Pep and City’s Quadruple quest is the impossible dream

MISSED OPPORTUNITY: Guardiola has again fallen short in completing a quadruple.

Pep and City’s Quadruple quest is the impossible dream. As the final whistle blew at Wembley Stadium on Saturday evening, the ecstasy of yet another FA Cup Final for Chelsea hit home. While Manchester City’s chance to complete a quadruple passed them by like every other English team before them.

The haul of four trophies in one season like the Premier League and the Champions league is not something any English club has ever done. Pep Guardiola has even tried, but failed.

It’s understandable to think winning these two alone would be hard enough, as well as the League Cup and FA Cup. Two competitions which allows lower opposition clubs to play the big clubs. Many clubs have attempted to accomplish this dream but have fallen short at every hurdle over the years

The inquest will surely start on Manchester City and Pep once again. He’s only ever won more than three trophies in one season. A season when he has had Lionel Messi at his disposal, while managing FC Barcelona, one of the great club side’s in history

However it’s not just Pep. Other managers have attempted to complete a quadruple when the league was not competitive and the European Cup’s shorter format existed.

Pep and City's Quadruple quest over hand of leeds

Liverpool’s Quadruple quest

One of the first managers who almost accomplished it was Joe Fagan during the 1983-1984 season. Fagan was predecessor of Bill Shankly and Bob Paisley at Liverpool. He took charge at Anfield and had one of the greatest Liverpool teams ever to call upon. It was an extraordinary season for the Kopites. A league title and League Cup win and fourth European Cup in 7 years was memorable.

A season which will be remembered forever for young and old Liverpool fans with winning this historic treble but three could have been four. Liverpool were knocked out the FA Cup in the fourth round by Division Two side Brighton and Hove Albion. Some may look back and think missed opportunity, especially as the final included Everton and Watford that year.

Manchester United’s missed Quadruple

Manchester United 1998/1999 season completed this in the second attempt. After winning no major trophies the previous year and letting Arsenal overtake them, Alex Ferguson bounced back in style and did so in spectacular fashion.

In the space of a month when the top prizes were being handed out, Manchester United managed to win a league with a the single point on the final day . They would then defeat Newcastle United 2-0 in a one sided FA Cup Final. The crowning achievement was the Champions League. United scored 2 goals in the Nou Camp against Bayern Munich to complete the perfect treble, which is still admired to this day.

However a sense of regret lays with one person involved in that squad. Roy Keane said about he wished they had won four trophies. A 3-1 defeat to Tottenham in the League Cup Quarter-Finals stopped the coveted quadruple.

United would attempt this feat again in the 2008/2009 season. The Premier League and Carling Cup eluded United after Everton knocked them out the FA Cup on penalties. Tim Howard became the hero that day. Barcelona the following week put on a European Masterclass in Rome to beat United 2-0 in the Champions League Final.

Manchester United's 1999 Treble Winners Remain English Soccer's Greatest  Team

Pep and City’s Quadruple quest

The Special One would then have a crack at the English treble. His opportunity came during the 2014/2015 season in his second term as Chelsea manager.

Chelsea were a team on fire and had not tasted defeat all season. Talk of an unbeaten campaign were followed with quadruple conversations. This could have been a phenomenal season for the Blues and Jose. They did win the title with ease and lifted the Capital One Cup though.

Chelsea’s Champions League dream ended at the hands of PSG .This was followed by a shock 4-2 defeat by League One Bradford City in the FA Cup. The facts speak for themselves Mourinho wins trophies, but four in one season is even too far for the Special One.

What Jose could not accomplish became Pep’s objective. Since becoming the Manchester City manager in 2016 Guardiola still hasn’t cracked the code. Manchester City’s first attempt came when they beat Liverpool to the league by a single point in the most dramatic title race in living memory. City would beat Chelsea in the Fa cup on penalties and would beat Watford 6-0 to lift the FA Cup. The elusive Champions league escaped City after Tottenham Hotspur knocked City out thanks to Var and away goals. 

Pep and City's Quadruple quest is the impossible dream

Pep’s Quadruple dream

That opportunities that season for City and Pep to win a quad passed them by. Liverpool comfortably won the League by 18 points. Arsenal then knocked them out the FA Cup Semi-Finals 2-0 at Wembley. The biggest surprise came when Lyon sent shockwaves around Europe by City 3-1 in the Quarter-Finals. City would make no mistake in the League Cup against Aston Villa in the final. An extremely disappointing season for Manchester City

Now this year the hopes of four trophies has now been halted with only three to possibly lift and with Mourinho and his Tottenham side waiting in the Carabao Cup Final along with PSG to come in the Semi-Finals in the Champions League, maybe it may only be the Premier League which is lifted by Manchester City this year.

The fascination of the quadruple has led all these great teams and managers to try, but I think powers beyond our control have shown that English football provides a challenge which no one can accomplish when it comes to attempting the awesome foursome.

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