Guardiola’s City dynasty could rival Manchester United under Ferguson

This is the deafening level of dominance that the team once famously derided as "noisy neighbours" by Ferguson will now be out to cement after what could still end up as an unprecedented 100-goal, 100-point season.

The last decade, though, suggests back-to-back successes will be no given. Ferguson's last United triumph in 2012-13 was by 11 points from the then champions City; the following season, under new management, they finished seventh.

Pep Guardiola is credited with getting the best out of England player Raheem Sterling (right).

Jose Mourinho's 2015 Chelsea side won the league handsomely but could only finish 10th the following campaign. Last season's champions, Chelsea, look unlikely to be in the top four this year.

Yet if any team look capable of bucking this trend, it is Guardiola's latest potential masterpiece, which, remember, is still a work in progress.

He won La Liga with Barcelona and the Bundesliga at Bayern Munich three years in succession, changing attitudes in both the Spanish and German game with the sort of possession-based pass mastery at pace that some believed would be stifled in England. That theory has been wholly debunked.

Pep Guardiola has at his disposal a young and talented squad. Gabriel Jesus is just one of a handful of stars still aged 23 or under.

Photo: AP

Certainly, Liverpool's heroics in both the Champions League and Premier League, swarming all over City for three victories this term, and Manchester United's 3-2 comeback win at the Etihad which delayed the coronation, dented the aura.

Those performances offered others a blueprint of how to knock City out of their aristocratic stride, yet still this could not hide the extent of their overall dominance.

Continental success

The dynasty will only be built on European success, though, and after the quarter-final exit to Liverpool, City's owners, who want a gilded continental powerhouse to match United's global lustre, will demand it and back those demands with huge funding.


Guardiola's talent and commitment is the key to this.

City's fans must have been left with soaring hearts on hearing how the Spaniard, in the second of a three-year deal, had talked of his long-term ambitions to make City's name resonate more in global terms.

"(Manchester City) does not have a history behind it at the level of titles but it does have the desire to become winners," he told a South American TV company.

"I do not rule out continuing to lead in 10 years. It will depend how I feel and if they want me."


Of course, they will want him. Every club does. His imprint in just two seasons has already been immense, vastly improving youthful talent like Raheem Sterling, John Stones, Leroy Sane and Gabriel Jesus, none of whom are older than 23.

Key men Fernandinho and David Silva are in their thirties now but much more can be still be expected of Ilkay Gundogan and Bernardo Silva alongside Kevin de Bruyne, the league's outstanding player this season.

"We need titles in Europe," Guardiola concedes. "After what this club has done in the last 10 years, in terms of creating facilities and making it bigger, it will happen.

"But you need time. It might be next season or the season after that but it will happen, soon it will happen."

Guardiola sounded like a man who will be there when it does.


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