Manchester City: Can They be Challenged Next Year?

Manchester City have pretty much waltzed to the Premier League title this season. With the fact that they have already all but sown up the championship, we’re already looking forward to next season and posing the question of whether or not another team can usurp Pep Guardiola‘s history-making side.

Obviously, in theory, any of the other 19 teams in next season’s Premier League could technically beat Man City to the title, but who has the best chance of beating them to the title next campaign?

The first team people will think of is Manchester United and rightly so. The Jose Mourinho-led Red Devils sit second in the league and are coming off the back of an impressive 3-2 win over their sky-blue neighbours. Their pedigree and tendency to get what they want from games is unquestionable.

However, United have their clear flaws. They do struggle with Romelu Lukaku leading their attacking line and they’d be nowhere near the position that they are without the heroics of David De Gea between the sticks. With a bank account as deep as their local rivals, United could go toe-to-toe with City next season, given the right circumstances. However, they won’t set the league alight. They’ve even been quiet in reaching second place this season.

Secondly, and alternatively, the Tottenham Hotspur are an outside challenger to give City a run for their money next season. The North London outfit set for their first season in the newly rebuilt White Hart Lane. They’ve got quality players throughout their lineup headed up by Harry Kane up front who is undeniably one of the best out-and-out attackers in word football, let alone the Premier League.

The Spurs’ issues don’t lie with the quality of the squad it lies more within the mentality of the players and manager. They focus game-to-game too often, drawing out issues from each game for too long. Case and point being Kane this week who is foolishly appealing for Christian Eriksen‘s second goal to be awarded to him. Talk about team ethos, eh?

Mauricio Pochettino is a good manager. That is without a doubt. The real question should be: “Is he a winning manager?” He’s not won a single domestic trophy in his entire managerial career. If the Spurs want to propel themselves to the next level, serious consideration about how they are being nurtured needs to be done. Perhaps bringing in a second man and having a managerial team, however, that would probably lead to more struggles.

In short, the Spurs won’t even be challenging United, let alone City.

Chelsea are the least talked about team of the top five in terms of winning the title next season. That is because of the under-performing Alvaro Morata and tendency to regularly drop points. After only bringing in Morata and Antonio Rudiger last summer, a massive effort in the summer transfer window will be needed to see the Blues have a slim chance of finishing in the top spot next season. Chelsea has beaten City three times this season and are constantly on the up.

Jurgen Klopp‘s Liverpool, alongside Manchester United, could be the crux of City next season. With the introduction of Naby Keita on July 1st and the promise of an active transfer window building on an already incredibly strong squad, Liverpool will be looking to move from a solid top four team to a title contender. Especially with their impressive run in the Champions League showing their European pedigree to boot. Keeping hold of the record-breaking Mohamed Salah will be essential in their chances next season and putting together an actual spine of a midfield will be necessary, but the Reds could well go all the way next season.

It’ll take a massive job for anyone to beat City to the title next season given how quickly they’ve secured the title this campaign, but they are human. They are beatable and maybe complacent? We’ll see next season as a summer of bought and sold players could change the landscape in the Barclays.

Photo from Manchester City’s Twitter

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