Viet Nam News
LONDON — Pep Guardiola has been challenged to win the treble by Manchester City’s ambitious owners as the Premier League club aim to bounce back from a disappointing campaign.
Guardiola’s first season with City was a damp squib as they ended without a trophy after failing to push for the title and crashing out of the Champions League in the last 16.
City also fell short in the FA and League Cups in a rare season of underachievement for Guardiola, who was a serial trophy winner during his spells in charge of Barcelona and Bayern Munich.
However, City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak believes Guardiola’s track record of 21 trophies in his previous seven years as a manager proves this season will be a brief blip before a more successful future.
"We will try to win the Premier League and the Champions League and that remains our objective," Khaldoon told City’s website.
"That ambition of winning the Champions League and hopefully doing it, that dream excites me very day and knowing we can do it.
"The dream of doing the Treble, yes. I want to do the treble, or else let’s go for the quadruple! Why not?
"We should have that aspiration. I have it, no doubt. (City owner) Sheikh Mansour drives me for it every day, but you look at the organisation you see it in Pep’s eyes in everybody within our group.
"Pep wants to win it all and that’s what I love most about him because that’s how I feel, we want to win it all.
"We might not be able to achieve it, but I can assure you, we’re going to try to do that."
Despite the disappointment of finishing third in the Premier League, Khaldoon insists the club’s Abu Dhabi-based backers have put everything in place to deliver silverware.
Guardiola has already started overhauling his squad, releasing a host of players and signing Monaco playmaker Bernardo Silva, with Benfica goalkeeper Ederson on the verge of moving to Eastlands.
"We’re on the right track. We have a great manager, we’re all working behind him, supporting him," Khaldoon said.
"We are going to do our work this summer. The trajectory is right and I’m very optimistic.
"Next year is going to be a massive year for us. Expectations are high, ambitions are high.
"I have a lot of hope that we’re going to come back next season very strong and I hope we can deliver to our fans an incredible season next year." — AFP