NEWS: IAN LADYMAN: Forget Jurgen Klopp’s last lap at Liverpool or Arsenal’s return to prominence… Manchester City are creeping up on another treble by stealth

Amid the excited rattle and hum of another Premier League season finale, Manchester City\’s inexorable progress to what would be an unprecedented and quite stunning consecutive treble continues almost in silence.

This is not a sly dig at the atmosphere at the Etihad. That’s for others to debate. Personally, I have never found anything wrong with it.

No, it’s not that. It’s a reference to – I suppose – how a lion hunts. Or how a cobra moves through the grass. Silently. Without fuss. But successfully. Oh so predictably successfully.

Pep Guardiola chưa muốn gia hạn hợp đồng với Man City | VTV.VN

Because this is the modern City. All that noisy neighbours stuff of the early Abu Dhabi era is no more. The heady thrill of Premier League title number one in 2012 exists only in the mind and on mobile phone footage. Even the initial se.x appeal of Pep Guardiola’s football has faded to something slightly less expansive. More risk averse and predictable. And there’s that word again. Predictable. It follows City everywhere in a way that it never has in relation to an English football club in our lifetime.

Can we safely say that City will win the Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League for the second season running? No, we can’t.

Does it look a pretty solid bet right now? It absolutely has to.

Because in order for it not to happen somebody will have to beat them and the further we go in to Guardiola\’s time at City the less often that happens, particularly at this stage of the season.

So despite the emotion attached to Jurgen Klopp’s last lap at Liverpool, the adrenaline of Arsenal’s return to form and prominence in the title race under Mikel Arteta and the all the enduring chatter around managers like Erik ten Hag and Eddie Howe, the real story of this season is once again simmering away beneath the surface. Manchester City are that story. Again. It’s just that sometimes it’s hard to notice.

City last lost a game of football on December 6. 2023, away 1-0 at Aston Villa. They have lost once on a run of 28 games in all competitions going back to the start of October.

Recently they played averagely in drawing with Chelsea and winning 1-0 at Bournemouth and the foolish and desperate began to talk up a drop in form. And then they went to Luton in the FA Cup and scored six and that put at end to all that.

And that is what this City do. They win relentlessly and quietly in a manner previously alien to us. And that is why a second treble is so very possible.

Will Manchester United beat them in the Premier League on Sunday? Highly unlikely. FC Copenhagen in the Champions League next Wednesday? No chance. Newcastle in the FA Cup? Hard to see it. Liverpool at Anfield a week on Sunday? Maybe but even if they do would the smart money really be on Klopp\’s injury-hit, over-exerted squad holding City at bay over the 10 games that would then remain?

Absolutely everything that City do will be viewed with an eyebrow raised until the matter of their 115 Premier League charges is settled. For some, nothing they do will mean much until they can prove themselves to be financially clean. I understand that.