Is The Quadruple The Impossible Dream?

They say you should never say “never.” The theory behind this statement is based on the fact that you should not ever admit defeat in advance. Having a defeatist attitude only usually ends-up one way. You have in effect loaded the dice against you before you’ve begun. Having said that, if Manchester City can’t do it this season, in the sort of form the are in; what chance is there for anyone?

What a quadruple consists of

Here in England the quadruple entails winning the top three English domestic trophies, plus the premier club competition in Europe. For the avoidance of doubt these are:

• The Premiership title
• The FA Cup
• The Carabao Cup
• The Champions League

As you can appreciate, winning all four competitions in the same season requires a team of unrivalled skill, stamina and consistency.

The original League and FA Cup double (Prior to formation of the Premier League)

The first big challenge here in the UK was winning the double. This means winning the League and the FA cup. Up until the birth of the Premier League, only five clubs had ever won the original league and FA Cup double. They were Preston (1888/89), Aston Villa (1896/97), Tottenham Hotspur (1960/61), Arsenal (1970/71), and (Liverpool 1985/86).

Since the Premier League was first formed, the Premier League and FA Cup double has also been won five times. Manchester United (1993/94), Arsenal (1997/98), Manchester United (1998/99), Arsenal (2001/02), and Chelsea (2009/10).

The Treble

The next step up is the treble, which can be either domestic or continental. Domestic means winning three domestic competitions, and continental – 2 domestic plus one continental.

To indicate how hard this is (let-alone talking about a quadruple), only two teams have ever achieved it to date. The first was Manchester United in 1998/99 when they finished top of the Premier League and won both the FA Cup and the EUFA Champions League. The only other English team to have achieved a treble was Liverpool in 2000/01, but strictly speaking as their achievement including a secondary trophy (the League Cup rather the Premiership title) this is not considered to be either a proper, continental or domestic treble.

Manchester City come down to earth with a thump

Up until very recently, Manchester City looked as if they could possibly be in line for a quadruple. Even though Pep Guardiola made a statement saying that it wasn’t going to happen, it still looked possible until they were sensationally turfed out of the FA Cup by Wigan. The best that they can now look forward to this season is a second-class treble.

Unfortunately, it also means that if you put a bet on Manchester City becoming the first club to win the quadruple, (and for a while it did look like it could be a distinct possibility) you’ve now lost your wager.
They say that money can’t buy you love. It appears it may not be able to buy a quadruple either. For now, at least, as far as English club football is concerned, the quadruple remains to be the impossible dream.