clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

View from the enemy: Manchester City domination didn’t happen overnight

Q&A with Thomas Duck of Bitter And Blue ahead of our League Cup third round match

FBL-AWARD-BALLON D’OR-2022 Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images

Chelsea take on Manchester City on Wednesday night at the Etihad in the third round of the League Cup, which makes this a slightly less pressure-filled game than our usual encounters domestically or in Europe. Still, there’s a place in the next round on the line, so we chatted with ‘Cityzen Duck’ of Bitter And Blue. Thankfully, he’s not an actual duck, so we got to talk about Manchester City’s methods, Pep Guardiola’s future, and how anyone might stop Erling Haaland (spoiler alert: you can’t stop him, you can only hope to contain him). Be sure to check out reverse version of this Q&A, where we look at the never-ending drama at Chelsea Football Club, and at what’s gone wrong for Graham Potter of late.

WAGNH: Looks like it’s another ho-hum season of dominance from City, with all but Arsenal already fallen by the wayside in the league. Given that the City model is one of the primary examples Chelsea’s new owners are trying to emulate, what would you say has been the biggest key to the whole operation? The coach? The front office synergy? The funding? The stability? Initial patience? And since the answer is likely to be all of the above, do you think it can work in a same or similar manner at another club without those precise pieces in place?

BAB: Ho-Hum indeed. City supporters are currently enjoying the fruits of the last decade’s labors. The City Football Group have indeed become one of the premier football setups in the world, and as you have said. It can be attributed to many factors. At first, the funding was easily the most important factor. Say what you will about the source, but the influx of capital was the catalyst that made every subsequent move work.

The biggest reason that City have sustained and built on their success now is the continued investment at the academy level. The academy is becoming a steady supply of first-team players and also an income generator in the transfer market.

Honestly, the investment is the easy part. A club would also need to operate with the discipline that City have been able to maintain of late.

Manchester City v Fulham FC - Premier League Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

WAGNH: Pep Guardiola’s contract is, at the time of asking, still set to expire at the end of the season. What are the chances that he actually does leave, and if he does, why would he ever want to do such a thing?

BAB: We all get bored, don’t we? I do believe that Pep and the club will come to an agreement on a new deal during the World Cup break. The chatter is that the extension will keep him at the Etihad until 2025.

My guess is that this will be the last extension Pep signs for City. In the past, he has expressed a desire to coach a national team someday, or maybe he would want to go back to Spain. He likes New York well enough, maybe a stint with the USMNT would be enticing.

WAGNH: Erling Haaland. Clearly not human. Alien warlock? Robot from the future? Is there any way to stop him other than large doses of kryptonite?

BAB: I prefer Destroyer of Worlds. In short, not that I can see. He’s too big to be bullied, too fast to be run down, and too skilled to be contained. Manchester City have never had such a player; to be fair, few have. I suppose the only solace that an opposition supporter can take is that he might not stay at City forever.

Borussia Dortmund v Manchester City: Group G - UEFA Champions League Photo by Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images

WAGNH: The League Cup is usually the lowest of low priorities for top teams, so how do you expect City to approach this game? Who are some of the perhaps less than familiar faces we might get to see and who should we watch out for? Care to offer a prediction for an outcome?

BAB: As with Chelsea, Manchester City are always keen to win every competition they enter. I would expect the manager to put a very competitive side on the pitch, i.e., if Haaland is fit he will play.

As for the lesser-knowns to watch. the one-and-only Cole Palmer should feature in this one I reckon, and a pair of young fullbacks, Joshua Wilson-Esbrand (19) and Rico Lewis (17) could see time as well.

In the end, I think City will be the club to move forward in the competition. Final score 3-1.

Thanks again to Duckman-4-Real for the chat; be sure to visit them for a quack or two over at Bitter And Blue.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the We Ain't Got No History Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of Chelsea news from We Ain't Got No History