Who is going to be the killjoy to stop Manchester City's Galacticos from dominating English football?

Andy Dillon by Andy Dillon / 02 November 2018, 11:35

It is virtually a taboo subject to bear a grudge against Manchester City.

Whisper it quietly among friends in the corner of a room at a party in fear of being publicly lynched if that is how you really feel.

Watching Riyad Mahrez, Sergio Aguero and Raheem Sterling sweep all before them as the ultimate X-box XI means it will soon be a crime to voice any concerns about the immense power being unleashed on the poor opposition week in, week out.

Yet there is a creeping menace about City that anyone with that very British sense of sportsmanship and the love of an underdog needs to be aware of.

No team has successfully defended the Premier League title since Manchester United completed a hat-trick under the imperious Alex Ferguson in 2009.

That is ten consecutive years where the name on the trophy has changed each May.

There isn’t much about the slick, polished, packaged, pumped up Premier League that is fresh anymore.

The stadiums are starting to look the same, there are no bad matches according to Sky and BT Sport, the players inhabit a different world to the paying customers sitting in their comfy seats either in Lego-style grounds or in their cosy armchairs at home.

There is no doubt that the power brokers at the biggest clubs are fluttering their eyelids at the best clubs on the Continent in the hope of setting up a European Super League.

Yet the one thing that makes English football distinct from our fellows across The Channel is the unpredictability that Saturday brings - or at least used to.


Since 2009 there have been four different winners of the Premier League; Manchester United, Chelsea, Leicester City and Manchester City.

Even though that hardly makes each season a lottery it at least keeps things mildly interesting. And with the rebirth of Arsenal and Liverpool plus the slow emergence of Tottenham there is the possibility of the race for the title becoming a seven-horse race over the next few years.

Compare that to Italy where Juventus have won seven of the last ten Serie A titles, Bayern Munich likewise in Germany. Don’t even mention Spain where it’s pretty much the toss of a coin between Barcelona and Real Madrid year after year with the odd exception.

All of which means that managers like Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp, currently sitting behind table toppers Man City on goal difference, has a huge job on his hands.

Somebody has to stop Manchester City’s All-Stars. No, forget that, everybody out there has a duty to bring a halt to the threat of City dominating football like Manchester United did in the early 2000s and Liverpool did in the 1970s and 80s.

Maurizio Sarri, Unai Emery, you also have your part to play in this. Something must be done to retain the diversity of our game.

So far Wolves manager Nuno Espirito Santo has been the only manager who has put up a seriously good fight - holding City to a 1-1 draw. Klopp failed to bring his big guns to bear on Pep Guardiola’s Galacticos with a goalless stalemate.

And, er, that’s been it so far.

Yes, it’s early days, it’s only November and City will only have won two titles if they carry on as they are by swashbuckling their way through the rest of the field with their pesky cavalier football, stylish passing and exciting tactics.

It makes anyone who voices concerns about the mushrooming power at The Etihad Stadium sound like a right killjoy. But if nothing is done then the joy of watching Manchester City’s superstars run rings around the opposition every week will soon wear off.

Put it this way, which of you lads out there would like to watch a beauty pageant every night? Actually, don’t answer that.

Managers Departed

Last man down

Phil Parkinson
Phil Parkinson
(Bolton Wanderers)
21st August