Manchester City's recent triumph as the Premier League champions has ignited discussions about whether they can be considered the greatest team in the history of the league. With their third consecutive title secured, and the possibility of a treble on the horizon, City's achievements are undeniably impressive. However, manager Pep Guardiola acknowledges that winning the Champions League is necessary to solidify their status among the elite, citing Manchester United and Liverpool as benchmarks for success.
Since the inception of the Premier League in 1992, only Manchester United, under the stewardship of Sir Alex Ferguson, have managed to claim both domestic and European glory in the same season. The 1998/99 campaign saw United secure a historic treble, clinching the Premier League, FA Cup, and Champions League titles. Guardiola recognizes the significance of conquering Europe to be considered one of the best, a feat that has eluded his City side thus far.
Guardiola's managerial record is remarkable, having now won 11 league titles in just 14 seasons. This achievement places him alongside Ferguson as the only two managers to secure three consecutive Premier League crowns. Sky Sports pundit Jamie Redknapp asserts that Guardiola's influence extends beyond his trophy cabinet, crediting him with revolutionizing modern football. His preferred playing style has permeated all levels of the game, with teams now adopting a possession-based approach and playing out from the back.
Redknapp contends that Guardiola's impact on the game makes him the greatest manager in Premier League history. The stylistic shift he has inspired, with defenders and midfielders venturing into new areas and splitting defences, has changed people's perception of football. However, former City player Micah Richards, while acknowledging Guardiola's influence, believes Ferguson still holds the title of the greatest. Richards highlights the sheer number of titles Ferguson won, particularly during a fiercely competitive era, as the defining factor.
The debate over the best Premier League team ever extends beyond Guardiola and Ferguson's respective reigns. Some may argue that Leicester City's remarkable title triumph in the 2015/16 season, against all odds at 5,000-1, ranks as the pinnacle of achievement. Others may vouch for Manchester City's class of 2017/18, who amassed a record-breaking 100 points in a single season. And, of course, Arsenal's Invincibles from the 2003/04 campaign, who went unbeaten throughout the entire league season, have a strong case as well.
Ultimately, the question of ranking the best Premier League teams ever remains subjective and open to interpretation. It depends on personal preferences and the criteria used to evaluate greatness. Guardiola's innovative tactics and sustained success, Ferguson's unrivalled trophy haul, Leicester City's fairy-tale triumph, City's record-breaking points tally, and Arsenal's invincible run all contribute to the rich tapestry of Premier League history.
In the end, each fan will have their own opinion on which team deserves the top spot. The debate serves as a reminder of the countless memorable moments and extraordinary achievements that have defined the Premier League era, sparking conversations that will continue to captivate football enthusiasts for years to come.
For the best futures markets, check out all the available football betting sites for the greatest betting insights.