As I write this Manchester City look set to canter off into Premier League sunset for a second consecutive year, and in a manner they seem to have become accustomed to. Once again, the other squads just cannot compete with the consistency of Pep and his men.
I’m going to have to take it on the chin that I was seduced by Thomas Tuchel and what appeared to be an untouchable outfit of blue. Over halfway through the season, and after a series of indifferent results, this is glaringly no longer the case at Stamford Bridge.
Liverpool, the traditional contenders to City in recent years, have faced the huge blow – In the weeks that City have begun to run away with points – of losing Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah to the Africa Cup of Nations. The pair between them have 24 goals and 10 assists (at the time of writing), and the reality is that while Liverpool manage to cope in their absence, they are worse off for lacking that star power, when a side like Manchester City is overflowing with players of their ilk.
While I said Chelsea would take the title this season, I also spoke at length about the Premier League in the modern day ultimately being determined by the quality of depth in a squad, and once again Pep’s recruitments over the last few years have come into fruition after the second half of the season, as injury and international duty drags other possible contenders behind.
Kudos to Pep, kudos to City for their dominance. But what a pity to see Liverpool and Chelsea fall away in the manner in which they have, in what looked set to be the tightest Premier League title race in a long, long time.