one game at a time, so he will not be contemplating this year's final – in Istanbul on 29 May – for a little while yet.

Around the BBC - SoundsObsessed with Line of Duty: Listen to reactions and predictions as the series unfoldsEvil Genius?: Diego Maradona's ability to delight and despair is debated on the showcommentsView Comments1309

Comments

Join the conversation

To use comments you will need to have JavaScript enabled.
1309 commentsShowLatestOldestHighest RatedMost RepliedH

Comment posted by HOUGHTON, today at 10:39HOUGHTON

10:39They have a chance this time as they will not have to face Wigan Athletic.949T

Reply posted by TODS, today at 15:30TODS

15:30to HOUGHTON"They have a chance this time as they will not have to face Wigan Athletic."TODS replied: and rip up wigans stadium.29More replies (5)downD

Comment posted by Digger, today at 11:01Digger

11:01Not gonna happen. Bayern will easily dispatch them in the semis, that much is quite obvious.

However, I really think Chelsea and their Tuchel led improvement will knock them out the FA Cup before that.

And never ever write a Mourinho team off in a final, he’ll be desperate to be the man to get Spurs a trophy after so long.

They could end up with ‘just’ the PL. Like that’s a bad thing.11447Removed commentMore replies (30)downE

Comment posted by ejc88, today at 11:31ejc88

11:31You’re either good enough to win a quadruple or not. Nothing to do with history542Removed commentMore replies (8)downK

Comment posted by KDB, today at 10:43KDB

10:43All this Oil fc stuff really makes me laugh. Clubs are always crying about the owners are bad for their club and wont invest. They dream of having owners like Man City and because City have what they want they try to undermine everything they do – yet if a Saudi Prince is rumored to take over their club I’m fairly sure they’ll change their tune7831U

Reply posted by U15627687, today at 10:46U15627687

10:46to KDB"All this Oil fc stuff really makes me laugh. Clubs are always crying about the owners are bad for their club and wont invest. They dream of having owners like Man City and because City have what they want they try to undermine everything they do – yet if a Saudi Prince is rumored to take over their club I’m fairly sure they’ll change their tune"U15627687 replied: Spot on that is, utd fans loved being at the top now they quote oil fc! And not a week goes by they wish that a prince of some sort tries to take them over! Mufc/jealous fc, I’m a Liverpool fan and I say good luck to city! Anyone but utd as far as I’m concerned5437More replies (22)downN

Comment posted by Naughtius Maximus, today at 11:04Naughtius Maximus

11:04Always makes me laugh to hear MU fans whining about City’s oil money.

Spending 100s of millions on players paid for with money generated by the merchandising expenditure of millions upon millions of glory hunting ‘fans’ with zero prior connection to the club or it’s city is really no different to being funded by a billionaire sheikh or oligarch.9250Removed commentMore replies (41)downN

Comment posted by Nick T, today at 12:30Nick T

12:30Many football fans are such bitter little trolls and many people commenting here don’t know football history. I supported City when they were winning in the late 60s and early 70s, so to say we have no history is bull. I also remember listening to the playoff in the old Division 3 when we beat Gillingham in 1999. Now we are the kings of English football so suck it up trolls.5110Removed commentMore replies (15)downM

Comment posted by mjt, today at 12:47mjt

12:47Most years there is talk of a City quadruple (ignoring last year), but they never get that close.

How about waiting until they’ve secured at least 2 trophies and are in the finals of the others before starting the hype train.424M

Advertisement

Reply posted by maine blue, today at 16:40maine blue

16:40to mjt"Most years there is talk of a City quadruple (ignoring last year), but they never get that close. How about waiting until they’ve secured at least 2 trophies and are in the finals of the others before starting the hype train."maine blue replied: No the only domestic treble ever and a goal with the elbow in QF of CL, that’s absolutely nowhere close…3 trophies in 12 years now that’s nowhere near lol62More replies (3)downA

Comment posted by AndyB_MOT, today at 16:00AndyB_MOT

16:00I’ve no beef at all with Man City. For years they were possibly the most loyal support in the country. They were getting crowds of 30,000 in what’s now League 1.

