Three lessons Manchester City learned in 2023

Manchester City’s Historic Treble in 2023

In 2023, Manchester City, under the management of Pep Guardiola, achieved a historic treble, creating lasting memories for supporters. Key players like Ilkay Gundogan, Kevin De Bruyne, and Riyad Mahrez played crucial roles in this remarkable journey.

1. Crucial Contributions in the Treble Pursuit

Manchester City’s trek towards the treble saw outstanding performances, with Mahrez scoring a hat-trick in the FA Cup semi-final against Sheffield United. Gundogan’s two goals secured a 2-1 victory over Manchester United in the final, and De Bruyne’s significant equalizer against Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League semi-final was pivotal.

2. Departures and Injuries

Despite the triumph, Manchester City faced setbacks as Gundogan and Mahrez left for Barcelona and Al Ahli, respectively. Additionally, De Bruyne suffered a significant injury, affecting the team’s performance in the 2023/24 season.

3. New Additions and Challenges

To fill the void, Manchester City brought in younger players like Jeremy Doku and Josko Gvardiol, who lack the experience of their predecessors. These changes contributed to the team currently holding the fourth position in the Premier League.

The Importance of Experience

While various factors influence performance, Manchester City has come to appreciate the significance of experience, both on the pitch and in the dressing room.

1. Team Over Individual

Guardiola’s decision to exile Joao Cancelo sent a strong message to the squad. Despite Cancelo being a top performer, Guardiola prioritized the team over individual interests, showcasing the importance of collective unity.

The Role of John Stones

In reflecting on the 2023 season, the absence of John Stones has been particularly impactful for Manchester City.

1. Injury Woes

Stones’ limited appearances due to a hamstring injury created challenges for Guardiola, who struggled to find a suitable replacement for the unique role Stones played alongside Rodri.

2. Unmatched Contribution

Stones’ absence became evident as teammates, including Manuel Akanji, found it challenging to replicate his role. The team experienced difficulties, emphasizing the adage that you don’t realize the value of something until it’s gone.


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