In a surprising turn of events, Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has played down the significance of winning the Carabao Cup, expressing contentment with the prestigious Treble they recently achieved. Guardiola's comments came in the wake of Manchester City's Carabao Cup exit, as Newcastle United defeated them.
Guardiola, addressing the media, made it clear that the quadruple, often a coveted achievement in English football, was never his primary objective. He stated, “You think the target was the quadruple? We are more than happy with the treble.” This statement reflects the manager's satisfaction with the Treble, a remarkable feat only his bitter rivals, Manchester United, have accomplished in English football history.
Despite their impressive Treble achievement, the Carabao Cup holds a special place in the competition's history for Guardiola, who has won it a record-equalling four times, sharing the honor with legendary managers Sir Alex Ferguson and Jose Mourinho. The prospect of securing a fifth Carabao Cup title and breaking the record might seem enticing, but Guardiola appears to have shifted his focus elsewhere.
Manchester City's Carabao Cup exit saw their city rivals, Manchester United, progress to the next round. United convincingly defeated Crystal Palace with a 3-0 scoreline and now face Newcastle United in the tournament's fourth round.
Guardiola's decision to downplay the tournament's importance is a significant departure from his previous approaches. Nonetheless, Manchester City continues to shine in the Premier League, maintaining a perfect record thus far. Their upcoming fixture against Arsenal promises to be a highly-anticipated clash, while they have also started their Champions League campaign with a convincing 3-1 victory against Crvena Zvezda.
As Guardiola and Manchester City prioritize their quest for excellence on multiple fronts, their recent comments indicate a shift in priorities, with the focus squarely set on achieving new heights in the Treble and beyond.