So what if they’ve spent money. It’s no different to the billions that Man U, Liverpool, Chelsea etc spent. If they win four trophies, fair play to them – they’ll deserve it.354S

Reply posted by siweltrebor, today at 16:07siweltrebor

16:07to AndyB_MOT"I’ve no beef at all with Man City. For years they were possibly the most loyal support in the country. They were getting crowds of 30,000 in what’s now League 1.So what if they’ve spent money. It’s no different to the billions that Man U, Liverpool, Chelsea etc spent. If they win four trophies, fair play to them – they’ll deserve it."siweltrebor replied: I’d consider Newcastle fans more loyal than City fans personally.415More replies (8)downJ

Comment posted by jason rahman, today at 11:13jason rahman

11:13Every one of their players cost £50m.
How they have not won the Champions League already is a embarrassing.
Give that money to any manager and he will win something.
Pep needs big money and big players to win.
Give the West Brom job and let’s see what he has got.
Give him the West Brom job and £700m and they will be Champions next year. Not difficult.10477B

Reply posted by BBC123, today at 11:20BBC123

11:20to jason rahman"Every one of their players cost £50m. How they have not won the Champions League already is a embarrassing. Give that money to any manager and he will win something. Pep needs big money and big players to win. Give the West Brom job and let’s see what he has got. Give him the West Brom job and £700m and they will be Champions next year. Not difficult."BBC123 replied: He couldn’t even manage winning with Bayern Munich. Took them backwards and Jupp Heynckes legacy was ruined.

Thankfully Hansi Flick is a competent coach and got the best out the same players, improved without spending hundreds of millions. Look at them now.5120More replies (20)downD

Comment posted by Dreddy Tennis, today at 11:11Dreddy Tennis

11:11They’ll win the Carabao Cup and the title.

The Carabao Cup is the only justifiable reason Pep is still in a job – anyone who spends as much as he – coming on a billion quid now – has and barely beats Pellegrini’s return should walk.

The title is only logical – Man City directly benefit from COVID by playing every game in home conditions (i.e. in front of no fans) and having a massive squad.7953B

Reply posted by BBC123, today at 11:22BBC123

11:22to Dreddy Tennis"They’ll win the Carabao Cup and the title. The Carabao Cup is the only justifiable reason Pep is still in a job – anyone who spends as much as he – coming on a billion quid now – has and barely beats Pellegrini’s return should walk.The title is only logical – Man City directly benefit from COVID by playing every game in home conditions (i.e. in front of no fans) and having a massive squad."BBC123 replied: There’s even a BBC article about the home advantage being negated this year, talk about perfect conditions for City!

Everywhere is now the Emptyhad and City are in their element.6636More replies (28)downP

Comment posted by popeye, today at 12:32popeye

12:32Man city owner want’s to spend his own money that’s his affair. Calling city cheats really.Man utd recently beat ac Milan in el. In 2006 calciopoli was discovered in serie a. Milan, juventus,fiorentina,lazio and reggina bribed referees to get favourable results that’s cheating.yet Milan played in Europe following seasons.won CL in 2006-2007 season. Man City have never bribed a referee.275Removed commentMore replies (8)downH

Comment posted by herewegoagain, today at 11:21herewegoagain

11:21They won’t win the FA cup! We leicester will3112D

Reply posted by Dreddy Tennis, today at 11:22Dreddy Tennis

11:22to herewegoagain"They won’t win the FA cup! We leicester will"Dreddy Tennis replied: The whole world is behind you. :)2514More replies (6)downA

Comment posted by admin, today at 10:27admin

10:27City are a very good domestic team.

But they are way out of their depth at higher levels like CL.4932L

Reply posted by lucas, today at 11:34lucas

11:34to admin"City are a very good domestic team.But they are way out of their depth at higher levels like CL."lucas replied: I don’t know what all the fuss is about, I manage the quadruple every year on Football Manager!412More replies (9)downT

Comment posted by TomCat, today at 13:49TomCat

13:49It seems incredibly premature to even be entertaining the idea at this stage, considering they’ve only reached one final so far…

They’re going along nicely – and good luck to them – but they haven’t even won one trophy (yet) …so talk of them sweeping up all four is more than a little ridiculous at this early stage!160D

Reply posted by dave, today at 13:51dave

13:51to TomCat"It seems incredibly premature to even be entertaining the idea at this stage, considering they’ve only reached one final so far…They’re going along nicely – and good luck to them – but they haven’t even won one trophy (yet) …so talk of them sweeping up all four is more than a little ridiculous at this early stage!"dave replied: Agreed – it does get tiresome. It the same every year ….130More replies (2)downN

Comment posted by NeilAndy109, today at 13:03NeilAndy109

13:03I’m a Chelsea fan so hope they only get 2. If we cant win then I hope that City win all 4. This is due to the garbage and half baked rhetoric on here which is pitiful to read…its also to stick 2 fingers up to UEFA and their cohort of favourite clubs. The sweetest moment of Munich 2012 was watching Platini handing the trophy to JT&Lamps, almost choking on the wheel of cheese he’d just eaten197J

