Man City defender John Stones has high hopes for another magical season despite Pep Guardiola’s scepticism. The Spaniard recently rated their chances of achieving a treble like last season at just a tiny 0.01 per cent, even after their win over Everton.
But Stones insists his side can make history by becoming the first team to win the treble two years in a row. The defender thinks that with their track record of winning and beating their rivals like Liverpool and Arsenal, that anything is possible.
They’ve already bagged this season’s UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup, and successfully battled through an FA Cup match against Tottenham, setting them up for a fifth-round test against Luton. On top of that, they are well positioned in the Premier League title race, and are about to resume Champions League duty again, facing Copenhagen soon in the last-16.
Having recovered from injury and returned to the starting line-up, Stones doesn’t shy away from ambitious goals, telling BBC Radio Manchester after the Everton match: “I think you know me by now, I look at the game in hand. So, I think for us to have a goal, never say never.
“What we did last season has only been done twice, which everyone knows, we’re super proud of that. And when a bar’s been set, so high, you’ve got to try and keep reaching that bar. It’s definitely something I believe we can do.
“Whether we do it or not, we’ll wait and see. But to believe and to have that goal is massively important. I don’t think anything’s impossible to do and with this group and mentality and players we’ve got. It’s something I’d love to do again.”
After the Everton win, Guardiola was brimming with praise for his unstoppable City side. “The team this season in the difficulties make a step forward, how many times we come back from losing positions, today was a tough game,” he said.
“I would love to be 4-0 after 50 minutes with four goals for Erling Haaland, I would stay sitting with Juanma [Lillo], but it’s not like that.
“That’s why I love to win this type of games, because we learned the lesson for what’s coming now, the Champions League, Chelsea, the opponents we have next month.”
Guardiola further stated: “The environment of the team, the feeling of the team from day one this season I said ‘ok, I like it’. That doesn’t mean we’re going to win but I like it.”