Congrats on the treble, Man City. Pep can now take a hike (and other musings)…


Man City achieved an historic treble on Saturday, narrowly eking past a stubborn Inter side that just didn’t know when to quit (or how to finish). In so doing, they matched their Mancunian nemeses (who haven’t really lived up to the billing ever since that goal from Agüero and cemented their place in football history and yada yada yada. For us at the Arsenal, there’s enough in it to, well, “celebrate” may not quite be the word. Suffice it to say that there’s some silver lining to it all.

Maybe it convinces Pep to p*ss off elsewhere.
He’s been after another Champions League title ever since 2011. There’s been no amount of money he won’t spend, no number of players he won’t buy, no number of financial violations he’s willing to overlook in this quest. He’s like that guy, that Spanish guy? You know, he fought the windmills? What’s his name? The Man of La Mancha. Having finally caught his white whale (ooh – a second literary allusion!), maybe Pep will go off to take a true challenge of his managerial mastery. I hear that PSG crave a Champions League title almost as much as he does…and they might be even more willing than Man City to commit financial violations!

It gives the lie to the idea that we bottled the Prem.
Man City won the Prem in part because we faltered down the stretch. There’s no denying that. However, we failed to stay ahead of one of the best sides money could buy, led by one of the most-determined and most-voracious managers ever. They’ve just won a treble, after all. There’s no shame in falling short against such a side. It’s not like it was in 2016 when Leicester came out of nowhere to win the Prem. It was always Man City’s to win or lose. That we held them off for close to 90% of the season is enough for us to both hold our heads up high and clench our jaws. That they’ve gone ahead and won this historic treble only highlights how dominant they have been over the last five or six years. Our young, thin, inexperienced and injury-depleted squad held out until the bitter end (or close to it) and will come out the other side more-determined than ever.

It has to boil potatoes over at Man U.
Let’s be honest. Man U are still bigger rivals than Man City ever would be. We went toe-to-toe with Ferguson’s sides for the better part of a decade. While it’s true that they usually had the upper hand, they’ve been pegged back. Their single-most stellar achievement—that 1999 treble—isn’t quite as singular as it was. They now have to share that achievement with none other than their own derby rivals—and nothing takes the shine off an achievement than having to share it. Can you imagine Tottenham going a season undefeated (Can you imagine them going a month undefeated?)? The enemy of my enemy is my friend, or at least a well-wisher, in that I don’t wish them any specific harm. I can live with Man City winning a treble, cartoonish as their success might be. It’s humiliations galore, as far as I can see.

Look, I know that I’m grasping at straws here, but let’s be real: no one can compete with Man City given the current state of affairs. We have to hope that something will blunt their momentum: complacency, a degree of meaningful accountability, or some other miraculous deus ex machina-level event. It’s like the Battle of the Five Armies, except that we’re the only army, and our allies are running about to the tune of Yakety Sax. We’ll come back from the disappointing end to the season stronger, and that won’t just be because we’ve signed a few players. Our current squad will come back hungrier, angrier, fiestier; they’ll know better how to fight and claw and win. They’ve been to the mountaintop. They’ve supped from the chalice. They know more about what it takes to win than winning something could have ever taught them.

Something tells me that our lads seeing City win the treble will teach them a few lessons, and they’ll build on those lessons to make the season to come even more-enjoyable than the season we just witnessed…

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15 thoughts on “Congrats on the treble, Man City. Pep can now take a hike (and other musings)…

  1. Cityblue

    Just another little hypocrite in a loooooooong line of bitter twisted bad loser hypocrites. Like Arsenal haven’t spent, in fact you’ve spent more than City recently so wind your neck in. While you’re at it winding your neck in little gunner, remember you wouldn’t even have a title challenging team if it wasn’t for Pep Guardiola and Manchester City FC, we allowed you to sign Manchester City trained Arteta, Zinchenko and Jesus, remember that little gunner hypocrite.

    1. Me

      All of Manchester City’s achievements under Guardiola have been from cooking the financial books.
      100 plus charges of financial irregularities, they lied and cheated their way to success.
      It’s no wonder your manager wants a fast verdict.
      And the two players you mentioned for me are the two of the biggest reasons why we failed to win it – Jesus couldn’t hit a barn door and Zinchenko just runs around flapping his arms like a fucking retard.