Reply posted by Jon Fine was not present, today at 13:06Jon Fine was not present

13:06to NeilAndy109"I’m a Chelsea fan so hope they only get 2. If we cant win then I hope that City win all 4. This is due to the garbage and half baked rhetoric on here which is pitiful to read…its also to stick 2 fingers up to UEFA and their cohort of favourite clubs. The sweetest moment of Munich 2012 was watching Platini handing the trophy to JT&Lamps, almost choking on the wheel of cheese he’d just eaten"Jon Fine was not present replied: The sweetest moment was when ‘JT’ dashed to the disabled bogs to slip on the kit he bought from the Sports Direct at Heathrow60More replies (9)down6

Comment posted by 6X, today at 11:136X

11:13It’s all a bit pointless

Like Elon Musk bibbing for a trinket on Ebay he HAS to have

man city have spent enough money to have a second string worth more than 90% of ALL world clubs2211B

Reply posted by bo weavil, today at 13:04bo weavil

13:04to 6X"It’s all a bit pointlessLike Elon Musk bibbing for a trinket on Ebay he HAS to haveman city have spent enough money to have a second string worth more than 90% of ALL world clubs"bo weavil replied: I see maths wasn’t one of your GCSE passes195More replies (5)downG

Comment posted by Gandalf, today at 17:19Gandalf

17:19This thread has brought out more bitterness and rage from the haters than most. I imagine they saw the headline and nearly soiled themselves with exasperated fury.

It’s a shame because it’s just a light-hearted look at the stats. Nobody really believes City are going to win a quadruple. The PL is an excellent start and any extra silverware is a nice bonus.111F

Reply posted by FlashInThePan, today at 19:29FlashInThePan

19:29to Gandalf"This thread has brought out more bitterness and rage from the haters than most. I imagine they saw the headline and nearly soiled themselves with exasperated fury.It’s a shame because it’s just a light-hearted look at the stats. Nobody really believes City are going to win a quadruple. The PL is an excellent start and any extra silverware is a nice bonus."FlashInThePan replied: Lol… the site is stained with their salty tears and I am loving it.00B

Comment posted by Blue Heart, today at 16:11Blue Heart

16:11There is only one way and that’s one game at a time. The next one is on Saturday @ 5:30pm. and then we will see.
As the media do they are building City up to knock them down with a hateful and bitter smile on their face.
No one at City is bothered just prepare for the worst but more importantly hoping for the best
On to the next one.100L

Reply posted by LondonsFinestClub, today at 18:45LondonsFinestClub

18:45to Blue Heart"There is only one way and that’s one game at a time. The next one is on Saturday @ 5:30pm. and then we will see.As the media do they are building City up to knock them down with a hateful and bitter smile on their face.No one at City is bothered just prepare for the worst but more importantly hoping for the bestOn to the next one."LondonsFinestClub replied: That’s a fair attitude to have. Chelsea went through the same hype. Comes with success.20S

Comment posted by SonOfABill, today at 15:48SonOfABill

15:48If City to win all four, BBC HYS will implode with the amount of bile that will be spewed forth. Hopefully it will happen100B

Reply posted by Bertie, today at 15:59Bertie

15:59to SonOfABill"If City to win all four, BBC HYS will implode with the amount of bile that will be spewed forth. Hopefully it will happen"Bertie replied: Well if anything will shame the Premier League into taking action, that will. Maybe they will ask why the Etihad was half empty on our TVs while City said 53k were in there, or where Etihad get the money for their curiously generous sponsorship, almost double what Emirates pay Arsenal.37More replies (6)downF

Comment posted by Feel Good, today at 12:31Feel Good

12:31Good luck to them is what I say, as an Arsenal fan.

Some salty Liverpool and Utd fans on here lol. The likes of Chelsea and Yanited spend more and get nowhere – City seem to be better run is the difference – it’s less about buying Galactico’s, more about cohesion and long termism.122D

Reply posted by dave, today at 12:35dave

12:35to Feel Good"Good luck to them is what I say, as an Arsenal fan.Some salty Liverpool and Utd fans on here lol. The likes of Chelsea and Yanited spend more and get nowhere – City seem to be better run is the difference – it’s less about buying Galactico’s, more about cohesion and long termism."dave replied: Exactly.

City’s owners are football focused and take nothing out of the club.

Liverpool’s owners are money focused, raid the club’s coffers for fees, dividends and ‘expenses’. And then they have the audacity to complain that City spent their money for the benefit of the club.84More replies (4)downMore commentsBack to topunknown
Source

Advertisement

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *