For all the talk of an unprecedented quadruple for Manchester City this season, Barcelona’s bubble-bursting win in the Champions League showed just how fragile the quest for glory can be.
Samir Nasri knows this all too well from his time at the Emirates when Arsenal’s quadruple-chasers of 2011 saw their season unravel like Rapunzle’s hair after a shock League Cup loss in the final to Birmingham.
And the Frenchman’s anxiety that his City side could end up enduring the same trophy-less fate may just have put pressure on Manuel Pellegrini’s side at precisely the wrong time with the Capital One Cup final against Sunderland only days away.
“I have the experience of losing the Carling Cup with Arsenal,” said Nasri. “After that we won two games in the league, so a win would be important.”
Although many would argue that the current crop of City stars are a cut-above the relatively fragile young pups Arsene Wenger was relying on back then, the 11/1 on a similar crash-and-burn scenario for the Citizens is well within the realms of possibility looking at the four competitions.
Martin Demichelis’s lunge already looks to have forfeited their chance at Champions League glory and judging by Sunderland’s run to the League Cup final the Black Cats aren’t about to roll over for a tummy-tickling as their odds of 9/2 to win suggest.
Gus Poyet’s side have seen off Southampton, Chelsea and Manchester United over two legs to set up this chance at silverware where Wigan have already laid the blueprint of what can be achieved in a one-off Wembley showpiece.
Of course its FA Cup holders Wigan who stand in City’s way again in that competition and given Watford’s showing in round four and the Latics’ brilliant form under Uwe Rosler, that tie is far from rudimentary either.
Finally, given that the Premier League has so far served up more twists and turns than Silverstone, no one could say with any real conviction right now that City will win the title either.
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