Why Man Utd’s 1999 Treble would always be superior to Manchester City’s 2023 – Football365

Mikel Arteta looks dejected during Arsenal vs Brighton

Manchester United was the first to do it – more or less – and no one will ever do it more dramatically. And they certainly didn’t cheat as they beat teams that were actually pretty decent.

It’s a tough time for Manchester United fans right now. While the club dallies and the fan base tears himself apart over the club’s propertyopposite Manchester, City gallops towards the Treble.

It is an achievement that remains United’s crowning achievement, unique in English football and part of the club’s identity. At least until City does what it takes. But here, partly ironically, is why United’s Treble will always be better than City’s…

United was the first
Who was the second person to run a four-minute mile? Who was the second climber to summit Everest?

United were the first team to win the Treble and that’s important. It means that the achievement will always be synonymous with them. If City pulls it off, fair f***s. But they are not groundbreaking. United pioneered in 1999. Twenty-four years later, City are just following in their footsteps.

Admittedly United were not the first European side to do it. Or even the first British club. Celtic, PSV and Ajax all completed the set, but coming from the farmers league, two of the three parts were almost gimmes. No one under 50 saw the Trebles of Celtic and Ajax, while PSV won just three games on their way to the European Cup in 1988, including no victories from the quarter-finals onwards, which deserves a big star honking at the trophy in the club museum. Not as big as the one next to City’s ghost.

So United were the first English team to win a Treble, and the first European side to win a real one.

United did it in style
For many United fans, football – yes, life – peaked on May 26, 1999. At the very back of that glorious Wednesday night’s mind was the nagging thought that it would never, ever be this good again.

Matt Dickinson was right in his book ‘1999: Manchester United, The Treble and All That: ‘Another English team will win the Treble one day. But it’s impossible for them to win that way.’

United’s route to winning it all was an adrenaline rush of a roller coaster, ridden through weeks of glorious petrified perils. The highs were like that because United were frighteningly close to the lows. It could have fallen apart at any moment and so often it almost did.

The Premier League title race went to the last ball between United and an Arsenal side who were already proven winners. In the FA Cup, the comeback came against Liverpool. The semi-final, against that double-hard Arsenal team, only went to a replay and extra time through a last-minute penalty save from Peter Schmeichel. Still swinging but down to 10 men and on the ropes, Ryan Giggs scored one of the greatest goals of all time.

And then there is the Nou Camp. United were mediocre in the Champions League final, which only heightened the buzz when Bayern – chasing a Treble themselves – were left on their backs as their ribbons were hastily removed from the European Cup after Teddy Sheringham’s sweep and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s poke not only had the Red Devils out of the dead dragged back, but brought them to the promised land. No European Cup has been won that way before or since that night in Barcelona, ​​least of all a Treble in such a frenzy.

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City are bloody brilliant, but where’s the danger? Where’s the drama? It may be yet to come, but Pep’s brand of ruthless efficiency is hardly material for a blockbuster thriller. You couldn’t write the 1999 script. In 2023, you probably wouldn’t be able to sell it.

City the best of a bad bunch
Part of the looming void in City’s march to the Treble can be attributed to the lack of real challenge.

In the Premier League, City ran in Arsenal’s slipstream for much of the season before going through gears and moving to the line. It was a two-horse race: one, in the context of experience and nous, a thoroughbred stallion; the other a little pony who is now rewarded with sugar cubes just for participating.

The title will be won with games over. In the FA Cup final they face a maddeningly inconsistent side reluctant to leave home after winning a semi-final against a lower division side with other, more pressing issues. And between them and the European Cup is Italy’s third best team.

On the way to Istanbul – probably always be known for another European Cup final, not City’s – Guardiola’s side have faced some big teams. As United did in 1999. City defeated a Bayern Munich in need of a rebuild, and the two teams currently behind the faltering Bavaria in the Bundesliga. And, of course, the biggest game yet: mishandling a Real Madrid who are currently miles off the pace behind a basketcase Barcelona.

United took on the best of Spain and Germany, as well as an Inter squad with Ronaldo and Juventus with Zinedine Zidane and Alessandro Del Piero. And in the Premier League, it was an Arsenal team of battle-hardened winners, not title virgins.

Those 115 costw3
City are likely to win the Treble, but will they keep it?

While some of their football has been great, we can’t gloss over the fact that between 2009 and 2018 there are 115 (one hundred and fifteen) indictments hanging over them for alleged financial rule violations.

UEFA have already tried to take City to court for breaching FFP rules and if the original verdict had stood they would have been suspended from this season’s Champions League. They managed to squeeze under the ban, not because they were innocent, but because “most of the alleged offenses were either unproven or time-barred.” They still had to pay a €10 million fine.

Christ knows when City will have their next day in court. But if the Premier League continues to be one of those many, many charges, as Jamie Carragher puts it: the Treble and many more will be worthless.

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Written by Ft7Ball

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