Why winning the Emirates FA Cup can be catalyst for Man City glory
Since being taken over by the Abu Dhabi United Group in 2008, Manchester City have won five major trophies. But arguably none are as important as the first. That was the 2011 FA Cup and we say Pep Guardiola should channel that success to kick-start his own Citizens tenure.
Yaya Toure’s goal six years ago to defeat Stoke lifted the Citizens from nearly-men to genuine silverware hunters.
After nearly three years without a trophy since the club’s buyout, the pressure was growing on City to produce the goods. And that 1-0 win in 2011 silenced the critics and opened the floodgates in equal measure.
With two Premier Leagues and two League Cups, no English Premier League side has won more trophies in the last five years.
The arrival of Guardiola last summer was the Citizens’ latest indication that they intend to win a lot more in the future, although the Spaniard’s first season has been a touch more difficult than he may have envisaged.
Hopes of a Premier League success have all but gone, while their EFL Cup chances ended in the fourth round.
They remain in the Champions League, but the FA Cup by far represents Pep’s best chance to land his first piece of silverware as City boss.
Odds of 1/6 suggest the Etihad outfit will secure a top-four spot this season, but an FA Cup trophy would comfortably mark down Pep’s first year as a success.
They’re favourites for the world’s oldest cup competition at 11/4, and victory would also serve to lay down a statement of intent for next season and beyond.
The Quarter-Final draw has been relatively kind too, with City avoiding local rivals Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal.
They head up to Middlesbrough this weekend, knowing that victory would move them to within 180 minutes of silverware.
If, as many expect, City and Pep go on to win multiple titles in the years to come, much will be made of their crucial first success under the Spaniard.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing