At last then, it’s done.
As we’ve known pretty much since early October, Manchester City are the new kings of the Premier League, their coronation confirmed after a lethargic display at Old Trafford by their nearest rivals.
As Pep Guardiola showed during his time as Barcelona boss, anything is possible. In fact, if he commits himself to the Manchester City project, his could just be the very start.
Using, graphs, charts, science, a crystal ball I bought at a car boot sale and a hefty amount of what I’m only prepared to call ‘self-medication’, I’ve come up with what the future almost certainly holds for Pep and his boys in really pale blue…
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2020: The Unbeatables
City win the Premier League at a canter for the third consecutive season, only this time they go unbeaten for the entire campaign.
In fact, not a single player is injured, sent off or even booked and their possession stats never drop beneath 85%.
Mysteriously, the eyes of each City player also turn pale blue to match their shirts, and they all begin to speak in a strange, monotone fashion. Guardiola puts it all down to extra training sessions on Thursdays and a special energy drink that he brews in his cellar.
2022: The Shape-Shifters
City’s domination of all known football continues as they hoover up trophies across Europe.
Their collective hand is further strengthened by the players’ new-found ability to transform themselves at will into a series of mythical creatures. Raheem Sterling’s lightning pace is enhanced as he shape-shifts into a man/leopard hybrid, leading to a career-best tally of 20 goals.
Meanwhile, just like his cartoon hero Popeye, John Stones develops the ability to make his biceps go massive whenever he drinks spinach from a can. However, he is still unable to force his way into the starting XI as a result.
2024: The Mass Psychological Realignment Program
City now entertain their fans in an expanded stadium of 130,000 which sells out every week, even when the team plays away from home (no, really).
Guardiola no longer uses verbal communication, but instead emits thoughts and feelings from his huge, pulsating head which has grown by five inches in diameter every year since the breakthrough 2017-18 season.
As a result, his mental energy waves has improved the IQ of Manchester’s children by an incredible 240%, and the number of Manchester United fans
2026: The Intergalactic Space Lords
Having conquered the known world, the completion of Sheikh Mansour’s space exploration side-project is celebrated with a charity match between a pro-celebrity City line-up and the very best players from the six newly-discovered planets.
Stars featured include a semi-pervious glutinous sphere, Jamie Pollock (now a non-pervious glutonous sphere) and Olly Murs, who has recently developed pale blue eyes and defected from his lifelong support of Manchester United.
Played on the surface of the sun, the match ends in a diabolical 0-0 draw owing to the near-perfect defensive might of both teams, while Pollock is sent off for booting the semi-pervious sphere right up its hoop.
Elsewhere, an independent audit reveals that the total financial outlay by City’s owners from 2016 until now has been £985 trillion. Money well and truly spent.Head over to PaddyPower.com for the latest football betting