    2. Ray S

      You’d have thought Cityblue would of been too busy celebrating the not at all dubious (cough) treble to be spending time visiting a rival clubs blog. Yes we have had to spend more recently to remain competitive. Let’s just ignore the fact that €ity and the like have vastly inflated the market over the years. Wind your neck back in cos you’ll be found guilty soon enough and will return to the mediocre small club from a little town near Liverpool.

    3. Jon Shay Post author

      Come on, lad – you’re not really suggesting that Arsenal’s spending in two or three windows matches what Man City spend in just every window, are you? On top of that, remember we’re only looking at the numbers the clubs are willing to share. While most of the 115 alleged violations pre-date Guardiola, they still involved tranfsers that built the squad he inherited. It’s nothing short of remarkable to see that the world’s most successful manager and most-expensive, deepest squad were pushed to the limit by that manager’s own “cone man”. Your irritation, if it relfects any larger trends within the City fanbase, suggests a fragility and insecurity borne of knowing that all of that success is but a house of cards just waiting to come tumbling down. I’d enjoy the fall.

    4. Luke

      Are people just playing dumb or are they genuinely IQ challenged? The amount of money spent is not the point, it has never been the point. All successful clubs have spent money but crucially it was THEIR, hard earned money achieved through sporting success first. If Man Utd want to spend silly money on Anthony, that’s up to them, it’s their money achieved through sporting success. That is the order in which sport operates : Sporting success leads to financial reward.

      The reason why people have no problem with Roger Federer, Tiger Woods, Real Madrid, Messi and their ilk getting the major sponsorship deals and the highest wages is because they reached a level of financial strength through their skill, vision, application within their sport. They were on an upward trajectory based on what they did on the court, course and pitch not based on a sugar daddy.

      Man City did nothing to earn the best manager in the world nor the huge amounts of wealth they now have, therefore it’s simply not sport. Five minutes ago Pep hadn’t heard of Man City.

      I have a couple of mates in Manchester, lifelong City fans and I know what they’ve been through during the dark times, I don’t begrudge them success, and god knows what it must have been like going through those bleak times with the other lot as your neighbours, but until your Saviour Sheik came along you were on a trajectory to mid table mediocrity at best and you know it. That is the genuine sporting limit and capabilities of your club right up until the Sheik put a bullet to your club’s head then resurrected it in his own image.

      The amount of money spent is a false flag, the fact that outside interference and non sporting financial riches were given for not a shred of sporting vision or success makes a farce of the universal love of any sporting endeavour. That is the issue mate.

  2. Stuart Noel Angus

    Yes, Cityblue. But forget not all those Arsenal trained lads who helped you on your road to success… Paddy V, Super Nick, Kolo, Clichy, Adebayor & Nasri.
    And, Mikel was an Arsenal boy before he gave your lot a leg up.

  3. jod

    The simple fact is Arsenal were well clear and just had to win their remaining games and it wouldn’t have mattered what City did. So “City are brilliant so we didn’t really blow it” just doesn’t wash. Of course if City are eventually found guilty Arsenal will presumably be given the title by default, but they could have won it for themselves.

    1. Jax

      Being awarded the title “by default” is not going to happen, as City can only be punished for the seasons in which the offences occurred.

    2. Jon Shay Post author

      fair points. We were in prime position but failed. Falling short against the likes of Man City should feel different than falling short against a lesser club, though. There’s nothing wrong with admitting that.

      As for any kind of punishment to City, I’d love to see it coming but not as a path to the title for Arsenal. I’d just like to see them held accountable.

  4. Ray S

    The only saving grace to them winning the treble is the faces of the intolerable Utd fans this morning, mostly from Essex and Kent

    1. Jon Shay Post author

      It seems everyone’s been a City fan these last few months – the “anyone but Arsenal” crowd grew larger than I’d expected!

    1. Jon Shay Post author

      Good question, Jax. It’s always interesting when a rival finds this little blog. Makes me wonder whether they need a hobby or two.


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